Why we are saying goodbye to the dental discount this month…
February is recognized as National Pet Dental Health month
In the past, Adobe Veterinary Center has recognized this month by applying a 10-15% discount on all dental prophylaxis procedures during the month of February. This year we are not going to offer this discount, and here are the reasons why:
- When quantity is forced up, quality can really suffer in the long run. When our Veterinarians’ schedules are filled with dental prophylaxis procedures they are unable to offer their time to other clients for examinations or work in emergency situations. Often dental procedures can last up to 4 hours. If two dental are done in one day that offers very minimal time to focus on the needs of other patient’s care for examinations and medical treatment.
- Pets with dental disease at a grade 2 level are often put off until February for the sake of the discount. By this time the periodontal disease may have very well progressed to a grade 3-4 level with multiple extractions.
Although, we agree that February is a great month to promote dental health, we believe that educating our clients and promoting dental health is important EVERY month.
There are 4 stages of periodontal disease that we use to assess the grade of your pet’s periodontal disease
Stage 1: Gingivitis with with no bone loss around roots. Mild amount of plaque and tartar; gums have some redness.
Treatment Plan: Daily brushing or dental chews will control the condition. Professional dental cleaning recommended now and every 12-18 months depending on how quickly the gingivitis worsens and tartar accumulates
Stage 2: Moderate amount of plaque and tartar with plaque extending underneath the gum line. Increased redness and swelling of the gums, some pain in the mouth, worsening breath odor. Bone loss around the tooth or teeth of less than 25%. Many of the symptoms are hidden and can only be found once the pet is under anesthetic.
Treatment Plan: Professional dental cleaning/treatment strongly recommended now to remove the plaque and tartar above and especially below the gum line. Follow through with daily home care (teeth brushing, dental chews, water additives, dental wipes) This will control the disease and improve the gingivitis, but not cure the disease. Once bone is lost, it is not replaced. Dental prophylaxis should be performed approximately every 12 months.
Stage 3: Heavier amounts of plaque and tartar. Severe inflammation, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. Gum tissue receding around teeth with bone loss between 25-50%. This condition is painful. The breath is starting to smell putrid.
Treatment Plan: Professional dental treatment as soon as possible in order to stop the disease process and save as many major teeth as possible. Multiple extractions are common in this stage. Daily home care still vital to preserve major teeth. Dental prophylaxis recommended every 6-12 months.
Stage 4: Extreme amounts of tartar, severe inflammation of the gums, pus around teeth, horrible breath. More than 50% bone loss, mobile teeth. Patient is definitely in pain, may not be eating well.
Treatment Plan: Dental prophylaxis with antibiotic therapy as soon as possible. Numerous extractions are to be expected. Home care should continue with any remaining teeth. Dental prophylaxis recommended every 6-12 months.
Some pets need one or two dental cleanings in their lifetime. Other pets that are predisposed to having more dental problems may need a dental cleaning more often.
PREVENTION is VITAL!
- Teeth brushing is the best thing your can do for your dog and cat’s mouth. Here are the steps to take if your pet has never had their teeth brushed before:
Ask us for a demonstration the next time you’re in. We would love to help your feel more comfortable with this
- Start by introducing your pet to the concept of you sticking your finger or a brush into their mouth. We recommend a finger brush as it is easier to maneuver. You can also wrap gauze around your finger and brush the teeth that way.
- Just focus on a small area to clean at first. Give lots of positive praise and rewards.
- After you’ve performed this step for a week, then work to clean all the teeth. Use one hand to hold the top of your pet’s mouth open while the other hand cleans the teeth. This process should take about 30 seconds to 1 minute to complete. Make it an evening ritual and get the kids involved.
Dental chews – We recommend C.E.T. dental chews, beef marrow bones (uncooked and frozen), Greenies (although high in calories, give in moderation), bully sticks