Middle Brighton Veterinary Centre
762 Hampton St
Brighton, VIC, 3186

Phone: 03 9592 9811
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Welcome to August & Dental Health Month! Each year in August we focus on dental health in our pets. As you will read in this edition healthy pets need a healthy mouth as serious internal disease can be linked to the state of the mouth. Our ultimate aim is to maintain oral health in our pets and keep the level of disease in the reversible window of gingivitis rather than periodontitis - which is why we need to treat pets at an early stage. We have a number of exciting offers to help you keep your pet's pearly whites white & healthy..... 

  • Free Dental Checks in August, including a complemtary Dental packs
  • Special promotions on Hills t/d, Greenies and Oravet
  • $50 Discount on Dental procedures
  • Special packages for Grade 1 Dental procedures

Dr Anna will be giving a special Dental talk at Southside Dog School at Cheltenham http://www.southsidedogschool.com/  on Sunday 13th August to spread the word on the importance of dental health.
If you have noticed some bad breath in Rover or Fluffy or simply want to get your pet's mouth checked then give us a call on 9592 9811 today!
No doublt many of you would have seen a familiar face in the clinic, as our lovely nurse, Claudia has returned to the team. We are delighted to have her back with us as she is a wonderful vet nurse and an asset to the practice. Later this month we will welcome Dr Kendall Rider to our clinic! Kendall graduated from Melbourne University in 2015 and has spent the beginnings of her vet career at Ararat where she cared for both small and farm animals. Kendall is a caring vet and shares our clinic values of compassion, excellence, trust and collaboration. She will spend most of her time with Drs Anna & Murray as she becomes familiar with our wonderful pets and clients. 
As with all our newsletters - enjoy!
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Contents of this newsletter

01  Orangutans in Borneo

02  A healthy mouth equals a healthy pet

03  Can you clean my pet's teeth without an anaesthetic?

04  It's never too late for dental care

05  Flea prevention reminder

01 Orangutans in Borneo

In July we were approached by Wendy Cutler, a Leader from Brighton Guides for any donations for their upcoming trip to an Orangutan sanctuary in Borneo. We were happy to help their cause!

This is Wendy's report..... We are a group of Girl Guides and leaders from 1st; Brighton Ranger Guides, 8 girls and 3 leaders. We went as volunteers at the sanctuary in Borneo which is samboja lestari orangutan volunteer project.

We worked very hard, providing interesting enrichment, gathering nesting leaves each day (a mammoth task deep in the jungle, as they needed to machete well over 150 branches each day, while little red crawling and biting ants ran over the neck and arms and sweat was pouring down!), clearing jungle to plant better trees, cleaning cages, painting the vet clinic and creating a mini playground for the orphan babies when they first arrive. The girls were 15-17 years of age and they really knuckled down, thoroughly enjoying the challenge and I know that they really felt they were providing much needed help.

Thank you so much for the donations for the Orangutan sanctuary in Borneo that we visited. They were very much appreciated.

02 A healthy mouth equals a healthy pet

There's no getting around this one. If you want your pet to live a healthy life, they need to have a healthy mouth!

There is now plenty of evidence to prove that dental disease is linked to other problems such as heart disease, so it is absolutely essential we keep an eye on your pet's oral health.

Dental disease strikes when plaque and tartar accumulate on the teeth and lead to infection of the gums. Bacteria from this infection can travel in the blood stream around the body and can impact the heart as well other organs such as the lungs and kidneys. 

The good news is that many of these problems can be reversed if dental hygiene is improved - and that's where we come in!

If we detect dental disease we will recommend a dental procedure to help remove the plaque and tartar and resolve any infection. We will also remove any diseased teeth that might be causing your pet significant pain.

Here are our top tips for preventing dental disease:

  • Get your pet's mouth checked by us. We will be able to spot problems early - this is essential to good dental care. A check at least once a year is vital.
  • Get your pet eating the correct food. A premium quality dry diet is essential for good oral health. There are excellent dental diets available and they really work so ask us for the best recommendation.
  • Brush your pet's teeth - daily. This is considered gold standard - just make sure you use a pet-safe toothpaste.

We recommend a dental check up every 6 months. Regular checks will help to protect your pet's overall health and might just save their life!

When it comes to your pet's oral health, you should always turn to us for advice.

03 Can you clean my pet's teeth without an anaesthetic?

The short answer is "No". Without an anaesthetic we cannot perform a thorough examination of your pet's mouth, and there is simply no way we can diagnose or treat dental problems while your pet is awake. When it comes to the best standard dental care, we can't just ask your pet to sit back and 'open wide.'

You may have seen anaesthesia-free dentistry advertised but it is often performed by people who lack appropriate training and qualifications.

It can also have a negative psychological impact, causing your pet to develop a phobia about having their mouth being handled or examined and it will cause your pet unnecessary pain .

It's also important to realise that a thorough dental examination requires a patient to be completely motionless for procedures such as radiographs and probing.

An anaesthetised patient allows us to look for any root problems and potential sources of pain. We can clean under the gums, which cannot be done correctly if your pet is awake. Removing only the calculus that is visible on the tooth is ineffective because it does not fix the source of the problem or enable healing and reversal of the dental disease.

Anaesthesia-free dentistry can potentially mask serious underlying disease and can cause your pet unnecessary pain. You can read more about this on the Australian Veterinary Association website.

If it's been more than 6 months since your pet's last dental check, please give us a call.

04 It's never too late for dental care

It's not uncommon for us to see an older pet with dental disease but many people are worried about their senior pet having to undergo a dental procedure.

In fact, as our pets get older, their immune system becomes less effective at fighting off bacterial and viral diseases so good dental health is more important than ever!

Senior pets may be missing or have worn down teeth and this can affect their ability to chew and digest their food. They are also very good at hiding dental pain and soldiering on, so many owners put changes down to 'getting old.'

The fact is, your senior friend may be in considerable pain and could have issues such as an oral mass or a broken tooth.

Prior to an anaesthetic, we recommend blood and urine testing to check the overall health of your senior pet and tailor the anaesthetic protocol accordingly.

It's important to realise that veterinary anaesthetics are on par with human anaesthetics and are very safe. This means your pet will be able to undergo necessary treatment to ensure a pain-free mouth and will be able to live a happier and longer life.

Regular dental checks along with a thorough whole body examination every 6 months will help minimise the risk of oral disease in your senior pet.

Please ask us for more information if you are worried about your pet.

05 Flea prevention reminder

Spring is just around the corner and as the days are getting longer, now's the time to ensure your pet is up to date with flea prevention.

Eggs that were previously laid by fleas may have been lying dormant over the cooler winter months but as soon as we get some warmer days these eggs will hatch. This will lead to an emergence of fleas and lots of itchy pets!

Treat now to prevent these little pesky little creatures from bothering your pet. The saliva from their bites can set off a nasty reaction in your pet's skin leading to flea allergy dermatitis weeks after the bite. This often requires antibiotics and medication to break the itch cycle. This can be costly and time consuming and prevention is easier than the treatment!

The good news is there are plenty of excellent flea products available for your pet. We will be able to recommend the most suitable and effective treatment.