Pet Dental Health Month 2017 – Leave it to the Experts

9th August 2017   Theo Lynch   No Comments

Pet Dental Health Month 2017 – Leave it to the Experts

Why is an oral health examination essential for your pet?

Providing your pet with good oral care is essential for them to enjoy a healthy and happy life.

Dental disease that is left untreated is painful for your pet and can lead to other serious health problems including infections in the kidneys, liver and heart.  Remember, pets will still eat despite having a painful mouth, so regular oral examinations with your veterinarian are the best way to detect dental disease early and keep your pet comfortable and healthy.

Your veterinarian is the only person qualified to anaesthetise, examine, diagnose and treat oral health conditions.


The AVA considers ‘anaesthesia free tooth scaling’ in small animals to be unethical and dangerous, and a major welfare concern.  Routine oral exams can frequently reveal major dental disease in pets, which can only be properly assessed under anaesthesia.

Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), July 2017


Why does my pet require anaesthesia for a proper oral examination?

Performing a thorough oral examination and dental cleaning on your pet while conscious is:

  • stressful and painful for your pet
  • compromises their welfare
  • potentially dangerous for your pet and those conducting the procedure (think sharp instruments and moving tongues, yikes!)
  • ineffective because it is impossible to see serious disease occurring below the gum line, where 60% of dental problems lurk.

Performing a complete and thorough oral exam and treating your pet while anaesthetised allows:

  • a thorough examination both above and below the gum line
  • your vet to properly diagnose and treat periodontal disease (gum disease)
  • for an overall positive welfare outcome, as your pet does not need to be physically restrained over a long
    period of time

Overall, you get the best value from your pet’s dental health examination if your veterinarian can perform a thorough inspection while it is under anaesthetic.


What is the real risk for my pet undergoing anaesthesia?

We understand that people may have apprehension when it comes to a loved pet undergoing anaesthesia for dental treatment. However ask yourself, would you expect your pet to sit obediently in a chair whilst undergoing the same procedures your dentist performs on you? No way! That’s because properly performed dental treatment requires patience, needs to be precise and can be potentially invasive (not to mention a little bit scary sometimes!). The use of anaesthesia in fact makes dental treatment safer, more comfortable and less frightening for your pet.

Anaesthesia provides your pet with a number of benefits as outlined. Furthermore, dental treatment provided in an ASAVA-accredited veterinary hospital such as ours means that the highest standards of equipment and infection control are adhered to. Dental scaling provided from non-veterinary premises is not regulated and quite simply cannot meet the standards you’d demand of a dentist.

There are some operators who have a vested interest in demonising anaesthesia when it comes to treating your pet’s teeth, however the facts elegantly speak for themselves: Here at Prahran we’ve anaesthetised over 1,400 pets undergoing dental treatment in the past three years. Not one of them has experienced serious anaesthetic complications. You might also be surprised to learn that 45% of those patients were defined as senior citizens (i.e aged older than eight years), proving without doubt that NO pet is too old for dental treatment. We urge you to make an informed decision about the best way to care for your pet’s teeth, and avoid letting emotion – no matter how well-intentioned – prevent your pet reaping the benefits of good oral health.


Take advantage of our Pet Dental Health Month offers.  Book a FREE oral health assessment with an expert at our “Pet Kissing Booth” this August, simply call 95101335 or book online.

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