Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital has opened a new dental clinic and will offer free pet dental exams as part of national Pet Dental Health Month, which takes place in February.
Free diagnostic exams will be available from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 21. Appointments are required and can be made between 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays by calling the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at (970) 491-7101. Owners should ask for the dental receptionist at the small animal desk and indicate they would like to schedule a free diagnostic exam.
In response to a sharp rise in requests for pet dental health services, the university has opened a new suite in its small animal wing dedicated to dental care. The two-table room will enable the hospital to double the number of patients and allow veterinarians more room to work, said Lynne Kesel, Colorado State veterinarian and pet dental health expert.
"This suite is the first step toward eventually enlarging our entire dental program," Kesel said. "Because of heightened awareness about the need for pet dental care and the problems associated with periodontal disease, more pet owners are requesting this type of service for their animals."
Kesel said that the number of requests for dental care exams and services at the hospital has doubled since 1989.
Kesel recommended that most cats and dogs over three years old should have annual teeth cleanings because periodontal disease begins to establish itself at this time. Pet owners should keep an eye out for the common signs of periodontal disease, which include visibly dirty teeth, bleeding gums, an odor like rotting meat, loose teeth or missing teeth. In severe cases, the animal may be reluctant to be touched on the cheek or around the mouth.
For more information on periodontal disease in pets or to make an appointment, call (970) 491-7101.