Virtually no one likes going to the dentist…but we all know it’s important! Dental care for humans and animals alike is something that should never be ignored. Proper dental hygiene is a critical part of keeping your pet healthy and happy, helping to avoid potentially life-threatening issues that come with dental disease. Want to know just a bit more? Dr. Tressa MacLennan from our Scottsdale location did a quick segment with a brief overview! Check it out:
While the joke is good for a small giggle, the better question is WHY you need to clean kitty’s teeth. The answer? Because they’re teeth. They get dirty.
Adult cats have 30 teeth – so there are a lot of places for problems to begin. Regular brushing at home combined with dental cleanings at the vet helps reduce plaque and tartar build-up that kickstarts inflammation and allows disease to creep in.
So, how’s your cat’s breath?
Get up close and personal to get a whiff of your cat’s breath. Is it regular old cat breath (meaning slightly fishy, but not overwhelming) or ‘OMG…I can’t even, oh noooooo…’ breath?
If it’s the first, great – that means you still have time to establish a preventive dental care plan.
If it’s the second – you and your cat have a real problem. Foul breath is the first indication of oral health problems and disease. Make an appointment with your vet. Don’t delay.
Still good? Go a bit further…
If your cat will allow it, gently flip their lip to reveal the teeth and gum area. Look for redness, swelling, bleeding, or inflammation of the gums. You’ll probably see discolorations on the teeth, too. Are any of the teeth chipped or broken? Any of these conditions require professional care.
Call your vet and make an appointment. Don’t delay.
Speaking of appointments with the vet…
All cats and dogs should have an annual health check up. Part of a thorough health check includes checking the pet’s teeth and gums for signs of disease. Sadly, too many domestic cats and dogs don’t get regular veterinary care until they are injured or they show definite signs of being sick.
Remember, your pet can’t tell you their teeth hurt, and cats are notorious for hiding pain. Don’t wait until your pet is clearly in pain or distress.
Not quite convinced?
February is Pet Dental Health Month, so you’ll save $50 off a dental treatment at any Arizona PetVet location. Find the nearest location.
According to CatFriendly.com, 83 percent of cats make a visit to the vet during their first year. We believe 100 percent is a goal worth working for, however, there’s a problem much bigger than that 17 percent gap.
More than 50 percent of the kitties that got those important checkups and vaccinations before age one won’t see a vet again until they’re sick or in pain. Fifty percent.
Regular Checkups Make Purr-fect Sense and Help Lower the Lifetime Cost of Care
Domesticated cats also tend to be indoor cats, so their potential exposure to diseases carried by other animals or pests is lower than that of an outdoor or feral cat. This decreased risk somehow translates into fewer vet visits. This is NOT the way to go about keeping pets healthy.
Here’s why: Cats are notorious for hiding when they’re not feeling well or in pain. In fact, they’ve practically perfected the art of hiding potentially harmful symptoms until they can’t any longer.
Regular wellness checkups can help your vet detect health changes in your cat. Early detection means problems can be treated BEFORE they become chronic health conditions that may require potentially expensive treatment.
So consider this your reminder: today is National BRING YOUR CAT TO THE VET DAY. While you’re thinking about it, call your vet and book the appointment. You’ll be glad you did.
Let’s talk about cats, shall we? Going by poll numbers,“Team Cat” is clearly ahead in the hearts of American pet owners: approximately 86 million of America’s pets are cats versus an estimated 78 million dogs.
So when it come to healthcare, why do so many cats fall so far behind? Quite simply, too many pet owners believe their cat doesn’t need routine wellness check-ups. They couldn’t be more wrong. Cats need to visit the vet at least once per year, but ideally they should be seen every six months. Since February is National Cat Health Month, we’re going to look at six big reasons why you need to make an appointment for your kitty ASAP!
- Teeth cleaning & dental care (Psst – it’s also Pet Dental Health Month so you’ll save $50!)
- Spaying & Neutering – cats are prolific breeders, so it’s a must
- Changes in a cat’s health can happen quickly, so preventive care is important
- Sick cats often show no signs of being ill – they hide symptoms and pain well
- Early diagnosis of health problems equals early intervention/better outcome
- Regular vaccinations are vital to protecting your pet from diseases
Don’t wait for veterinary visits – make regular head to toe exams for your cat part of your routine. While you might not know what to look for, you’re far more likely to pick up on any changes in your pet’s health, and as a bonus it helps your pet get used to being handled. Your vet and vet techs will thank you!
So now that you see the importance of preventive care for your furry feline friends, when is the last time your cat got a health check up? If the answer isn’t within the last six months, then it’s time to give us a call. Find your nearest AZPetVet animal hospital here.
The American Animal Hospital Association guidelines recommend regular brushing to keep your pet’s teeth healthy. Dental examinations and cleanings should be performed for all adult dogs and cats annually, starting at one year for cats and small-breed dogs, and at two years of age for larger-breed dogs. Here’s why:
Periodontal disease can lead to more serious health problems. Numerous studies show a link between gum disease and serious health issues like heart disease. (This is true for people, too) Prevention is the best approach, so regular brushing, dental exams and cleanings are vital.
Four out of five dogs over the age of three have some sort of periodontal disease. Plaque and tartar build-up on teeth is a sign of trouble, so make dental chewies, teeth brushing and regular check-ups part of your routine. Our feline friends need regular dental care as well.
Brushing means better breath. Bad breath can be an indicator of periodontal disease in people and in pets. Regular brushing helps keep teeth healthier and breath better, so those slobbery kisses won’t take your breath away.
Decay and gum disease can cause tooth loss in animals. This condition which can be very painful, and cause serious health problems. Regular care saves you money in the long run, and helps prevent tooth loss.
Symptoms of Hidden Dental Problems
Your pets can’t tell you directly that their teeth hurt, so you might not realize they have a serious dental issue until it’s too late. If your pet is drooling more than usual, has bleeding gums, loose teeth, or suspicious looking spots on their gums, make the appointment today.