Dental Care and Hygiene

Dental CareYour pet's regimen of everyday care is the cornerstone to happy, healthy days.

Pet Dental Care

Years ago, dental care was never considered for our pets, unless severe issues were occurring in the pet's mouth. As a result, waiting for these worsening conditions can actually become more costly and attribute to many diseases. Dental problems can lead to larger systemic issues in your pet due to oral bacteria entering the blood stream and damaging the kidneys, heart and liver. Despite its importance, many pet owners often overlook dental disease. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of dogs and cats develop tooth and gum disease by the age of two years.

Dental disease and its serious consequences can be avoided by bringing your pet for its yearly health exam. Cats specifically, harbor more silent viruses than most animals and can be the leading cause for dental disease. This is why Long Trail Veterinary Center offers dental exams, radiographs, and cleanings/extractions.

Home Dental Care

Dental care does not end with a visit to your veterinarian. We recommend continuing efforts at home by brushing your dog's teeth as part of a home dental care regimen. We understand that this is difficult for many dog owners and that busy schedules often interfere. This is why we have other methods available to aid you in slowing down plague and tartar build-up. For cats, as well as dogs, there are diets that assist in the decrease of calculus build-up. The most common teeth that are affected in cats and dogs are the fourth premolars, which are not as visible or accessible for you to see. Any member of our staff can show you the proper method of brushing your pet's teeth as well as help you select the most effective dental products for your pet.

It is also important for you to recognize the signs and symptoms of dental problems, which include:

  • Bad breath—one of the first signs of dental disease
  • A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
  • Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
  • Loose or missing teeth

Pet Skin Care / Dermatology

The condition of your pet's skin is like a window into your dog or cat's overall health. By examining your pet's skin, we can often detect and treat other veterinary conditions that may be affecting your pet. Our veterinarians maintain a special focus on diagnosing, managing, and treating pet skin conditions, including:

  • Food allergies
  • Atopy and allergies
  • Immune mediated diseases
  • Hormonally related skin conditions
  • Lick granulomas
  • Hereditary disorders of the skin and hair
  • Seborrhea
  • Pyodermas
  • Skin diseases specific to cats such as eosinophilic granulomas, tumors, and cancers of the skin and nails
  • Diseases of the eyelids, claws, anal sacs, and ear canals
  • Itching
  • Chewing
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Ear diseases
  • Abnormal hair growth
  • External parasites such as fleas, ticks, lice, or mites
  • Diseases caused by bacteria
  • Fungal skin diseases such as ringworm and blastomycosis
  • Parasitic diseases including mange
  • Allergic reactions and hypersensitivities

pet examinationPet Skin Condition Diagnosis

When your pet suffers from a skin condition, we will put our expertise to work to diagnose the problem. We have a wide range of tools available, including skin scrapings, cytology, cultures, ultraviolet examination of lesions, biopsies, allergy testing, food trials, and microscopic examination of hair and dander. Before initiating any diagnostic tests, we will discuss diagnostic plans and provide an estimate upon request. We'll also ask about your pet's living situation and environment so we can gain a better understanding of what may have caused the skin condition. We will only recommend tests that meet the needs of you and your pet while giving us the information we require to determine the best course of action. Medications and treatments will only be prescribed once we fully understand your pet's condition.

Chronic Skin & Ear Condition Treatment Plans

Skin and ear conditions are common problems with cats and dogs. Many of these conditions can be chronic and they often become a source of frustration for the pet owner. The good news is that most pet skin conditions can be managed with effective treatment plans. Long-term management is easier and more effective when you understand the illness and the options. We will discuss your pet's options with you to determine what kinds of treatment you feel comfortable giving your pet at home. In some cases, conditions can be spread among all of your pets and we will work with you to design a strategic plan to eliminate the problem in each family pet.

Strategic Flea, Tick, Mite, & Mosquito Control

If your dog or cat has external parasites, we can advise the most effective solutions to treat your animals and your home (remember, many external parasites start on the pet, and then become an issue in your home.) We understand that there are many flea, tick, and heartworm products on the market. Purchasing these from your local veterinarian is not only an "insurance policy" but also provides you the most up-to-date information regarding the products and what products would best suit your pet's lifestyle. If your animal has a reaction and/or contracts a disease and the product was used properly, in many situations the manufacturer will back you up and cover the treatments; whereas, if you go to another store or online pharmacy, the manufacturer will not cover the necessary treatments. While we strive to recommend the most effective pest control products for your pet's individual situation, the safety of both your pet and your family is of the utmost importance to us. You can feel confident that any treatment we prescribe will be safe for your pet as well as anyone involved with administering treatment. We cannot stock every product out there, so if your pet needs a certain product, it can always be obtained from our online pharmacy and shipped directly to your home.

Our goal is for the pet owner to let us be your veterinary educator for the safety and health of you and your pet—not retail stores. We at Long Trail Veterinary Center are up-to-date on the latest information and any contraindication if your pet is on any prescription medications.

Please call for further information or schedule an appointment today.