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Enfield Veterinary Hospital
94 Coronation Parade
Enfield, NSW, 2136
Phone: 02 9747 3999



To All the Friends of Enfield Vet and Their Pets,

As the Australian Veterinary Association designates August as DENTAL MONTH, this edition of the newsletter has an article on dental issues in our pets.

Dental disease is one of the most common routine complaints that we diagnose on a day to day basis in dogs and cats in practice. While issues involving the teeth may seem innocuous we know that a diseased mouth (either mild or severe) is both a serious and painful issue for our pets, with far reaching effects on internal organs and the heart.

Thankfully, dental disease is easy for us to fix with a combination of treatments - usually starting with appropriate in-patient dental care at the hospital combined with ongoing treatments at home.

Another thing, giving our pets a healthy mouth also has a major benifit for us, their owners, at home - FRESH BREATH, which makes a lick or a kiss all the better.

Our nurses and vets are always available to assess your pet's mouth - the statistics unfortunately tell us that by three years of age, most dogs and cats have some evidence of periodontal disease - this means that most of our pet's need some kind of dental assessment and treatment.

Please call us on 97473999 to arrange a DENTAL CHECK for your pet.


The Team at Enfield Veterinary Hospital

dental disease3
Contents of this newsletter

01  Retirement of Dr Catherine Brett

02  Three signs your pet may have dental disease

03  World Cat Day

04  Why cats need to see the vet

05  Anaesthesia free dentistry hurts

06  Keep your pet safe from these winter hazards

01 Retirement of Dr Catherine Brett
Dr Catherine Brett

As some of you may have already read in one of our previous newsletters a few months ago, one of our long term vets, Dr Catherine Brett, has decided to retire.

She finished up in early July and has handed all of her patients over to Greg, Olivia, Karlee and Angie. Please rest assured the ongoing care of your pets will be our utmost priority - Catherine has left detailed notes and plans for all the patients she was currently managing.

Finally, all of us here at the hospital (and I'm sure many of you also) would like to wish Catherine all the best for a happy, healthy, relaxing and fulfilling retirement. We will be sad to see her go!

If you have any questions for any of the vets about the ongoing care of your pets please don't hesistate to call at any time.

02 Three signs your pet may have dental disease

Dental disease is one of the most common conditions we see in veterinary practice. The problem is, it’s an insidious disease and pet owners often don’t even realise their pet has an issue until we point it out.

The earlier we detect dental disease, the better. In many cases, we can adjust your pet’s diet to encourage better chewing and even get you to brush your pet’s teeth to help slow the progression of the disease. Sometimes the disease is too far advanced and a dental procedure under an anaesthetic is the only option to treat the condition.

The sneaky nature of dental disease is another reason why regular (at least yearly) health checks with us are essential, as a lot can change in your pet’s mouth in a very short time. We also recommend that you regularly ‘flip your pet’s lip’ and look out for these three signs:

Bad breath: the build-up of tartar on the teeth, and subsequent inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) can cause "doggy breath". This isn't normal. If you notice an odour coming from your pet’s mouth you should arrange a checkup with us asap.

Yellowing of the teeth: this can be an indication of tartar build up or enamel changes. It can indicate your pet is not chewing well enough to clean their teeth, and can also be a sign of an underlying painful area in the mouth.

Red gums or bleeding around the teeth: inflammation and infection of the gums can be painful and really affect your pet’s quality of life.

If you think your pet may have a dental problem, or if it’s been a while since your pet’s last dental checkup please call us and arrange an appointment.

03 World Cat Day

We love cats and there’s never been a better time to celebrate our feline friends than with World Cat Day on August 8th.

This day of feline appreciation was created by the International Fund for Animal Welfare in 2002 to help encourage cat owners to honour their feline friends. It aims to raise awareness on what is required to help care for cats and why they are extra special.

The organisers also hope that it alerts people to the number of homeless cats worldwide, and many animal shelters will encourage people to adopt cats on the day.

To celebrate World Cat Day, we have a delightful story about a feral-feline-turned-friend to share with you. Click here and get the tissues ready!

04 Why cats need to see the vet

Cats are special creatures. They are bold and brave, but they are also experts at hiding pain and keeping to themselves if they feel unwell. This is an innate way of helping them survive in the wild - if they appear weak or sick they are more susceptible to predators.

It is very common for a cat suffering from painful arthritis, insidious dental disease, or chronic kidney disease to just 'sleep a bit more' and maybe be 'a bit picky with their food' - things that are easy to miss in a busy household. Because of this, it is essential that you bring your cat in for regular health checks with us.

In a checkup, we look at things such as your cat’s weight (a small amount of weight loss can be very significant for a cat and can indicate an underlying disease). We examine their mouth for signs of dental disease and look for potentially painful teeth, listen to their heart to detect any abnormalities, and have a good feel of their abdomen for any lumps or obvious organ changes.

Blood and urine testing, as well as blood pressure checks, are also important for our feline friends. We can get a lot of information about the health of your cat from these diagnostic procedures.

So next time you think to yourself "oh, it's all a bit too hard to take the cat to the vet," take a moment to re-think. Preventative health care, and early detection of disease is the secret to a happy and healthy feline!

Call us to arrange a health check-up for your feline friend.

05 Anaesthesia free dentistry hurts

More and more we are hearing of people advertising ‘anaesthesia-free dentistry’ for pets and we would like to fill you in on why this is doing more harm than good to your beloved fur baby.

If your pet is suffering from dental disease, without an anaesthetic, it is impossible to diagnose and treat dental problems correctly - even in the mildest of cases.

Any dental procedure done without an anaesthetic can have a negative impact on your pet as it is likely to cause your pet unnecessary stress and pain.

The scariest thing is, anaesthesia-free dentistry can potentially mask serious underlying disease and lead to complications in the future. Removing only the calculus that is visible on the tooth (as done in anaesthesia-free dentistry) is purely cosmetic. This technique is ineffective because it does not fix the source of the problem or enable healing and reversal of the dental disease.

When we anaesthetise your pet for a dental procedure we are able to look for any hidden problems and potential sources of pain. Radiographs can be taken to detect any issues with the roots, and the teeth can be safely probed with special dental instruments - a critical part of a dental procedure. While your pet is asleep, we thoroughly clean their teeth including the area under the gums. It is essential to understand that this cannot be done correctly if your pet is awake.

If you have any questions about your pet's dental health just ask us - we are always here to help.

06 Keep your pet safe from these winter hazards

Winter is here, read our top tips to help keep your pet safe:

Know your pet's limits: Just like people, pets' tolerance to cold can vary based on their coat, fat stores, age and health. The very young and very old can really suffer in the colder weather. You need to offer your pet warm, protected and safe sleeping options. Ask us for advice to help determine what is suitable for your pet.

Coats and clothing: A coat might be helpful for pets that have been clipped, or are old and feel the cold, but most pet clothing is unnecessary and can impede an animal’s ability to regulate his own temperature. They can also cause skin problems due to overheating so never leave your pet unattended if they are wearing a coat. 

Frozen water: In some areas of Australia it gets so cold overnight that your pet’s water bowl may freeze over. Sometimes it doesn’t get a chance to melt during the day so your pet will have no access to water. We recommend that you check your pet’s water twice daily.

Rodenticide poisoning: Winter is a more common time for the use of rat and mouse bait so take extra care not to allow your pet access to this potentially deadly poison.

Check under the bonnet: Cats and other critters may seek out a warm spot under your car bonnet on a cold night, so it's a good idea to honk the horn or bang on the bonnet before you turn on your car engine just to be sure.

Anti-freeze: If you are heading to the snowfields and are using anti-freeze in your car, make sure it is out of your pet’s reach. Dogs especially like the initial taste of anti-freeze but it is highly poisonous.

Please contact us if you ever have any concerns about your pet, we are always here to give you advice.