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Gleaming Grins: Mastering Dental Health for Happy Dogs and Cats

Hi everyone; Dr Fauron here. In this week’s blog entry, I would like to talk about something I love: veterinary dentistry. In order to keep this short and sweet, I have made a list of bulle points I hope will keep you interested.

Did you know?

1. Dogs have 42 permanent teeth, cats have 30.

2. 50% of dental lesions live under the gum line, meaning until we take full mouth dental radiographs, we can never really know what’s going on in the mouth! There is a strong correlation between oral health and chronic Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs): a large veterinary study showed that more than half of the patients with chronic URIs, had under the gum dental lesions. More generally speaking, like in people, untreated dental disease in pets can lead to pain but also other health problems as bacteria and inflammation seed into the body and eventually affect organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. Regular dental care helps reduce the risk of systemic infections and promotes better overall health.

3. Small breed dogs, such as Bichons, Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas, have an increased tendency for dental disease - due to anatomy, along with genetic features - they often need more frequent dental care than their larger counterparts

4. The American College of Veterinary Dentistry recommends that our furry friends get a full COHAT (Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment) every 12-18 months!

5. COHATs are done under general anesthesia: we scale, polish, take dental radiographs, remove the bad teeth if need be, and close the extraction site with very fine suture material.

6. Cats and dogs do very well with missing teeth and their eating habits do not necessarily need to change!

The little dog featured below is only five years old but needed 16 teeth removed! Not to worry however, for she’s now a lot more comfortable and happier (she came to us for decreased willingness to eat) and we can’t wait for her to enjoy her food again!

Maggie - left side pre cleaning

Maggie - left side post cleaning

Maggie - right side pre cleaning

Maggie - right side post cleaning

At Coyote Ridge Vet Clinic, we offer routine dental spots on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. We also do our best to accommodate dental emergencies on non-surgical days when necessary. And, last but not least, we are lucky enough to have partnered with a specialized veterinary dentist who comes on a as needed basis for complex extractions, tooth fracture repair, root canals and others high end procedures. Have a question about your dog or cat’s teeth? Just give us a call today at (970) 663-7387 or shoot us an email at and we will be happy to guide you!

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