JoJo’s Perch – Dental Month Ahead

Hello my friends! Did you know that February is also called Dental Month in the veterinary field? Most veterinarians do something special to help spread the word about dental disease and how it can affect us pets. Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital is having $1 dental exams to help out the animals in this area. Well, the mammals at least. In fact, the reptiles and birds in the room can skip this month’s blog if they want; it has nothing to do with us. But if you are interested in shaming your mammalian roommates into making their next dental appointment, it might be a useful read.

Like in humans, cats’ and dogs’ dental disease starts with bacteria. Bacteria leads to plaque and tarter and everything is downhill from there. Infection takes over in the gums and eventually eats through the tooth and even the bone around the tooth. Whatever you do, don’t do an image search for “dental disease in pets.” Especially after eating. It is not a pleasant sight.

So! Dental disease! Studies show that 80% of dogs and 85% of cats over the age of three have gum disease. Just another reason to be happy I’m a bird (besides the 112 other awesome reasons). But how to tell if you should go to your vet and have them check your mouth!? If you can say yes to any of these, have your human make an appointment:

  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Facial swelling
  • Pawing at face
  • Nasal discharge
  • Excessive drooling
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite

At this appointment your vet will examine your mouth as best as possible with you awake (please remember it is for your benefit – no biting!). If it’s early, your vet might recommend some preventative measures. But if the disease is far enough along it might be time for a dental cleaning.

As for the dental cleaning – tell your human that it needs 3 essentials: pre-operative bloodwork, general anesthesia, and dental x-rays. Bloodwork is done beforehand to make sure that you are healthy enough for the procedure; general anesthesia makes it possible to get a through cleaning (all sides of the tooth and under the gum line) and make sure that you are under for the procedure (see earlier note about biting); Dental x-rays are needed to see if there is any deterioration to the tooth root or the jaw. These essentials will make your dental procedure more thorough and you much healthier. Other than that it’s much like a cleaning your human would have at their dentist – a clean and a polish.

And for you puppies and kittens out there! Learn how to take care of your teeth now. Brush them daily, use dental chews and treats certified by the Veterinary Oral Health Council, and get your dental exam once a year with your vet. By doing this you can catch any problems early and have happy and health teeth into your old age. Remember: Dentures aren’t an option!

Now! I’m sure you have questions, mainly being “You’re a bird, how do you know so much about teeth?” Well … Google. It takes me a while to work the mouse but that doesn’t stop me. Also, you pick these things up when you spend all day on the receptionist’s desk. But I’m sure you are also asking, “How do I get my teeth checked out?” Easy, call my human Megan or Jean at the office; they’ll get you set up with Dr. Krome to get checked out. Even better, during Dental Month, Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital is helping to spread healthy mouths by offering a $1 Dental Exam and 20% off dental procedures with a free bag of Hill’s T/D (if scheduled in February).

 

About me…

I’m a 24 year old Senegal parrot. As with any creature as small as I am, I have a big attitude and know how to get what I want. I share my home with my human servant Megan and her Australian Shepherd, Kona, whom I torment to my heart’s content. Coming from a rescue, my history is a little bit of a mystery. My early life has caused me to be a picker, but it doesn’t matter too much – I know I’m gorgeous!

 

Have a question for me? You can contact me through my secretary, Megan Van Deren at meganvd@santarosavet.com or you can call one of the staff members at your friendly Veterinary Hospital – the Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital.