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Preventative Dental Care

Preventative dental care is one of the most important things owners can do to increase the health and longevity of their cats. Neglecting to keep a cat’s mouth healthy can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. In severe stages, when the gingiva is openly bleeding, it is possible for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and infect organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys. Not only is this worrisome for the health of the cat but it is also painful.

Below are the top 5 things owners can do to keep their cat’s teeth and mouth healthy.

  1. Provide a high-quality dental food such as Hills T/D, Royal Canin Dental Diet, or Purina DH all of which we carry at our clinic and have the VOHC* seal. These foods are nutritionally complete and balanced for the adult cat. There are a few different things that make them special. The kibble is quite a bit larger than your average cat kibble and it has a special matrix inside of it. When the cat bites into it the tooth fully sinks into the kibble and the special matrix actually scraps the plaque off of the tooth cleaning it as they eat. These diets also contain special enzymes that help to prevent the formation of plaque and tartar. Ideally, an adult cat should be fed a combination of canned/wet food and dental food.
  2. Daily at home brushing. Although brushing your cat’s teeth can sound very intimidating at first – The Cornell University Center for Feline Health has put out an amazing 4 part video series on exactly how to get your cat used to brushing. Anybody can do this with a bit of effort and persistence. If you would like to bring your cat into the clinic for a demo we would be happy to show you and we carry all the supplies you will need.
  3. Dental Treats such as Greenies which have the VOHC* seal, CET chews, and many others. These treats perform a similar cleaning action as the dental diets listed above. You can even use the dental diets above as treats instead of feeding it as the sole diet.
  4. Oral Rinses and Water Additives! We carry an antibacterial oral rinse called DentaChlor that contains an antibacterial agent called Chlorhexidine. Using a syringe you can place a small amount into each cheek pouch of your cat and massage the gums to disperse it over the teeth. This will help to destroy many of the harmful bacteria in your cat’s mouth that are the cause of bad breath.
    Water additives such as Healthy Mouth come in a concentrated formula that is added to the drinking water. It has the VOHC* seal for the prevention of plaque. It comes in a few different flavours your cat may enjoy.
  5. Yearly dental cleanings by a veterinarian. Although the things listed above will make a huge difference in your pet’s oral care none of them is a replacement for a full dental cleaning by a veterinarian. When your pet is put under general anesthetic we take full dental radiographs to access the entire tooth and its root. We also perform a thorough cleaning above and below the gum line removing all tartar that has built up over time followed by a polish to make them shiny and new.

*VOHC – When the Veterinary Oral Health Council authorizes the use of its Registered Seal, it certifies that the product met VOHC’s Standards for effectiveness in retarding plaque and tartar when used as directed.

Written by Kim Esau, Veterinarian Technician

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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