The most common health issue in all species is dental disease.
Domestic cats have significant dental disease because of the processed foods they eat, and the lack of self dental care. Starchy dry kibble is one of the primary culprits. Like people, some cats have better overall mouth chemistry than others. But unlike people, cats are the masters at hiding dental problems and illness! We see many patients that have end-stage dental disease, requiring full mouth extractions, and these cats had never let their owners know there was a problem. Only when they presented with bleeding from the mouth and a foul odor, did the owner recognize that anything was wrong. Most of these cats were eating normally, and rarely missed a meal.
Dental disease doesn’t just hurt. It is the number one source of internal bacterial infections of the heart, liver, kidneys and other organs. “As the mouth goes, so goes the patient.” No matter the stage of dental disease, it is important to aggressively halt its progression because of its dramatic effect on the other organs in the body. We often see cats who have been referred in from general practices because their cardiac compromise has progressed to the point where anesthesia for dentistry is too risky. Because we’re equipped and trained to manage the concurrent cardiac problems, and even the renal compromise, we can treat these cats very effectively.
We have state of the art dental equipment, including an ultrasonic scaler, polisher, high speed drill, and digital dental x-ray unit. And we have a wonderful staff trained to use them! These tools allow us to do high quality work quickly and take great care of your cat.
At every well cat visit, the doctors and nurses at Cat Specialist will talk with you about your cat’s dental health, because we know how important it is to keep the mouth healthy. You’ll learn a lot about good nutrition, dental cleaning diets, dental treats, brushing (usually not an option for most cats and their owners), water additives, how to assess your cat’s mouth chemistry, and regular dental cleanings. Dental care is one of the greatest gifts you can give your cat to help him or her live a long, happy life!
Dental x-rays allow us to see the entire tooth (both crown and root) and find lesions under the gumline that otherwise would be missed. Post image processing can apply an embossed texture which makes lesions even easier to spot – and let’s admit it, looks pretty awesome too! We can share any of your kitties x-rays with you if you like!