Veterinary Dentistry for Cats & Dogs
Routine veterinary dentistry is an important part of protecting your cat or dog's oral and overall health, however, the majority of pets aren't getting the oral hygiene care they require to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our McAllen animal hospital, we offer comprehensive veterinary dentistry, including dental exams, teeth cleanings, polishing, dental X-rays, and surgeries.
We also provide pet parents with dental health education to teach them about implementing dental care for their pets at home.
Dental Surgery in McAllen
We know that being told your pet requires dental surgery can be mind-boggling, so we aim to make this process as stress-free as possible, for both you and your cat or dog.
Our team will do their best to make sure your animal companion's experience with us is as smooth and comfortable as they can. We'll explain every step of the process to you in detail prior to the procedure, including the requirement for preparation and post-operative care.
Our vets can perform jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatments for cats and dogs.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Similar to your annual checkup at the dentist, your cat or dog or cat should see us for a dental exam once a year at the minimum. Pets that have a higher risk of developing dental conditions than others might have to see us more regularly.
Nolana Animal Hospital can evaluate, diagnose and provide treatments for dental health problems in cats and dogs.
If you see your pet displaying any of the symptoms below, you will need to bring them in for a dental checkup.
- Bad breath
- Tartar buildup
- Discolored teeth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
An in-depth pre-anesthetic physical evaluation will be implemented for your pet prior to their dental exam.
We will conduct blood tests and urine analyses to make sure it is safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. We may also perform additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an ECG.
When your pet is under anesthesia, we will complete a comprehensive oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Then we clean and polish their teeth (including under the gum line) and take X-rays. Next, we apply a fluoride treatment to every tooth.
The last step is to administer a dental sealant to keep plaque from attaching to the enamel. If we find advanced periodontal disease your veterinarian will develop a treatment plan and explain it to you.
Ideally, you should schedule a follow-up examination two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment.
At this visit, we'll discuss implementing at-home teeth brushing. We are also able to recommend products that could help improve your cat or dog's oral health.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
Below are the questions our patients frequently ask about the pet dental care services our vets offer in McAllen.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Cats and Dogs can develop tooth decay or periodontal disease as a result of poor oral health.
Similar to people, when our pets eat, plaque sticks to their teeth and can cause a build-up into tartar if it isn't brushed away regularly.
This can cause infections in the mouth, periodontal disease, tooth decay, as well as loose or missing teeth. This makes regular dental care an important part of preventing pain or disease in the gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Did you know your pet's behavior could be a sign of oral health problems? If your kitty or pup is experiencing dental problems, they may drool excessively (the drool may contain blood or pus), or paw at their mouth or teeth. They might also excessively yawn, grind their teeth, or stop grooming sufficiently.
Other signs and symptoms of oral health problems could include swollen gums, bad breath, and tooth discoloration. Some pets might also experience pain that keeps them from eating. Read more about the symptoms of dental health problems in pets to the left under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
Other than causing problems such as cavities, bad breath, and severe periodontal disease, oral health problems and conditions can cause diseases in the liver, kidney, heart, and other areas within your pet's body.
Cysts or tumors could develop. Your pet might also not feel well in general (if you've ever suffered from a toothache, you know how it can impact your mood!). Also, diseases related to oral health issues can shorten your pet's life span and cause them a lot of pain.
This makes regular dental care an essential part of your pet's physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during a pet's teeth cleaning appointment?
During your cat or dog's routine oral exam, your vet will evaluate your pet's mouth and check for oral health conditions or any symptoms that require treatment.
Your vet will clean any tartar and other debris from your pet's teeth. If they find cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions that have to be addressed, your vet will explain these to you and offer advice on the actions you should take.
Sometimes surgery will be needed to treat serious conditions. Your cat or dog will be provided with anesthesia before their dental procedure to make sure they are comfortable and don't feel any pain. However, special care will be needed post-surgery.
If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule a dental appointment with us.
- What should I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth clean between dental appointments?
At home, you should brush your pet's teeth on a routine basis and give them dental chew toys. These will help get rid of plaque.
Don't let your pet chew on things that could damage their teeth, such as bones, toys, or other objects that are too hard. Always call your vet with any questions or concerns you have regarding your pet's oral health.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Cats and dogs don't know what is happening to them during their dental procedures and frequently respond to them by biting or struggling.
Similar to the anesthesia your dentist provides nervous or anxious human patients, our McAllen vets provide anesthesia to all cats and dogs before conducting dental procedures. This puts less stress on your pet and lets us X-ray their mouth as needed.