Cats are notorious for doing exactly what they want when they want. It’s just part of who they are. So, the thought of brushing a cat’s teeth at home might seem like a Herculean task.
To be sure, it’s possible. It just might not be as easy as it is to brush a dog’s teeth, since dogs are generally more eager to please.
Knowing that at-home dental care for cats can be tricky, and understanding that most cats will show signs of periodontal disease by the age of 3, Dr. Kelly’s Vet offers affordable, low-cost dental cleaning to ensure every cat is living its best life.
With all of that in mind, here are five things to know about cat dental cleanings at Dr. Kelly’s Vet.
When cats need dental cleanings. Cats, unlike humans, can go a bit longer between dental cleaning appointments. Experts recommend that cats undergo a professional dental cleaning every 1-2 years to remove plaque, manage tartar and measure any changes in their dental health.
What happens if cats don’t receive dental cleanings. If cats go prolonged periods without dental cleanings from professionals like the team at Dr. Kelly’s Vet, problems can develop. Periodontal disease begins with inflammation in one area and has the potential to spread if left unchecked. As periodontal disease progresses, it leads to a gradual disconnection between the gum and the tooth, exposing the tooth’s root. This progression can lead to a loss of appetite due to pain or difficulty eating, bleeding and swollen gums, infection and tooth loss.
What happens in a cleaning. Dental cleanings for cats at Dr. Kelly’s Vet involve an examination, a thorough cleaning and polishing, and general anesthesia — which is typical for professional dental cleanings for dogs and cats. It is challenging to predict how a cleaning will go for a cat before seeing it, since only an exam can reveal the extent of periodontal disease. Sometimes, during the cleaning, a veterinarian will suggest an extraction of a tooth due to its state. But that can only be known once an exam is underway. Absent any unexpected extractions, a cleaning involves the removal of tartar and plaque, a thorough exam of tissues in the mouth and a polishing of the cat’s teeth.
How long dental cleanings take. The actual dental cleaning for a cat doesn’t take a very long time — maybe up to 30 minutes. But, the exam beforehand, the anesthesia and any additional work that may need to be done during the procedure, could extend the length of time the appointment requires. Should a cat require additional work during his or her dental cleaning, the veterinarian performing the procedure will contact the animal’s owner to explain what is needed and gain approval.
How long recovery takes. Cats are usually a little drowsy after a dental cleaning due to the anesthesia, but they should be up and about and back to themselves within a couple of hours.
Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit is a trusted veterinary team serving the Phoenix, Peoria and Tucson metro areas, with accessible locations in each market, offering highly specialized surgery, quality spay and neuter procedures, and accessible dental care for pets. Contact us to learn more about our specialized services or to schedule an appointment.