Top reasons a pet may need oral surgery in Lakewood

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dental hygiene for dogs
Many pet owners are unaware of dental problems in their cats and dogs. After all, we rarely see their teeth, and it can be quite difficult to tell when they are in pain. People often ask why a pet would need oral surgery. In reality, there are several possible answers.

Tooth extraction is the most common type of pet oral surgery performed at Bloomfield Animal Hospital in Lakewood. It is considered a “last resort” procedure, only recommended when the problem is too advanced for therapeutic or restorative treatment. We are dedicated to the health and wellbeing of your pets. After examining your companion, we will advise you of options and make a recommendation. If the problem is severe tooth damage or advanced oral disease, that recommendation will likely be extraction.

Fractured or broken teeth

There is a common misconception that tooth damage in animals is not a serious concern. Many pet owners think treatment is unnecessary unless they observe signs of complications. In reality, dogs and cats’ teeth are very similar to humans, and they suffer similar consequences if damage goes untreated.

Like people, dogs and cats have soft tissue (pulp) and ultra-sensitive nerves in their teeth. When pulp is exposed, the animal suffers severe pain, although he or she can’t tell you about it. Very gradually, the nerve in the tooth will die, reducing pain to a dull ache in that area of the mouth. As the pulp breaks down infection sets in, traveling to the tooth root. The resulting abscesses may be extremely painful, and they can have a detrimental effect on the pet’s overall health.

If you take the animal to a veterinarian within two days of a tooth fracture occurring, pulp therapy might be effective. According to UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the procedure has an 80 percent success rate when performed within the recommended time frame. Unfortunately, you probably won’t know about the fracture right away. Because a pet’s teeth aren’t visible, dental problems often go unnoticed until they are discovered during a veterinary exam, or until the animal displays noticeable symptoms. Once infection sets in, the tooth will probably need to be extracted.


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Oral disease

Periodontal (gum) disease and cavities are not just human afflictions. Dogs and cats, just like us, accumulate plaque and tartar, which is a host to harmful bacteria. However, unlike us, they can’t brush and floss, nor can they tell anyone about a toothache.

Prevention or early treatment of oral disease is as simple as keeping teeth clean. According to the American Veterinary Dental College, daily brushing is the gold standard. Of course, that may be easier said than done, depending on the animal’s temperament. There are also a variety of treats and chew toys designed to clean teeth or promote gum health. Because every animal is different, both behaviorally and medically, it is best to get advice from your veterinarian. When you bring your fur baby to our office for dental care, we will happily answer your questions and help you devise a safe and effective at-home routine.

Five things you should know about pet oral surgery

The vet examines the teeth of the cat. Sadly, some pet owners delay or decline treatment, thinking that they are saving the animal from a traumatic experience. In reality, the opposite is true.
  • Untreated dental problems can cause an animal untold amounts of pain on a daily basis, and infections take a toll on overall health.
  • Oral surgery is performed under anesthesia, so the animal feels no pain during treatment.
  • Recovery is typically fast and trouble-free.
  • Most animals can eat normally, even if they’ve had all teeth removed.
  • Bloomfield Animal Hospital is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association. Although surgical accreditation is not legally required for veterinary hospitals, we are committed to the highest standards of safety and sanitation, and therefore voluntarily participate in the program and adhere to the latest protocols.
Don’t let your loyal companion suffer the agony of dental pain. Let our gentle and experienced veterinary team help. Just give us a call at 562 383-7788 and schedule an appointment.