Big Smiles and Fresh Breath

Dental Care

Did you know that periodontal disease afflicts more pets than any other disease? While this may not seem like cause for alarm, if left untreated, it can lead to infections that spread into the bloodstream and result in major damage to the heart, kidneys, and liver. That’s why we make cat and dog dental care an important part of our overall pet wellness plans at Shaffer Veterinary Services in Crowley, Texas.

Pet Dental Symptoms

Since pets are unable to tell us when they are in pain, here are some signs that could indicate they are experiencing an oral problem:

  • The pet is hesitant to eat.
  • He or she displays hypersalivation.
  • There is blood coming from his or her mouth.
  • Unexpected weight loss is taking place.
  • He or she experiences pain upon eating.
  • Cats are especially prone to an oral condition called feline odontoclastic resorptive lesion (FORL). Nearly three-quarters of felines over the age of five will experience this serious and painful malady.

As FORL progresses, the tooth’s structure is systematically broken down. This can lead to the destruction of the tooth root, resulting in pain and the potential formation of an abscess. If left unchecked, infections can then spread to the bones, bloodstream, and major organs. By bringing your cat or dog in for regular oral checkups, including digital dental X-rays, you can ensure that potential cases of FORL are detected and treated early—before the pain and complications become much more devastating.

Protecting your Pet

Shaffer Veterinary Services offers complete pet dental care services. Each time your pet has a checkup, our veterinarians will examine his or her teeth, mouth, and gums. If everything appears to be healthy, Dr. Shaffer will provide counseling about how to ensure it stays that way. This could involve something as simple as a homemade oral rinse that, when applied nightly, can soften tartar.

Crowley veterinarian Dr. Shaffer may also recommend changes to your pet’s overall diet to assist in promoting better oral health. By achieving the right balance of calcium and phosphorus, it’s possible to prevent calcium from depositing on a pet’s teeth and the subsequent plaque and tartar buildup that follows.

Should your pet need additional veterinary dentistry services, Crowley veterinarian Dr. Shaffer and staff will be happy to provide them. In cases where a gentle cat or dog teeth cleaning and polishing is required, we can often complete the procedure with a light temporary sedation—or sometimes no sedation at all.

When oral surgery is necessary, as in the case of extractions, rest assured that every precaution will be taken. We have extensive anesthesia protocols in place to ensure your pet’s safety. In addition, we take the extra step of injecting a local anesthetic into the gum prior to tooth extractions, so that when your pet awakens from surgery, he or she will not experience post-operative pain.

In order to provide the best possible oral care, we use the same digital dental X-ray technology that human dentists do. Digital dental X-rays provide a much more detailed view than traditional film X-rays, enabling our veterinarians to accurately diagnose dental fractures, tooth root abscesses, sinus issues, and more. Dental X-rays are especially critical when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of FORL.

Just as with our own teeth, regular professional cleaning is important to maintaining your pet's teeth. We use a modern and safe ultrasonic scaler to clean each tooth thoroughly - above and below the gum line. During this procedure we polish teeth to create a smooth, lustrous tooth surface more resistant to plaque buildup.

Dental Care for Pets in Crowley

Shaffer Veterinary Hospital has some of the most current dental equipment to provide accurate diagnosis of dental disease and the best dental care for our patients.

Dr. Shaffer and her staff have developed expertise in advanced dental and oral surgery as well as the routine dental procedures. Dental x-rays are used to evaluate the health of the tooth roots and jaw bones that are not visible without x-rays.

Since we are unable to complete an oral exam (probing each tooth for disease) while our patient is awake, they must be under general anesthesia and monitored the same as any surgical procedure ( ECG, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, respiration, and temperature).

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