Bluestar Pet Hospital & Grooming in St. Johns, Florida, is built on a solid foundation of preventive care. Our veterinarians take a special interest in dental services to prevent damage caused by periodontal disease, failing teeth, and other oral problems. We professionally clean the teeth, gums, and mouth during routine wellness visits. We also use our advanced knowledge and tools to check for any signs of problems with the mouth. When detected and addressed early, we prevent potentially devastating damage and pain.
Both dogs and cats are notoriously stoic when enduring painful problems, but you know your pup or kitty best. As a responsible and devoted pet parent, we encourage you to watch for any changes in your pet.
The trouble with pet periodontal disease
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) characterizes periodontal or gum disease as the leading dental condition affecting our feline and canine friends’ teeth. They estimate that most pets will have some evidence of gum disease by their third birthday. As with human gum disease, detecting and treating periodontal disease as early as possible is essential. Because, like us, pets can suffer from increasing pain and other complications as the disease progresses to its advanced stage.
Also, like the people population, the pet population is vulnerable to systemic illnesses caused by untreated gum disease. Animal researchers have found microscopic changes to the kidneys, liver, and heart among those pets with periodontal disease. The bacteria, inflammation, and infection associated with this condition do not “stay put.” It travels to other tissues and bodily systems by way of the bloodstream.
Now, it is essential to know that, in its earliest stages, signs of periodontal disease may be very subtle. By the time the symptoms are hard to miss or dismiss, damage may have already occurred. Generally, we grade this disease on a scale of “0” to “4,” with zero serving as a “normal” or healthy “baseline” and “4” indicative of severe disease. As the disease progresses, it starts with inflammation (redness) and swelling called “gingivitis” and can then move on to moderate gingivitis and severe periodontal damage characterized by painful infection and bone loss in the jaw.
Potential symptoms to reach out about, sooner rather than later, include:
- Nasty and persistent “doggie breath”
- Hypersalivation or drooling, which may be tinged red with blood
- Noticeable blood on your pet’s toys or in their water bowls
- Stained or discolored teeth
- Difficulty eating or picking up food
- Chewing on one side of the mouth
- Loss of interest in food
- Red gums and swelling
With an accurate diagnosis in hand, our team will promptly relieve pain and resolve the underlying problem. Depending on the extent of disease or damage present, we may have to remove a tooth (or teeth). Again, treatment varies considerably from pet to pet and situation to situation. Regardless of the pet or situation, we will work with you to advise on ways to prevent further problems. We’ll advise on techniques and products to use at home to keep your dog’s and cat’s mouths clean and healthy. Additionally, we provide trusted and sound guidance on everything from toys and chewables to treats and foods that promote oral health and, in turn, the sustained good health and happiness of your four-legged bestie.
Call (904) 720-4275 with questions or to schedule an appointment at our St. Johns, FL location. Be sure to ask about our affordable wellness plans, which cover many preventive services (including the dental “prophy” or cleaning and exam).
Share this Article
Dr. Venkat Gutta
Bluestar Pet Hospital & Grooming
At Blue Star Pet Hospital and Grooming, Dr. Venkat Gutta provides high-quality and modern veterinary services to all your furry friends! At Bluestar, Dr. Gutta and his team are committed to providing your pets with both a full-service Veterinary Hospital and a modern grooming salon (St. Johns location only) for dogs and cats. Our primary commitment is to provide your companion animals with the highest quality medical care. Dr. Gutta strongly believes in treating your four-legged companions as family members and providing them with excellent yet affordable veterinary care. At Bluestar, we also think that it is important to educate you, as a pet owner, and ensure that the unique needs of you and your pet are met at all times. Through Bluestar, Dr. Gutta and his team serve clients in Durbin Crossing, Jacksonville, St Augustine, St Johns, CR 210, and other areas. Whether it is pet vaccinations, surgery, techniques, advanced diagnostic testing, or even flea and tick control products, we give you access to the best and most cutting-edge treatments and technologies. At Bluestar, we believe that your pet is the STAR!