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Dentistry in Dogs and Cats

Dentistry in dogs and cats is incredibly important and often overlooked. Dental disease is common problem in both cats and dogs.  It varies from mild to severe and can affect your pets eating and their overall health.

Taking care of your pet’s teeth starts at home; a good quality biscuit diet is the most important element, with some diets (e.g. Hills Science Diet Oral Care) designed especially for oral health.  Other elements may include;

  • Bones/chews for dogs
  • Daily Brushing of teeth
  • Chicken necks for cats


Signs of Dental Disease

  • Bad breath
  • Reddened or bleeding gums
  • Reluctance to eat – especially hard foods
  • Drooling
  • Yellowed or fractured teeth

If you notice any of these signs please make an appointment to bring your pet to the clinic for a check, the vet will inspect all the teeth and assess the necessary treatment. Contact us.

The earlier treatment is started the better, as severe dental disease may mean a number of extractions are needed.


If your pet requires a dental

Your pet will need to be given an anaesthetic; the teeth will be inspected and probed under the anaesthetic to look for any areas of sensitivity or disease.  Teeth that are very loose or diseased may require extraction.

The teeth will then be cleaned with our ultrasonic scaler and polished to limit any new tartar forming. An example of before and after scaling and polishing is given below ..

Before       dentistry2 Afterdentistry1

Ongoing dental care

For continued dental health we may recommend feeding you pet a biscuit based diet which is designed to prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar. Science Diet Oral Care and Hill’s t/d are designed for taking care of your pets teeth.  Avoid dog roll or jellymeat as this gets stuck in between the teeth and can speed up the development of tartar.  If you wish to feed meat as part of the diet, chunks of tough meat are better, as they are fibrous.


Specialist Equipment at The Vet Centre

As you would expect with human dentistry, the Vet Centre is equipped with an IM3 high speed dental unit that enables full scaling and polishing, high speed ,water cooled and low speed drilling for tooth extractions, root canal fillings and endodontics. We also have DIGITAL RADIOLOGY for animals, a specialist unit for dental x-rays which is specifically designed for our pets mouths.


Orthodontic treatment for a dog with Base-narrow canine occlusion using acrylic composite bridging




If you have further enquiries, please contact us

Personal Care for All Animals


79 Gladstone Road, Richmond

03 544 5566
[email protected]

Monday – Friday: 8am – 5.30pm
Saturday: 9am – 4pm
Sunday: Temporarily Closed except for emergencies. Please phone first
Public Holidays: Hours may vary


400D High Street, Motueka

03 528 8459
[email protected]

Monday – Friday: 8.30am – 5.30pm
Saturday: 9am – 2pm
Sunday: Closed. (See Richmond Clinic).
Public Holidays: Hours may vary


69 Aranui Road, Mapua

03 540 2329
[email protected]

Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 8.30am – 10am and 3.30pm – 5.30pm
Thursday: 8.30am – 12.30pm and 3.30pm – 5.30pm
Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday: Closed
Public Holidays: Hours may vary


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