Pet dental care in Lakewood for cats, too!

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Pet Dental Care in Lakewood area
Many dog owners provide some level of home dental hygiene, schedule regular teeth cleaning at the veterinarian’s office, and have the treatment performed when needed. This is less common, however, among cat owners, but pet dental care is just as important for our feline friends. Did you know these services are available at Bloomfield Animal Hospital in Lakewood? Lead veterinarian, Dr. Jose Arambulo, shares this helpful information.

Why cats in Lakewood need pet dental care, too

Cats are wonderfully self-sufficient creatures, but they can develop dental problems much like dogs do. Cats, however, are very good at hiding discomfort or illness. Based on a deeply rooted instinct to protect itself from predators, a cat will hide when it is hurting. All too often, by the time the owner realizes the cat is sick, it is very ill.

You may see subtle signs such as:
  • Head shaking
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Dropping food
  • Obvious discomfort when chewing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Blood in saliva
  • Unpleasant breath odor
  • Refusing dry food
  • Approaching food bowl but not eating
  • Weight loss
By age three or older, about half of cats have some level of dental disease. Commonly, this is in the form of gingivitis or periodontal disease – inflammation of gum tissue caused by plaque and tartar accumulation. Some cats develop stomatitis, an allergic reaction to plaque. Tooth resorption is the progressive destruction of a tooth root. Holes gradually form in teeth, with lesions exposing sensitive parts of tooth structure. Cats can also fracture or break teeth off.

Since you interact with your cat daily, you are his or her primary healthcare provider, charged with taking the best measures possible at home to preserve your furry buddy’s wellness, and deciding when a visit to the veterinarian is in order.


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Dental home care for felines

Some genetic studies suggest that dogs were domesticated about 25,000 years ago. Yet cats made their way into human families only 4,000 years ago. That more distant relationship, combined with the rather private nature of cats, can make home oral hygiene a challenge. The benefits, however, greatly improve your pet’s comfort and health.

Home oral hygiene for cats generally consists of preventing the buildup of plaque and tartar and doing so consistently. A successful home care strategy usually starts when the cat is very young, although it can be introduced later. Regardless, a gradual and patient approach is most likely to be successful.

Dr. Arambulo and his team are happy to show you how to brush your cat’s teeth, which provides the most significant benefit between professional dental cleanings. Daily brushing is terrific but strive for at least several times per week.

It is important to note that human toothpastes are NOT appropriate for cats. The minty taste does not appeal to felines, and they contain abrasives and detergents which can be dangerous if the cat inhales or swallows the paste.

Dr. Arambulo may suggest an anti-plaque antiseptic containing chlorhexidine. This element binds to tooth surfaces and oral tissues, helping to keep plaque from adhering. A small amount of the liquid formulation is squirted into each cheek pocket, or gel smeared onto teeth (inside and out).

The doctor can also recommend a special diet that promotes dental health, retarding accumulation of plaque and tartar. This may be in the form a dry kibble (as opposed to wet food), or a formulation containing a chemical anti-tartar ingredient (polyphosphate).

When to see the doctor

When to see the doctor in Lakewood area Bloomfield Animal Hospital provides a full range of feline (and canine) dental care services. Regular cleaning and examination are performed under anesthesia, to ensure your pet’s comfort. We gently remove deposits from teeth and below the gumline with ultrasonic scaling which reduces the need for scraping and the resulting soft tissue trauma. The smooth, clean surface encourages gums to re-establish a tight seal. Your cat will awaken with fresher breath and a more comfortable mouth.

Our facility is also equipped for diagnostic imaging, and extractions when necessary. We can even provide pain-free laser therapy to stimulate healing and oral rejuvenation.

Let’s work together to keep your companion cat in optimal health. Call (562) 383-7788 to schedule pet dental care at Bloomfield Animal Hospital in Lakewood, CA.