Preventive and restorative veterinary healthcare and dental surgery helps can help preserve your cat's or dog's teeth. Discuss your pet's dental health with your Victoria vet.
Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care is a critical aspect of oral and overall health for both cats and dogs. However, most pets don't receive the oral hygiene care they require to keep their teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
At our Victoria veterinary hospital, you'll find complete dental care services for your four-legged companion, including basics such as dental exams, teeth cleaning and polishing. We also take x-rays to help us diagnose conditions, and perform dental surgeries.
Our vets are passionate about educating pet owners regarding at-home dental care and other aspects of dental health, so feel free to ask about any questions or concerns you may have.
Dental Surgery in Victoria
Learning that your pet needs dental surgery can be intimidating. At Downtown Veterinary Clinic, we strive to make the process as stress-free as possible, for both you and your pet.
We'll do everything in our power to make sure your pet's experience with us is easy and comfortable. Each step of the process will be explained in detail prior to the procedure, so you can gain an understanding of preparation and post-operative care needs.
We offer a selection of services ranging from tooth extractions and gum disease treatment to jaw fracture repair surgeries for cats and dogs.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Your pet should see a veterinarian for a dental examination at least once each year. If your cat or dog is more susceptible to dental health issues, they may need to visit us more often.
Our vets at Downtown Veterinary Clinic can assess, diagnose and treat dental health problems your cat or dog may encounter.
If any of these symptoms appear in your pet, he or she should come in for a dental checkup.
- Tartar buildup
- Discoloured teeth
- Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Bad breath
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Abnormal drooling, chewing, or dropping food from the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
The veterinarian will complete a thorough physical assessment before your pet's dental exam, to confirm he or she is healthy enough for anesthesia.
Blood tests and urine analyses will be done to check their health for this purpose. If required, additional diagnostics, such as an ECG or chest radiographs may also be completed.
The vet will perform a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting once your pet is under anesthesia.
After the assessment, the vet will clean and polish the teeth (including under the gum line) and take x-rays, before applying a fluoride treatment to each tooth.
Finally, a dental sealant will cover the tooth to keep plaque away from the enamel. If the veterinarian discovers advanced periodontal disease, a treatment plan will be developed and the vet will review it with you.
Two weeks after your pet's initial assessment and treatment appointment, a complimentary followup examination will be scheduled.
At this visit, at-home teeth brushing will be discussed. There may also be some products we can recommend to help improve your pet's oral health.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
These are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our patients regarding dental care for pets.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Did you know that just like us, poor oral health in our pets can lead to tooth decay or periodontal disease?
Plaque can stick to our cat's or dog's teeth and build up into tartar if not regularly brushed away. This can lead to infection in the mouth, tooth decay, loose or missing teeth and periodontal disease.
This is why our vets steadfastly encourage regular dental care - it's essential to preventing disease and pain in the teeth and gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Oral health problems can show up in our pets' behaviour. You may notice your pet drools excessively (the drool may contain blood or pus) or they may grind their teeth, stop grooming sufficiently, yawn excessively or paw at their teeth or mouth.
Bad breath, discoloured teeth, and swollen gums can also indicate oral health problems. Pain in the mouth may keep your pet from eating. Read more about symptoms to watch for under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams - Symptoms (to the left).
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
Oral health issues and conditions can cause problems ranging from bad breath and cavities to severe periodontal disease. These are linked to diseases in other areas of the body, such as the heart, liver and kidney.
Tumours or cysts can also develop as a result of dental problems. You may notice your pet does not appear to be feeling well in general (think of times you've had a toothache and how it can impact your mood). Diseases related to oral health conditions can also cause significant pain and shorten the lifespan of your pet.
This is why we encourage regular dental care as a way to bolster your pet's physical health and well-being.
- What happens during a pet teeth cleaning appointment?
The vet will inspect your pet's mouth during his or her regular oral exam to look for oral health conditions or any symptoms that require treatment.
Plaque, tartar and other debris will be cleaned from your pet's teeth. If gingivitis, cavities or other conditions require your vet's attention, the vet will review these with you and explain which actions to take.
Serious conditions may need to be treated with surgery in some cases. We will provide your pet with anesthesia prior to the dental procedure to help them feel comfortable and ensure they do not experience any pain. However, you'll need to take special care and follow post-op surgery instructions carefully to help your pet recover.
If your pet is displaying any symptoms listed above, book a dental appointment with us.
- What should I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth clean between dental appointments?
Brush your pet's teeth regularly at home, and provide a few dental chew toys to help get rid of plaque.
Do not allow your dog or cat to chew on objects that can damage the teeth, such as things that are too hard, toys, antlers, rocks, or bones. Feel free to contact your vet with any questions or concerns about your pet's oral health.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Cats and dogs will often react to dental procedures by biting or struggling, since they do not understand what is going on. Anesthesia is provided to all of our patients before our vets perform dental procedures. This puts less stress on your four-legged friend and allows us the time and space to x-ray their mouth as required.
Caring for Pets in Victoria
Downtown Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.