Dental Care for dogs in the Lowcountry

Often dental care for dogs in the Lowcountry is overlooked, but just like us, oral hygiene is key to good overall health.

Our dogs can’t tell us when they are in pain or if there is a problem, so routine dental care is crucial.

Dental Hygiene Plan

While dental treats and chews help, nothing takes the place of daily brushing. Special brushes are available for dogs, and the earlier you start with your pup, the earlier they will become comfortable with the routine.

Daily cleaning helps to prevent bad breath, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. 

Veterinary staff can also recommend plaque prevention products to keep your dog’s gums and teeth healthy. 

Like with us, build up of plaque can lead to bacteria build-up. Dogs are not immune to cavities, and without those daily cleanings we may not recognize when there is a real problem.

Your dog should have an annual cleaning. Veterinary staff will perform a thorough inspection of your dog’s mouth and determine if there are any issues.

Indications of a problem

You may have noticed your dog dropping food out of their mouth, drooling more than normal, seem to be chewing abnormally, or have a reduced appetite. All of these things may indicate that there is an issue.

During the annual cleaning, veterinary staff will be looking for:

  • Plaque or tartar buildup
  • Bad breath
  • Swelling, pain, or bleeding in or around the mouth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Loose or broken teeth and/or
  • Extra teeth or baby teeth that have been retained.

The staff will then determine what actions are required. If your dog is healthy enough to be put under anesthesia, additional diagnostics and charting of your dog’s mouth may be the next step.

While they are under, their teeth will be cleaned and polished, receive a flouride treatment and a probe and possibly x-ray your dog’s mouth. 

During this time the staff will determine if your pet needs any additional treatment. They may require special products to curtail the progression of periodontal disease, or, in severe cases, they may need to have teeth extracted.

Possible Complications

If your dog has to have an extraction you will want to watch for indications of pain afterwards.

  • Whining or whimpering
  • Drooling
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Refusal of food
  • Lethargy are all signs that they may be in pain.

They can also be side effects from the anesthesia, so try and monitor the extent of the symptoms and the duration of the symptoms.

Infections are always a possibility, so please be aware of 

  • A foul odor from your dog’s mouth
  • Slight swelling on the lower or upper jawline, or under the eye area
  • Food refusal
  • Drainage from the nose or mouth and/or
  • General sluggishness.

While your dog will most likely be given antibiotics, if any of these symptoms appear, please contact our staff.

Preventative Care

Just like humans, a good oral hygiene plan is key to keeping your dog’s bite better than its bark.  Regular brushing, annual cleanings, and immediate care for chipped, broken, or damaged teeth is imperative. 

Make an appointment for your dog’s annual cleaning in the Lowcountry, give us a call at (843) 580-6209.