PEMBROKE — Local veterinarians this month are making the cost of ensuring your pet’s oral hygiene less expensive.
Members of the Robeson County Veterinary Medical Association are offering a 20 percent discount on dental treatment for cats and dogs until the end of the month. They are Pembroke Veterinary Hospital at 1447 Prospect Road; North End Veterinary Hospital at 5791 Fayetteville Road in Lumberton; Southeastern Veterinary Hospital at 1720 N.C. 211 West in Lumberton; Baird’s Animal Hospital at 3169 E. Elizabethtown Road in Lumberton; South Robeson Veterinary Clinic at 5412 N.C. 41 South in Fairmont; and North Star Veterinary Hospital at 532 Canady Road in Parkton.
The purpose of the initiative is to help owners realize that dogs and cats are just as susceptible to dental problems as humans.
Dr. David Brooks, a veterinarian at Pembroke Veterinary Hospital, said timing is important when it comes to oral care for animals.
“A lot of these (dental issues) are dangerous if left untreated,” Brooks said.
The discount covers all forms of dental work, whether it involves a routine cleaning or extractions.
The exact price of the procedures varies, depending on the nature of the work. Brooks said factors such as the cost of general anesthesia, which is used in cleanings and other operations, make up a significant portion of the cost.
“If an animal hospital charges $40 for anesthesia and $60 for the cleaning, you could save $20,” Brooks said.
The discount makes a more pronounced difference with more costly operations, such as tooth extractions.
“It varies on how many extractions there are,” Brooks said. “If that bill comes out to $400, they’ll get $80 off.”
There are a number of signs that reveal if an animal is suffering from dental problems, according to Brooks. Drooling, tenderness, slow eating and finding blood on a chew toy are indicators.
“Some may cry when they eat,” Brooks said.
Coughing or swelling also are signs that something is wrong. The symptom that owners tend to be most familiar with is bad breath, referred to as halitosis by veterinarians.
“That smell is necrotic tissue as well as bacteria and germs,” Brooks said.
Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, is also a problem. Left untreated, the disease can cause an animal’s gums to recede.
“A tooth can die or an abscess can form,” Brooks said.
Brooks ultimately hopes the discount will encourage people to bring their pets in to the clinics, especially if the cost is a concern.
“We don’t want the budget to be a hindrance in getting the necessary treatment for your pet,” Brooks said.
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected]