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cat-dental

Cat Dental Care

Cats have the same dental problems that we do as humans. If cats do not get regular dental care, they will experience the same pain and suffering that we do, but they are not able to communicate this pain to us. It is vitally important that you have your cat’s teeth examined by your veterinarian on an annual basis to prevent dental problems and unnecessary pain.

What is involved in a dental cleaning procedure?

Our dental cleanings are always done under general anesthesia, with full monitoring equipment and IV fluids. We radiograph the entire mouth and do a detailed clean and polish of all the teeth, including under the gum line.

What are signs of dental problems in cats?

Cats often hide dental issues and show no obvious signs of dental pain. Cats with significant dental disease will still be eating their normal amounts of food. Bad breath, tartar and red gums are some of the first problems we see. If a cat is having difficulty chewing or has stopped eating, then the dental disease is extreme and will likely require dental extractions and major intervention. Our goal is to prevent the dental disease from reaching this point through home care, dental diets and early interventions. Regular dental cleanings will be required to maintain your cat’s dental health, just as it is for your own teeth. We will discuss your cat’s dental needs during your office visit.

Are some breeds more susceptible than others?

Dental disease can be genetic, so if the parents of your kitty had bad teeth, they are more likely to have bad teeth. But that doesn’t mean every cat of that breed or colour is going to have dental disease. You can always discuss your cat’s risk level when you meet with one of our veterinarians.

What is feline tooth resorption?

Tooth resorption is a disease that is well known but not well understood. The newest studies show that all cats will possibly be affected by it if they live long enough. When a tooth begins to resorb, it is attacked by the cat’s immune system and it causes the inner sensitive layers of the tooth and blood supply to be exposed, which is quite painful. Sometimes, resorptive lesions occur only in the roots of the teeth and we only find it when we take radiographs of the tooth roots. The only treatment for tooth resorption is to extract the affected painful tooth.

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The Importance of Microchips

A microchip is a small chip that is placed under the skin between the shoulders. The needle we use is larger than a typical blood collection needle, though other than the initial poke does not cause any ongoing pain. Each microchip has a unique number that is retrievable with a special scanner that all veterinary clinics and rescue associations have. When a found cat is brought to a clinic or rescue facility, it is checked for a microchip by running the scanner over the body. The number populates off the scanner which can then be put into a search system which will tell us which company it is registered with. There are many different microchip companies out there, so it is important to know which one your cat has so you can keep your contact information up to date. We can then call the company linked to the chip, who can then give us the contact information that you provided when it was registered so we can get in contact with you! The companies are instructed to only provide your contact information to an animal professional or to the owner. Microchips are NOT tracking devices; they need to be scanned in order for your furry family member to get home to you. There is a small fee to get your cat microchipped but no monthly cost afterwards. However, some microchip companies do charge a small fee to update addresses and other contact information. What is the difference between a microchip and tattoo? Tattoos are slowly becoming a less common form of identification. Tattoo quality can decrease over time due to aging, quality of the tattoo to start, and other environmental changes that can affect the skin of the ear. What this means is that a well-done tattoo 10 years later can be difficult to read due to the blurring of the letters and numbers over time. This change can make it nearly impossible sometimes to identify the collection of digits which is a big problem since that combination is unique to a clinic and cat! A microchip does not age over time but in rare instances can travel from the shoulders, which is why we scan the entire cat for a chip before determining that they do not have one. Additionally, tattoo information is often kept on paper, while microchips are all digital. It is very important to microchip your cat! We often get comments about how indoor only cats do not require them and if anything, it’s actually the opposite! Indoor cats accidentally getting out are where most of our phone calls about missing cats come from. This is because they’re not supposed to be outside and are likely not equipped to hunt and fend for themselves. So, when a neighbour sees an unfamiliar neighbourhood cat and takes it to a clinic to have scanned, it now has no form of identification to get home to you and is taken to the city in the hopes of an owner coming forward and claiming them.

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Last updated: May 25, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

5. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday to Friday: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Killarney Cat Hospital