Grand Strand Animal Hospital
Grand Strand Animal Hospital is a full-service veterinary medical facility, located in Myrtle Beach, SC. Our professional and courteous staff seeks to provide the best possible medical, surgical, and dental care for our highly-valued patients.
We are committed to promoting responsible pet ownership, preventative health care and health-related educational opportunities for our clients. Grand Strand Animal Hospital strives to offer excellence in veterinary care to Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas.
Please take a moment to contact us today, to learn more about our veterinary practice and to find out more information about how Grand Strand Animal Hospital can serve the needs of you and your cherished pet.
|February is Pet Dental Health Month|
| Pets Need Dental Care, Too
Have you ever gotten a sniff of your dog or cat’s breath and wrinkled up your nose? Stinky breath in your pet can be a sign of problems. All too often dental care is something that is overlooked in our pets. Imagine how your mouth would feel, taste, look and smell if you NEVER brushed your teeth!!!
The cause of dental disease in pets is basically the same as in people. The difference is that people take care of their own teeth, usually several times daily! Bacteria in the mouth combine with saliva and food debris to form plaque. As layers of plaque accumulate, dental tartar is formed. Over time, more layers of plaque combine with bacteria atop the tartar, mineralizing and resulting in calculus. While plaque is soft and can be brushed away, tartar and calculus are hard, and must be scraped off or removed with a special instrument called a dental scaler.
Tartar and calculus trap bacteria in and under the gumline, which leads to irritation of the gum tissue (gingivitis) and then periodontal disease. Periodontal disease means sickness of the supporting tissues of the teeth: the ligaments that attach gum to tooth and jaw bone. The American Veterinary Dental Society estimates that 85% of cats and dogs have periodontal disease by age four!
Signs of tooth and gum disease in pets include bad breath, excessive salivation, refusing to eat or dropping food, rubbing or pawing at the face, loose or broken teeth and red, inflamed gums. Many pets never show symptoms beyond bad breath, however. Without regular veterinary exams, much of our pets’ dental disease isn’t detected until it is really bad. Lift your pets’ lip, and gently pull back towards their cheek and take a look: if you see red or puffy gums, brown debris (dental tartar) or yellow build-up (calculus) accumulating on the teeth then your pet has enough dental disease to warrant veterinary evaluation.
Beyond these problems in the mouth, pet periodontal disease can lead to systemic problems. Bacterial infection can spread from the mouth to the heart and heart valves, kidneys, and liver.
The best way to prevent tooth and gum disease in your pet is to regularly brush their teeth. Though it may sound silly it is actually something that most dogs and cats will readily accept given the proper technique and some patience and persistence. Because most owners do not have the time or inclination to attempt this other home dental care options have been developed. Special diets and treats are made that will help minimize plaque build-up. Oral rinses or water additives can help control bacteria. None of these replace brusing and having regular dental checks with your veterinarian. A full dental prophylaxis or professional dental cleaning is the best way to keep your pets’ mouth healthy and comfortable. Dental prophylaxis is a bit more involved in pets than in people: since they won’t voluntarily open wide, general anesthesia is usually required to allow a complete dental exam and thorough cleaning. Without full sedation it is impossible to truly address all problem areas, especially the areas under the gumline.
February is National Pet Dental Health Month, promoting awareness of oral problems in dogs and cats. To have your pets’ mouth evaluated and to make a specific home dental plan we recommend contacting our office at 843-626-7661. Pets need dental care, too!
- Pet Profiles
3007b Church St
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Phone: (843) 626-7661
After Hours Emergencies:
Please call (843) 445-9797
Mon - Tue: 8:30am - 6:00pm
Wed: 8:30am - Noon
Thur - Fri: 8:30am - 6:00pm
Sat: 8:30am - Noon