What are the Warning Signs of Dental Disease?
If your dog or cat has noticeably bad breath, they should see us for a checkup as soon as possible. Bad breath could be a warning sign of dental disease, in addition to these signs/symptoms:
- Dropping food while eating
- Chewing on one side when eating
- Pawing or rubbing at the mouth
- Reluctant to chew on toys
- Gums look red and swollen
- Yellow/brown buildup along the gum line (you might have to flip your pet’s lip to see this)
Left untreated, dental disease can only get worse, so please reach out to us for an appointment if your pet has any of the issues listed above.
What is a COHAT?
COHAT stands for comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment. As its name implies, COHAT involves a highly thorough evaluation of your pet’s oral health above and below the gum line.
Some common aspects of this assessment include:
- A meticulous oral exam
- Pre-anesthesia blood work and review of your pet’s medical history and nutrition
- Full-mouth dental X-rays before and after the dental procedure to check for underlying signs of oral disease and damage
- Careful dental probing and charting
- A custom dental treatment plan to address any issues we find during the assessment
- Follow-up exam and discussion about your pet’s ongoing dental needs
The Benefits of Routine Oral Exams and COHAT
COHAT enables our veterinary team to detect and treat hidden oral health problems. Standard teeth cleanings are often insufficient for treating deep-seated issues like dental disease, jaw fractures, and oral abscesses. With dental X-rays and a full oral exam under anesthesia, we can directly address these problems and prevent them from getting worse. This can result in more cost-effective dental care and a better quality of life for your pet.
Why Tooth Brushing is Important
At Village Vet, we recommend brushing your pet’s teeth at least a few times a week to reduce plaque and tartar buildup. This can help to reduce the number of teeth cleanings your pet needs throughout their lifetime, and play a major role in preventing dental disease altogether!
If you have questions about caring for your pet’s teeth at home, give us a call at (269) 235-9380 and we’ll be happy to help.