Have you ever had a toothache? Even if you haven’t, you probably know that dental issues can be not only extremely painful, but also quite dangerous. This is true for both people and pets. Cats can develop many different dental problems, ranging from gum disease to infections to feline stomatitis. A Sarasota, FL veterinarian discusses caring for Fluffy’s teeth in this article.
We know, brushing Fluffy’s teeth may sound like an easy way to end up in the ER. However, that isn’t necessarily the case. Teaching your pet to accept having her teeth cleaned may be easier than you think. The trick is to make your kitty associate having her teeth cleaned with being pampered. We all know that cats love to be spoiled! Start by just gently touching your cat’s teeth and gums while you’re petting her. Once your furry friend has accepted this, you can start incorporating a pet toothpaste and a toothbrush or finger toothbrush. Try to be quick about it: your feline pal is (somewhat) less likely to get antsy if her session is short.
If your feline buddy wants nothing to do with having her teeth handled, you can look at other options. There are many products that can help keep your kitty’s choppers clean. These include things like oral rinses, dental flakes, and dental formula kibble. Ask your vet for recommendations.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for signs of dental issues. Bad breath is a common one. Some others include dribbling food, reduced interest in play, showing a clear preference for softer foods, crankiness, poor grooming, hiding, swelling, and bleeding gums. Keep in mind that many of these things can be signs of many other medical issues as well. Contact your vet as soon as you notice anything wrong. Fast response is extremely important with cats, as they often try to hide signs of sickness.
In addition to home care, you’ll also want to get your kitty’s teeth checked out by a vet at least once a year. If an issue is found, it will be handled on a case-by-case basis, once Fluffy has been examined. Treatments may range from cleanings to extraction to medication, depending on the issue.
Please reach out with questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care. As your Sarasota, FL animal clinic, we’re here to help!