Dental Care

One of the best ways to maintain your pet’s overall health is to provide consistent dental hygiene. Having healthy teeth and gums can keep your pets from developing dental disease and can actually add years to their life. Marcello Veterinary Hospital offers dental exams, cleanings, and extractions to help your furry friends stay in tip-top shape.

Our approach to pet dental care starts with regular dental cleanings and exams when your pets are young. We recommend regular dental checkups and cleanings at least every 1 to 2 years in most cases. Some pets, however, require more frequent cleanings.

During our examination, we look for signs of disease such as fractured teeth, worn areas of enamel due to chewing, retained “baby” teeth, plaque, tartar, inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), abnormal growths or masses of the gums or mouth, tooth discoloration, infected teeth, and more. We will then determine if a professional cleaning or further treatment is necessary.

What happens during the dental procedure?

General anesthesia is required for your cat or dog to receive the most complete and thorough cleaning possible. We know that this is a concern for pet owners, and we are committed to the safety and well-being of your four-legged family member. Because of this, prior to the procedure, we perform pre-anesthetic blood work for all animals over the age of 7. All pets placed under general anesthesia during the dental procedure are supervised by one of our specialty trained technicians dedicated to monitoring respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure throughout the entire process.

We perform a full cleaning both above and below the gum-line where periodontal disease lurks. It would be impossible to clean below the gum line on a dog or cat who is awake. However, this is where periodontal disease begins–with bacteria “living” below the gum tissues. A cleaning involves scaling or scraping the tooth to remove plaque and calculus. Lastly, the teeth are polished, leaving a completely smooth surface of the tooth which discourages plaque and bacteria from adhering to the rough tooth surface. Your pet may be discharged with antibiotics or pain medication following a dental procedure.

Our staff will also make recommendations for preventative home care such as brushing your pet’s teeth in between cleanings and supplying them with oral hygiene chews.

Periodontal Disease

Dental care is one of the most neglected aspects of pet health care. As with people, oral disease in pets begins with bacteria in the mouth that harden and form plaque that adhere to teeth. If not removed through regular care and cleaning, these bacteria will accumulate, harden into tartar, and can lead to the development of periodontal disease. Once periodontal disease is established, the constant exposure to these bacteria can potentially cause damage to major organs of the body such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. To learn more about dental disease click HERE.

Signs of Dental Problems

Some pets become irritable when they have dental problems, and any changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit. Always be careful when evaluating your pet's mouth, because an animal in pain may bite.

If you notice your pet exhibiting any of the following conditions, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

  • Bad breath
  • Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
  • Pawing at the face or mouth
  • Swelling of the face
  • Gum recession and/or gum swelling
  • Broken or loose teeth
  • Teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • Pain in or around the mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth

Marcello Veterinary Hospital offers dental care to pets in Houma, Thibodaux, Morgan City, Raceland, and Mathews.