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What Pet Parents Can Do After Their Dog Has Been Diagnosed with Periodontal Disease

November 08, 2019

What is Periodontal Disease?

Believe it or not, nearly 80% of dogs ages three and up have gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Unfortunately, this illness can’t be reversed, but it can be prevented with a dental health routine that involves brushing!

After Diagnosis

After your dog has been diagnosed with periodontal disease, your vet will give you some recommendations. Unfortunately, in the most extreme cases, your vet will recommend immediate surgery. They do this because periodontal disease can cause extreme pain and discomfort in dogs, just like it can in humans. Also, with surgery, your dog can maintain as much of their dental health as possible. 

Treatment

The treatment for gum disease will begin with a thorough exam, usually during their yearly physical and x-rays to determine the extent of the damage. Your vet may prescribe your pup antibiotics to prevent the spread of bacteria during any dental work. 
The treatment plan will depend on what the vet finds during the initial examination and the stage of gum disease. 


For stages one and two, your vet will most likely recommend a thorough cleaning. In stages three or four of periodontal disease, your dog will likely require a cleaning along with more treatment. There are various procedures that your vet may use to remove teeth, tissue, and diseased gums. 


While it may be challenging to put your dog through surgery, it will ultimately be the best option for those with advanced periodontal disease. 

Recovering from Surgery

Following your dog’s surgery, you will have to plan to spend lots of together to ensure his or her safety and wellness. According to Your Dog Advisor, “Your dog will likely still be drowsy from the effects of the anesthetic, and it can make them confused, uncoordinated, distressed and unsettled.” It’s important to make sure that they are as comfortable as possible. Most dogs will experience anxiety from not feeling like themselves due to the anesthetic. If your dog has anxiety just going to a regular vet visit, you can expect this feeling to recur after surgery. 

Your Dog Advisor also recommends making sure that you or a family member are available to supervise them at all times to make sure that they have access to water. 

How to Determine Whether Your Dog Has Periodontal Disease

While your vet will be able to determine whether your dog has gum disease, you can determine whether or not there is a cause for concern at home. If you notice any redness or swelling of the gums or tartar, this could be a sign of periodontal disease.
Also, if you notice your dog isn’t eating as often as they usually do, it could be a sign that something in their mouth is hurting them. If you notice any unusual behavior, make sure to notify your vet. 

Anesthesia and Your Dog

Many people avoid annual dental cleanings because they don’t want their dog to go under. Unfortunately, proper veterinary care requires general anesthesia. This is for the safety of your pet while their vet properly and effectively cleans their teeth. Anesthesia is safe for pets, for the most part. However, it’s generally not recommended for older dogs. Always trust the advice of your vet to help you determine when anesthesia is necessary and when it is not.

 


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