Client Information | Dental

Information provided by Furkids Veterinary Surgery ©


Signs of Dental Disease

Good dental health is a critical component of your pet’s overall health. When dental disease is present in your pet, treatment has been shown to dramatically improve their quality of life. 
Dental disease is one of the most common problems affecting cats and dogs over the age of three. Current treatment methods available from your vet will provide the best opportunity for dental disease to be removed in a pain and stress-free manner. No animal needs to live with any discomfort associated with dental disease. 
Your veterinarian is the trusted professional to meet your pets needs. We trust that the information contained within this leaflet will help you work with your vet to identify and develop a plan to correct dental disease in your pet. 

Symptoms of dental disease 

✓ Bad breath, called halitosis
✓ Gingivitis – red or inflamed gums that may sometimes bleed
✓ Tartar, often seen as raised, yellowy-brownish material which will stain teeth
✓ Facial swelling – often one sided due to an infection of the tooth root
✓ Excessive salivation from pain when swallowing
✓ Dropping food, difficulty chewing food or reluctance to eat from the pain
✓ Resistance to being handled around the mouth
✓ Pawing at the mouth 

Your pet may continue to eat despite dental pain in preference to starvation. If your pet is choosing not to eat, please contact us immediately.  


The Dental Procedure

Your vet has decided that your pet has periodontal disease and requires a dental operation. Your pet will require a general anaesthetic as this allows the vet to safely and thoroughly examine the mouth. Once the vet has fully examined the teeth, including inside and outside surfaces and under the gum, they will be best placed to develop a plan to return your pet’s mouth back to health.   

To assist, your veterinarian may recommend that a series of x-rays are completed. X-rays examine below the gum line and assist in visualising structures of the teeth that cannot be visualised with the naked eye. X-rays will assist your vet to assess whether a tooth may be broken, the tooth roots are damaged, the enamel may be badly eroded, or the bones and other supporting structures can no longer continue to support the tooth. 

Teeth are cleaned by both a hand and ultrasonic scaler. Both these devices remove the hard tartar which allows bacteria in plaque to hide from daily cleaning. The ultrasonic scaler used high frequency sound to break up tartar without damage to the tooth.  
The clean is finished with a polish to remove the rough surface left after scaling which otherwise would have allowed the build-up of plaque.  


Your vet has considered the risks of allowing dental disease to continue untreated in your pet and advised that a dental procedure is required. It is a common occurrence within a veterinary clinic but is not a simple procedure for your pet. The complete examination of teeth requires your pet to keep their mouth wide open, just as we would for a dentist. Therefore, to allow a full and complete examination of your pet’s teeth, they must be anaesthetised.  

A general anaesthetic ensures the best and safest outcome for both the veterinarian and your pet. Plaque is most damaging below the gum line and the use of sharp dental instruments to remove this plaque require your pet remain still. Similarly, complete examination of the teeth requires examination for periodontal disease on both the outside and the inside teeth. This can only be completed while your pet is anaesthetised to allow vet access to these areas. 


Pre-Anaesthetic Blood Test

Your veterinarian may reccomend a pre-anaesthetic blood test, which is a comprehensive diagnostic tool, giving us same-day, real-time blood work results making us aware of any serious complications that may affect induction, anaesthesia & recovery. Like any anaethetic, there may be risks, regardless of the animal's physical health. A pre-anaesthetic blood test will help ascertain any possible risks, and we'll adjust our treatment as necessary. We may also suggest that your pet receives surgical fluids, to help support their system throughout anaesthesia and recovery. We will discuss this if necessary, during admission. Feel free to ask any questions during this time.

Would you like more information? Download a brochure HERE


Your veterinarian may provide medication either before or after post operatively to treat an infection or manage pain that may be associated with the required procedure. Ensure you follow directions as labelled.  
Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, or ‘NSAIDS’, will help minimise discomfort from the procedure. NSAIDS are medications that reduce inflammation and swelling.  
Antibiotics may be prescribed if your vet deems it is necessary to treat a bacterial infection immediately before, during and after the dental procedure.  

Home Care

✓ Give all your medications as prescribed by your veterinarian
✓ Attend all scheduled revisits
✓ Water may be given when your pet returns home as usual
✓ Feed only a small amount the night of anaesthesia  
✓ Your vet will advise you if any changes to your pet’s diet are appropriate following the procedure
✓ If at any time, you are concerned about your pet, please contact us immediately.