Fruit Valley Veterinary Clinic

Mouth Problems in Cats

Mouth discomfort may be demonstrated by drooling or crying out or tilting the head when attempting to eat. Inflammatory disorders, infections, trauma and tumors may affect the mouths of cats. In order to adequately inspect the mouth, sedation or anesthesia may be needed. Although tricky to accomplish, tooth brushing can help preserve teeth and gums from periodontal disease and tartar accumulation. Avoiding food or treats that stick to the teeth is important unless you can brush the teeth. Eating specially formulated dry food is associated with less tartar accumulation. Regular dry food is unlikely to help and is also associated with an increased risk of urinary disorders. Older cats may require wet foods to maintain body weight and help with hydration. FVVC can provide dental cleaning and polishing under anesthesia.

Toothbrush Training

To teach a dog or cat to let you brush his teeth, first teach him to sit still while you handle his lips. Reward him well each step of the way so that he knows you appreciate his cooperation. Every day brush one easy-to-reach tooth for a second or two. When your pet is comfortable with this, gradually increase the amount you brush each time. The final step is to gradually start brushing the hard-to -reach teeth. Generally only the outside surfaces need brushing, not the tooth surfaces next to the tongue. You can teach an old dog new tricks, and you can teach cats to cooperate. To succeed, you must not do more than they are comfortable with, you should try to do it frequently, and it helps if you can make it worthwhile for them.