We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.
Dental care is a vitally important facet of your cat’s overall health. We recommend offering regular dental treats, dental diets, water additives and brushing your cat’s teeth (twice daily is ideal). We offer dental cleanings similar to what your dentist provides for you. We require our feline patients under anesthesia for dentistries. It allows us the ability to properly examine the inside of the mouth, thoroughly clean the teeth, take diagnostics radiographs and perform extractions (depending on the condition of the teeth).
A dental cleaning procedure requires the animal to be under a general anesthetic.
1. We inspect the mouth for any obvious issue that would keep us from proceeding.
2. The technicians begin the process of scaling (cleaning) the teeth and charting any abnormalities they find. They are evaluating whether the teeth have abnormal wiggling and/or have any pockets around the gumline.
3. Radiographs are taken to evaluate the roots of the teeth. It is in combination with the abnormalities noted in step 2 determine which teeth need to be extracted.
4. Before beginning the process of extracting teeth, we perform local blocks just like our dentists do. This helps to reduce pain after the procedure.
5. The teeth are extracted and gingival flaps may or may not be performed depending on the void left after removing the tooth.
6. We then re-radiograph the teeth to ensure no tooth fragments were left after the extraction.
7. The technician then polishes the remaining teeth.
8. Your cat is then taken off the anesthetic and recovered. We then write our discharge instructions, prepare the pain medications and potentially antibiotics for you to take home.
What are the signs of dental problems in cats?
Some common signs to watch for that may alert you that your cat is having dental issues is a decrease in eating, foul breath, favouring one side of the mouth while chewing, pawing at the face, drooling and a reluctance to be touched around the mouth area. Other physical signs include red and inflamed gums, heavy tartar build-up and small red coloured lesions on the teeth, which indicates dental problems that require veterinary attention.
Are some feline breeds more susceptible than others?
All breeds of cats are susceptible.
What is feline tooth resorption?
Tooth resorption is the process where a cat’s body absorbs its own teeth. This process is very painful because the cat’s teeth are weakened and the internal nerve is stimulated more, which often elicits pain. With time, if the tooth is not removed, it will dissolve below the gumline.
Most cats have 18 toes; five toes on each of their front feet, and four on the back. My cat, Mandy Pawtinkin, is blessed with 22 toes. She has a congenital physical anomaly called polydactyly (Greek for ‘many digits’). It is a genetic mutation that causes cats to be born with more than the usual number of toes on one or more of its paws.
Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.
The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 2020:
1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 902.422.8595. We will take a history of your pet over the phone, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the examination is finished, we will call to discuss our recommended treatment plan over the phone and then return to your vehicle with your pet. Please ensure your pet has a properly fitted collar or is in a secure carrier. Please remove any additional clothing or blankets prior to our staff handling our patients to minimize risk to our team.
2. We are still OPEN but are now working in two shifts with reduced hours, reduced staff numbers and a need to close for extensive cleaning between shifts. Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.
3. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.
Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus. You may see our team members wearing additional protective gear when interacting with our clients and patients.
Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.
- Your dedicated team at Halifax Veterinary Hospital