Dental Cleaning For Dogs and Cats - Petaluma Veterinary Hospital

Why teeth cleaning is so important for your dog or cat.

When we think about our pets’ health we often forget about a vital part of their well being – dental cleaning. Since we are taught to brush our own teeth twice a day, we really should make more effort to ensure that our pet's teeth are also healthy. Some symptoms of poor oral care in pets include:
  • Weight loss. Infected gums. tooth pain reduced appetite and weight loss.
  • Bad breath due to neglected teeth and gums.
  • ​​​​​​​Dirty, stained teeth that could be harbouring bacteria.
  • ​​​​​​​Heart, kidney and liver disease from untreated dental infections.
​​​​​A primary cause of these problems is gum disease as a result of bacteria-harbouring plaque and tartar accumulating on your pets’ teeth. This can in turn infect the gum tissue, causing pain and potential tooth loss. The bacteria can also enter the blood stream and cause damage to their internal organs, which untreated can lead to organ failure and eventually death.
Dental Cleaning Services at Petaluma Veterinary Hospital in Petaluma CA

Dental cleaning for cats

Dental disease is a primary health concern for cats, with around 70% of felines aged over 3 experiencing some form of dental problem. Between 4-6 months of age kittens lose their baby teeth and develop permanent teeth. Once the permanent ones are present your cat should have around 30 teeth. Some of the symptoms of dental disease in cats include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • ​​​​​​​Bad breath
  • Decreased appetite
  • Discolored teeth
  • Blood in the saliva
  • Bleeding, red or swollen gums
  • Weight loss
  • Receding gums
  • Broken or missing teeth

The cleaning process for cats

Dental prophylaxis, (teeth clean and polish), is the most routine dental treatment performed on cats. It usually takes around 60 minutes with no need for your cat to stay with us afterwards.

All dental work requires a general anesthetic, but the risks are minimal. Once your cat is under sedation, we will perform an oral examination before commencing with cleaning and polishing. If any digital x-rays or extractions are required then we will do them at this time after discussing with you.

It is vitally important for you to carry on your cat’s dental care at home. There are a variety of brushing kits available that usually include a finger brush, small pet toothbrush and special toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste on your pets’ teeth. Make brushing your cats’ teeth an integral part of their daily routine to ensure that you are providing the best preventative care possible.

Dental cleaning for dogs

Doggy dental care is also very important. Most adult dogs will have 42 teeth by the time they are 7 or 8 months. Many dogs show signs of gum disease by the time they are 4 years old due to a lack of proper cleaning. Symptoms of poor dental or oral health can in dogs include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Inflamed or red gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Cysts under the tongue
  • Tumours in the gum
  • Particularly bad breath

The cleaning process for dogs.

​​​​​​​The process for dogs is the same as for cats. Anesthesia is used to keep the pet calm and avoid injury. As with cats, brushing your dogs’ teeth as a part of their regular daily routine can help prevent the onset of oral decay. There are plenty of canine brushing kits available, or alternatively you could use gauze wrapped around your fingers. Again, make sure you purchase special pet toothpaste as human toothpaste can make them very sick. Talk to our veterinarians with any questions of for more information.