As pets grow old, one of the things that is important to maintain is quality of life. If the teeth are severely infected or there is severe gingivitis and gum disease going on in the mouth, the quality of life is poor as the animal experiences discomfort and pain constantly. Older pets are more prone to infection in their mouths if teeth are left untreated, due to their weakened immune systems so it is often necessary to have more regular dental treatment such as scaling and polishing under anaesthesia in order to maintain their overall health.
Problems such as tooth root abscesses (a painful bone infection in the mouth) are often only discovered once your pet is asleep and the mouth thoroughly examined or x-rayed, with the only symptom of disease being the dog’s bad breath.
While there is some increased risk under an anaesthetic when you pet is older, the risk can be managed by performing a thorough physical examination, a blood test and fluid therapy prior to the procedure, as well as careful monitoring of heart rate, oxygen level and blood pressure while the animal is asleep.
It is considered part of responsible pet ownership to maintain the health and welfare of your pet as he or she grows old and this includes treating any dental disease present.
Please contact your local vet or Sydney Pet Dentistry if you have any concerns.