#1 If the teeth are white, the mouth is healthy
This is not always the case! The gums can also be an indicator of oral disease. Red, swollen gums are a sign that infection is below the gum line. Here at Main Street Animal Hospital, Dr. Wood will perform an oral exam on your pet to make sure they are in tip top shape! Sometimes just doing an annual cleaning under anesthesia can keep your pet with a mouth full of teeth!
#2 Bad breath is normal in pets
Absolutely not! Now, they may not be minty fresh at every turn, but bad breath is definitely a sign that something is going on in there.
#3 My pet has a heart condition or may not be healthy enough for anesthesia so it’s more of a risk to do the dental procedure
Having a rotten mouth is no fun for anyone and is something we can help with. Dental disease can further complicate other conditions and can really affect the quality of life for your pet. We have a technician whose sole purpose in the dental procedure is to monitor the patient, taking vitals constantly and recording every five minutes. We are always watching heart rate, oxygenation, EKG, temp and blood pressure. The pet is on fluids for the entire procedure and we give meds according to the patient specifically and if they have a special condition we take that into consideration. At Main Street Animal Hospital we want your pet to have a high quality life and having a clean mouth is one step in that direction.
#4 My pet is chewing fine, nothing is wrong
That is so far from the truth! Eating is a survival instinct for anyone and animals are smart enough to know that if they don’t eat, they will not make it! Eating is one of the last things to go when a pet has a painful mouth. They will often chew on one side of the mouth or just find a way to that they scarfing the food without chewing much. If you notice your pet chewing differently than normal or dropping kibble several times before actually eating it, please give us a call and one of our friendly staff members will schedule your appointment with Dr. Wood so we can get your pets mouth checked out!
#5 We don’t see the mouth, so it isn’t a big deal if it looks bad
At the end of the day, infection has set in your dog’s mouth. Would you allow yourself or your child to go with a mouth that was infected just because you don’t see it very often? NO WAY! We have to speak for our pets and step up and take care of them. They are relying on us as there caretakers and we should uphold that trust both ways and make sure we are taking the same care we would for ourselves for our pets.