This past week, I was reminded of the importance of dental health in our feline patients. My own kitty, Walter, has always battled gingivitis (inflammation of his gums) from a young age. He has had multiple dental procedures performed to address the calculus and gingivitis. Lately, I noticed that his gingivitis was back, his teeth had calculus on them, and his breath was foul. Thus, Walter came to the AWC for another dental procedure.
Cornell video on how to brush your cat's teeth). However, many cats do not appreciate this and it becomes a real hassle. But, don’t despair…we have other options! One great alternative for cats is a dental gel, such as Maxi Guard, which the AWC is now carrying. This gel is applied to the teeth with your fingers…and is often tolerated much better by our feline patients than a tooth brush. In addition to the gel, there are also dental diets and treats available that can help maintain dental health.
With prevention, we hopefully will delay the start of dental disease. However, it is also important to watch your cat closely for any signs of oral discomfort. Signs that they may have oral disease include bad breath, changes in eating habits, pawing at the mouth, excessive drooling, and loss of appetite. But, cats are really good at hiding discomfort and we may miss finding painful lesions with an oral exam, which is what happened with Walter. Thus, it is essential to have your cat’s teeth cleaned annually as part of their preventative health plan.
Together as a team we can hopefully keep your kitty’s smile looking great!