Treatments and Services: Dentistry
At Grove Lodge Vets, we have:
- Invested in the latest equipment to provide cutting edge dental treatment for your pets. We have digital dental X-ray systems at many of our branches, meaning we can take radiographs (X-rays) of your pet's teeth to accurately diagnose the problem.
- A brand new top-of-the-range dental unit at the main hospital. This is like the unit at your dentist and provides a dental drill, a lower speed polishing device, suction and ultrasonic scaling capabilities. Most of our branches have similar dental units.
- Hand instruments available for ALL sizes of pets, from Great Danes to Chihuahuas, to big cats, small cats, puppies, kittens, rabbits AND rodents!
- The latest and safest anaesthetic drugs and monitoring equipment.
- Veterinary hot air blankets to keep your pet warm under anaesthetics.
- Monitoring equipment that checks your pet is safe whilst under the anaesthetic (just like on the TV!)
- Intravenous fluids available to any patient.
- Pre-anaesthetic blood testing available on-site with results in minutes.
- A Vet dedicated to dentistry! Rachel Perry is a veterinary surgeon with post-graduate qualifications in small animal dentistry and oral surgery. All of her professional time is spent treating dogs' and cats' oral and dental diseases, and it is a subject she is very passionate and knowledgeable about. Rachel is available at the hospital on a Tuesday or Friday, and the initial consultation and assessment is FREE to Grove Lodge clients.
- A full range of homecare products, from toothpastes, toothbrushes, antiseptic gels, professional chews, toys, and special dental diets.
- Our Practice Nurses can provide ongoing support for your oral care programme at home.
Cats and dogs commonly suffer from dental disease. In fact, by the age of 3-4, up to 75% of cats and dogs will have some form of gum disease (periodontal disease). Initially the gum inflammation will cause halitosis (bad breath!).
Dogs should not have dog-breath and cats should not have fish-breath!
This gum inflammation may become more serious if left untreated, as the bacterial infection becomes more aggressive and destructive. This can cause deep pockets to form underneath the gum, harbouring nasty bacteria. These bacteria can enter your pet's bloodstream every time they chew. In older animals, this can put a strain on their heart, liver and kidneys. The bony socket can become weakened due to the infection, and the tooth loses it attachment to the jaw bone. Ultimately, in the late stages, the tooth will be lost from the mouth. This can take years to happen, but in some pets can be very rapid. In humans, they have calculated the surface area of inflammation in periodontitis is the same size as the palm of your hand! Imagine this amount of inflammation elsewhere on your pet! Because this occurs in the mouth it is hidden from our view and therefore doesn't seem as dramatic.
Dogs and cats RARELY stop eating because of dental disease. They have strong instincts for survival and to do this they must eat. Furthermore, dogs are pack animals, and if they show any signs of illness they are likely to go straight to the bottom of the pack! Your pet may have advanced dental disease and still appear 'normal' to you.
Signs of dental disease can be very subtle. Sometimes pets may chew preferentially on one side of the mouth which may not be noticeable to you. Some animals with toothache eat very quickly in order to swallow food with minimal amounts of chewing. This may seem like a 'good appetite'.
If you are used to looking in your pet's mouth, check for:
- Reddening of the gums, especially at the point where the gum meets the tooth. This may indicate gum inflammation
- Tartar deposits: This brown/yellow hard material covers teeth, and is basically hardened, old plaque.
- Broken teeth
- Worn teeth: sometimes the teeth will wear down, and may develop a brown stain where this occurs.
- Any unusual lumps or bumps, however small.
Remember, we are here to help!
If you are not sure whether your pet has dental problems, you may chose to see:
- Our skilled Practice Nurses are able to identify many problems in your pet's mouth that may require veterinary attention.
- Our vets can perform a thorough mouth exam and identify many dental problems.
- Rachel Perry has post-graduate qualifications in small animal dentistry, and she dedicates all of her professional time to treating dogs and cats mouths. If you would like to see Rachel, please make an appointment at the main hospital on a Tuesday or Friday. This initial consultation is FREE to clients of Grove Lodge Vets.