When pet parents think of a veterinary emergency, they often think of difficulty breathing, hit by car, vomiting and diarrhea, or here in Florida, heatstroke. But one of the common causes of emergencies in cats and dogs is often overlooked – and that’s dental emergencies.
Just like in our two-legged family members, our four-legged companions’ teeth can break, get infected, and jaws that can become fractured – all causing pain, discomfort, and the inability to eat and drink properly.
During National Pet Dental Health Month, we would like to share ways pet parents can help prevent dental emergencies in their canine and feline family members.
Broken Teeth in Dogs and Cats
In dogs, damaged teeth are often caused by inappropriately chewing on a hard item (bone or stick), after forceful trauma (golf club accident), or a fight with another dog or animal. In cats, fractured teeth are most often associated with traumatic events like being hit by a car.
To help prevent tooth fractures in your pup, do not allow them to chew on natural or nylon bones, sticks, rocks, cow hooves, ice cubes, or other hard toys and treats. Always provide a safe, softer chew toy. For a list of safe products, visit the Veterinary Oral Health Council. And to help protect your kitty cat, always keep them indoors.
Jaw fractures of the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) are also a common veterinary emergency. Fractured jaws are typically caused by trauma such as being hit by a car, baseball bats, golf clubs, and fights with other animals.
While accidents happen, the best way to prevent a fractured jaw in your four-legged family member is to always keep them on a leash when outside of the home or fenced-in yard, pay close attention to their location when playing with sports equipment, and monitor their involvement with other pets and animals when at the beach, dog park, or walking the neighborhood.
Infections of the Tooth Root
A root can become infected anytime there is a fractured tooth and bacteria is able to enter the exposed root canal. Once a root becomes infected, cats and dogs experience ongoing pain and discomfort until treatment is administered. Pets are also then more prone to periodontal disease and all of the dangers associated with it, just like humans.
Most infections of the tooth root can be prevented by prompt veterinary care following any tooth or jaw injury, saving them from pain and you from a more expensive treatment plan.
AEHV can Help with Pet Dental Emergencies
If your dog or cat experiences a dental emergency, call us at 386-252-0206 or come directly to our 24/7 emergency animal hospital in Ormond Beach. We are available all day and night, every day of the year to provide pain management, diagnostic services, surgery, and compassionate veterinary care to pets in need, including those experiencing dental pain and injury.
And Don’t Forget to Schedule a Dental Examination during National Pet Dental Health Month
Another way to help avoid a dental emergency is to have your pet’s teeth examined and cleaned regularly. We encourage you to schedule a dental examination with your primary care veterinarian. There is no better time to check those pearly whites than during National Pet Dental Health Month!