The good news in all of this is that once your veterinarian knows about the disease, several things can be done to keep your cat comfortable. Experience has shown that cats that were once not eating well, hiding and sleeping a lot, or even aggressive, will often have a positive behavior change in just a matter of weeks. It is surprising how the removal of these painful teeth can often bring back your affectionate feline friend.
To maintain that sweet breath and the pearly white teeth, the American Veterinary Dental Association recommends brushing cats’ and dogs’ teeth seven days a week as the gold standard. There are some owners who have trained their cats beautifully to adapt to tooth brushing with positive reinforcement. There are thousands of videos on how to brush your pet’s teeth on YouTube and one on http://www.creaturehealth.com/dental-disease.htm.
Owners are often unaware that their pets are experiencing such discomfort. Regular visits to your veterinarian can help identify the issue and start work that will make your cat feel better. Contact your veterinarian to have a comprehensive oral examination for your pet, including dental X-rays and regular dental cleanings under general anesthesia.
To learn more about how veterinarians are working hard to keep all of your pets healthy, visit your veterinarian’s website or the American Veterinary Dental Society website, http://avds-online.org/, to learn about the dangers of anesthesia-free dentistry.
Dr. Elizabeth Bradt is a 1986 graduate of Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and the owner of All Creatures Veterinary Hospital in Salem. Email your pet questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please title your email “Vet Connection.”