Pet Dental Care
Dental care is a very important aspect of your pet’s overall health, and advances in veterinary dentistry over the past decade or so now allow us to perform many of the same procedures on animals that are already used in human dentistry. Good oral health is of vital importance to our pets if they are to remain healthy throughout their body. When there is infection or disease in the mouth, it can be spread easily to other areas of the body. For this reason, good dental health is critical and ongoing oral health should begin when your pet is very young. In veterinary medicine, it is often said that “the mouth is the window into the body.”
Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth
Believe it or not, it is possible to teach your pet to accept and even enjoy having their teeth brushed and cleaned on a regular basis. We encourage pet owners to regularly use products that enhance a healthy oral environment and decrease plaque and tartar buildup. While professional cleanings will remove buildup, it is important to provide on-going home care so that permanent bone damage does not occur. The best way to prevent this damage is to maintain your pet’s oral health on a regular basis.
Professional Pet Dental Care
No matter how well your pet’s oral health is maintained, eventually most dogs and cats will need a professional dental cleaning to restore their mouths to a more healthier state. Signs of needed dental care will often include:
- Bad breath
- Difficulty chewing or reluctance to eat
- Loose teeth
- Oral bleeding
- Red gums
- Swollen gums
Exceptional Tools for Pet Dentistry
At Boggy Creek Animal Hospital, we have a state-of-the-art digital x-ray unit which allows us to take full-mouth radiographs and determine if oral health issues exist below the gum line in areas where we can’t see. Our high-speed dental drill allows us to perform extractions and other procedures more quickly and safely than was previously possible.
To ensure that your pet’s mouth remains healthy, we recommend having their mouth checked at least annually. We also recommend that you establish an at-home hygiene regimen for your pet, which can include the use of dental chews. We are pleased to now offer OraVet® Dental Hygiene Chews, the delicious tablets that protect against bad breath, plaque, and calculus. Since plaque and calculus can eventually lead to bad breath and gum disease, these chews can—based on clinical studies—help prevent gum disease. Please contact us with dental care questions, and we’ll be happy to help!
Vaccination is a critical means of keeping your pet safe and healthy for life. Our pets are exposed to numerous diseases throughout the course of their life and vaccination is the best means of establishing protection. The Boggy Creek Animal Hospital team does not operate on a one-size-fits-all basis when it comes to prevention, but rather we analyze each pet’s lifestyle, with your help, to choose the best vaccine schedule for your pet’s needs.
Boggy Creek Animal Hospital takes great pride is offering Merial vaccines, the highest quality vaccines available in the veterinary industry.
New Puppies and Kittens
When your new puppy or kitten first comes home to live with you, we recommend that they come in for a complete checkup within their first week of life with you, so we can identify any health problems early. We also perform a series of vaccine boosters for new pets, helping them to face the world on the right paw! We do require a specific set of booster shots for puppies in order to help them establish a baseline of protection.
Adult and Senior Pets
When your pet has reached adulthood, their vaccine schedule may be tailored more to their specific lifestyle needs. For example, pets that lead active lifestyles that include hiking in the woods may need a vaccine that protects them from leptospirosis which is passed through standing water and the urine of wild animals.
Our veterinary team will work closely with you to learn more about your pet and their particular needs. If you have questions, please contact Boggy Creek Animal Hospital today!
Caring for your pet’s health is about more than providing vaccinations and pest preventatives—although these things are certainly important too! The veterinary team at Boggy Creek Animal Hospital makes each pet’s health a priority. When your pet comes in for their vaccinations and preventive treatments, we also use that opportunity to perform complete physical examinations to help identify any health concerns.
For safety reasons, we do not recommend using low cost vaccine clinics for your pet’s vaccinations. Most importantly, these clinics do not use the high quality vaccinations that we use at Boggy Creek Animal Hospital. In fact, we utilize the Merial vaccines, which are among the highest quality vaccines in the industry!
Another reason to steer clear of the low cost vaccine clinic is that when a low-cost vaccine clinic administers your pet’s treatment, they are not checking your pet’s health status or examining your pet to ensure that they are doing well, they are only administering vaccines. It’s so important for your pet to receive an annual physical exam, especially when they are being treated to prevent disease. We highly recommend a physical exam in conjunction with vaccinations.
Life Stage Care
Different treatments will be recommended for pets of different age groups and health statuses. Please check below for more information about what your pet’s needs are, based on their age.
Puppies and Kittens
Puppies and kittens need a lot of care at the beginning of their lives, mainly to ensure that they are starting out on the right paw when it comes to their health! We recommend that all new pets be brought in for a checkup within the first week after they join your household. We will examine them from nose to tail to identify any physical health concerns, perform diagnostic tests to check for intestinal parasites (this is a common problem in puppies and kittens), and administer vaccinations that will be needed for your pet’s particular lifestyle. At this point in your pet’s life, our veterinarians can also help you with choosing a proper diet, offer you resources for training, and more.
Your pet reaches adulthood after their first year or so of life and this is longest life stage of all. During this period of your pet’s life, vaccinations and preventive care will be an important part of their ongoing health as our goal is to prevent disease and parasites and ensure that your pet stays healthy for years to come! Other concerns during your pet’s adult years will be diet, exercise, and ongoing physical examinations, so that we can catch potential health problems early and begin treatment promptly.
Your pet’s senior years are the most subjective years of their life, medically speaking. Each senior pet will have different needs, specific to their lifestyle and physical condition. During your pet’s senior years, vaccination and prevention will still be important, but not as emphasized as regular physical exams and advanced diagnostics. It’s important to ensure that senior pets are examined regularly so that they can be treated right away if any health conditions are discovered. Learn more on our senior pet care page.
Senior Pet Care
When your pet has reached their senior years, their care requirements will begin to change. Because your senior pet’s physical changes may be subtle, it is so important that they come in on a regular basis for physical health checks. By the time a pet owner has noticed a change in a pet’s behavior, a significant health problem may have already developed! For this reason, we recommend that senior pets, or pets over the approximate age of 7 years, be brought in for checkups at least twice a year. This helps our team stay ahead of the game when it comes to diagnosing your pet’s health concerns.
What Happens During A Senior Wellness Check?
When your pet comes in for a senior wellness examination, we will perform a nose-to-tail physical just like we would do with a younger pet. We will still talk with you about preventive care and vaccinations as these aspects of pet care never lose their importance. However, when your pet is a senior, they will have additional needs as well. We will often recommend advanced diagnostics, such as blood work or urinalysis tests, to help us ensure that your pet’s organs are functioning as they should be. Because our pets age faster than we do, biannual visits are the best way for us to stay on top of their ever-changing conditions.
Quality of life becomes another concern for senior pets. We will examine your pet to determine if there are any signs of pain or discomfort, which often come as a result of arthritis, and we will work closely with you to help ensure that your pet is happy, comfortable, and enjoying life. If you have questions about your pet’s needs, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you.