Unfortunately, It's not unusual for us here at A2AH to encounter some really extreme cases of pet dental neglect. We see it all too often and the reasons for it vary. Many pet owners simply don't realize that a pet with poor dental hygiene will end up costing them a lot more money, especially if extractions are required, than regular dental cleanings.
Both cats and dogs need dentals from time to time. If gone uncleaned and unchecked for long enough gum disease and decay can set in which can cause your pet a lot of pain. One of our vets had to remove 13 teeth from a cat due to extensive gum decay. Not only do we clean teeth during a dental but we are able to inspect the general state of the mouth. A staff member here at the hospital had scheduled his dog for a dental and the vet found a piece of wood lodged between his dog's back teeth. Had this piece of wood gone unnoticed, it's likely that infection would have set in, requiring further discomfort for the dog and more money from the owner.
From time to time our vets encounter pet owners who are leery of anesthesia. To ensure your pet is comfortable and that we can provide a thorough cleaning we find anesthesia to be necessary and safe. Later this month we will publish a post written by our own Dr. Heather Jarrett on the many benefits of using anesthesia when performing a dental cleaning.
It isn't our intention to “guilt” or scare clients into a procedure. We simply want to stress the importance of this often overlooked and important aspect of pet care. If interested in what is involved in a "Dental" at A2AH please click this link. The next time you're in to see the vet ask about the benefits of a dental cleaning for your particular pet—we're always here to help!