Dental disease is one of the most common findings during annual exams.
Just like people, your pet can develop oral diseases and tartar buildup at different rates and therefore can have different requirements for dental health maintenance.
Some will require a full cleaning every year, others may only every need one or two cleanings in their lifetime. Your pets dental health is assessed during his/her yearly physical exam and one of our veterinarians will make recommendations on the best course of action for you pet.
Dental health issues can lead to, infections, abscesses, gingivitis, oral pain, tooth loss, difficulty eating, weight loss, poor grooming habits, bad breath, and more serious problems such as bone infections and diseases in other areas of the body.
For several reasons, dental prophylaxis is done under general anesthesia. In addition to the benefit of being able to physically perform the procedures, this method of anesthesia protects your pet from inhaling aerosolized bacteria, which could cause pneumonia.
Many clients express concern regarding the anesthesia that is required. Although no anesthetic event is risk free, we have several measures in place which evaluate your pet for undue risk. Specifically, we offer pre-anesthetic blood screens to assess your pets overall health, and help determine what type and dosage of anesthetics to use. We may prescribe antibiotics before, during, and/or after the procedure.
In some cases, usually when there is underlying illness, animals will be hospitalized and given intravenous fluids before and after the procedure. Of course, the vast majority of animals anesthetized for dental work do not require aggressive peri-operative treatment, but it is available and provided as needed.
There are many things you can do to prevent dental disease in your pet. Toothbrushes, enzymatic toothpastes, special diets and “chewies” are readily available at Woodbrook Animal Clinic. Our doctors are available by appointment to consult with you regarding your pets dental needs, whether they be preventative or restorative.
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As pets age, pets often develop joint disease that may have mild to severe affects on your pet’s quality of life.
Although dogs (especially larger breeds) are more susceptible to arthritis, it can also be seen in cats. Conditions that can worsen or trigger arthritis include tendon disease, fractures, developmental disorders (such as hip or elbow dysplasia), cancer, inflammatory joint disease (such as from Lyme disease), degenerative joint disease, or many others.
As with humans, signs of arthritis often include stiffness, limping, reluctance to move, difficulty rising (especially after sleep or resting), limb favoring while moving, or evident pain.
If your animal displays any of the signs indicated above, an appointment with a veterinarian is warranted. Further diagnostics may be available to determine a cause of your animal’s lameness (e.g. a Lyme disease test or radiographs to determine if the dog is suffering from hip dysplasia or cranial cruciate disease).
Furthermore, your veterinarian can provide medications and supplements that lessen the progression or clinical signs of arthritis. These may include pain medications, anti-inflammatories, or glucosamine supplements. A weight management plan and exercise routine may also be developed.
A dog and cat ear canal is different from people.
There are three areas of the ear: outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear.
The ear canal is lined with specialized skin containing sebaceous glands, cerum producing glands and hair follicles. The glands secrete oily secretions and enzymes involved with antimicrobial activity. There is a complex micro-environment in the ear involving the constant battle of keeping the level of bacteria and yeast in check.
Dogs that are more prone to ear infections can be the floppy eared breeds more than upright eared breeds. Dogs with hair in the ear verses those without hair are also high risk. These would include the cocker spaniel, golden retriever, poddle and schnauzer.
Floppy ears are not the only cause for the higher risk. The glands and ph of the ear canal can predispose these breeds. Underlying issues increase the risk of ear infections such as allergies and endrocrine disease.
Cats often don’t get ear infections. They are very fastideous and groom themselves so it unusaul to see infections in cats. Most cat ear issues are associated with ear mites. If it is not mites, ear infections are generally a secondary to another underlying issue.
There have been 14 species of ticks identified in Maine. At least 4 of these species can transmit disease.
Only 5% of the flea life cycle is spent on your pet. The other 95% is spent in the environment (your home!)