Pet Dental Care
The American Veterinary Dental Society reports that the vast majority of dogs and cats show signs of oral disease by age 3. Even more serious, dental disease doesn't affect just the mouth; it often leads to health problems including heart, lung, and kidney disease. Provide your pets with proper dental care from the beginning to prevent disease and increase their potential for a long and healthy life.
AAHA's Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats recommend dental examinations, veterinary cleanings, and home dental care for optimum health. Veterinary dental cleanings are done under general anesthesia for the best results and least trauma to your pet. On the day your pet is scheduled for a dental cleaning, Knoxville Veterinary Clinic asks you to follow these simple procedures:
- The night before–Remember to remove all food after midnight, but your pet can still have water until check-in.
- Check-in–Please bring your pet to the clinic on the day of the surgery between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m.
- Dismissal–Pick up your pet any time after 1:00 p.m. on the day of the surgery. If your pet will not have shelter for the night, we advise boarding with us for 24 hours and picking up the following day.
- Medication–It may be necessary to administer pain medication or an antibiotic. Please administer these medications as directed.
If your pet has is scheduled for a dental cleaning, Download the Dental Handout for helpful tips and information about your pets' pending appointment.
Dental options include pre-anesthetic blood testing. We strongly recommend these tests for optimum safety during the dental procedure. These tests reveal a variety of hidden health conditions that could put your pet at risk. We offer the latest technology, allowing us to perform safe and accurate blood chemistries and receive the results within minutes. These tests are similar to those your physician would recommend if you were undergoing anesthesia, and these test results will serve as future reference values should your pet ever become ill.
For the protection of our patients, all pets must have documentation of up-to-date vaccinations prior to dental surgical procedures. Vaccinations may be given on the day of surgery, if needed.
- DOGS–Required vaccinations include rabies, distemper/parvo combo (Da2ppc), and bronchitis/bordetella. A lepto vaccination is not required, but it is strongly recommended.
- CATS–Required vaccinations include CVR (distemper) and rabies. A feline leukemia vaccination is not required, but it is strongly recommended. It is highly recommended that all cats and kittens be tested for feline leukemia/FIV, deadly diseases that are highly contagious and can be transmitted from cat to cat.
Home dental care for pets is often a concern for our clients, but there are many resources for learning how to maintain your pet's teeth after a professional cleaning. We are happy to instruct you at your wellness visit or check out these helpful websites:
- WebMD's Healthy Pet site offers an instructional slideshow for brushing your dog's teeth.
- Watch this video on brushing your cat's teeth from the Cornell Feline Health Center.
For more on this subject, read this simple explanation of the AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for dogs and cats. Or visit the American Veterinary Dental College website for easy-to-read information about pet dental health care.