Rum River Veterinary Clinic
Dental Care


Anoka MN Pet Dental Care for Health & Long Life

Proper pet dental care may add as much as 5 years to the life of your dog or cat.  At Rum River Veterinary Clinic, we offer a full array of pet dental services, from cat and dog teeth cleaning, to dental surgical procedures, to preventative dental health strategies!

Pet dental care begins at home and starting early is best.  You don’t need to spend lots of money on dental products.  Simply rubbing your pet’s teeth with a paper towel, a gauze square, or a small soft toothbrush each night can make a huge difference.  Brushing isn’t for everyone but before you spend lots of money on dental treats make sure you are getting your money’s worth. Look for the VOHC seal on the bag before you buy.  VOHC is an acronym that stands for the Veterinary Oral Health Council.  They confirm that products have been studied and shown to benefit a pet’s oral health.  You can check out their site here.    For many dogs and cats, you will need more than one strategy to keep their mouths clean and fresh.  Consider using pet foods that brush the teeth while your pet chews, dental chews and treats, water additives, and daily brushing to maximize your success.

Each year we will check to see how things are going and schedule regular cleanings when needed.  The goal is to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to even more serious illnesses. Some of the negative consequences of not being aware of your pet’s oral hygiene may include the following:
  • Poor nutrition due to inability to grind or chew foods
  • Weight loss
  • Damage to heart, kidney, or liver from bacterial infections
  • Bad breath
  • Chronic pain
  • Behavior changes

Dental Cleanings at Rum River are performed when pets are fully anesthetized (asleep) to prevent injury and ensure high-quality cleanings.  We clean and polish all of the teeth, complete an examination of the mouth including the teeth, tongue, and gums then take radiographs of all of the teeth.   When indicated, we will perform tooth extractions, biopsies, gingivectomies, and other oral surgeries. We use the safest and most gentle anesthesia available including pre-surgical blood work, IV fluids, and continuous monitoring by certified veterinary technicians throughout the procedure to keep every pet safe and healthy. Our anesthetic protocols are tailored to meet the needs of each patient. In cases where pain management is necessary, we use the safest and most effective medication available to ensure the pet’s comfort.

Regular cleaning of your pet’s teeth is the first step to a strong home dental care program. For help in this area, you may enjoy the WebMD Pet Health website, which offers a video demonstration in How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth and the comprehensive article Ten Steps to Cat Dental Health.

When examining the inside of your pet’s mouth, we are looking for healthy gums, intact teeth, and any abnormalities. The following are indicators of serious problems:

  • Broken or discolored teeth
  • Refusal to eat, especially dry food
  • Increase in drooling
  • Pawing the muzzle
  • Bad breath
  • Discharge from nose/mouth
  • Swelling or sores on the face, jaw, or around eyes
  • Lumps or sores in the mouth
  • Refusal to play with chew toys
  • Sudden changes in behavior

If your pet is exhibiting one of these, or any other, worrisome symptom or behavior request an office visit.

We are pleased to explain all of our dental services and address any concerns you may have about such treatment at your visit.

For more details, various organizations offer in-depth information on this subject, such as the American Veterinary Dental College and the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry.