2019 AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats

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From Painful to Playful: Enhancing Pets’ Lives with the AAHA Dental Care Guidelines

By three years of age, most dogs and cats have some level of periodontal disease that often goes unnoticed by owners. Untreated periodontal disease causes oral pain, infection, inflammation, and other health problems and decreases the quality of life for these pets. After a proper dental procedure, many pet owners report the emergence of a “whole new pet”—one who is happier and more active.

All dogs and cats need dental care, and the 2019 AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats can help the veterinary team navigate the complex and changing world of veterinary dentistry to provide the best possible care to their patients.

What’s in the Dental Care Guidelines:

  • An illustrated 12-step protocol describing the essential steps in oral health assessment, dental cleaning, and periodontal therapy
  • Recommendations for general anesthesia, pain management, facilities, and equipment necessary for safe and effective delivery of care.
  • Essential steps before, during, and after dental procedures
  • Treatment recommendations, including the science behind the dental products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)
  • Client communication tips to help pet caregivers understand that:
    Periodontal disease can be prevented through regular dental examinations and proper home care
    If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to chronic pain and suffering
  • Communication strategies to address the fear of anesthesia (the most commonly cited reason pet owners forego proper dental procedures) and convey the risks associated with nonanesthetic dentistry with clients

The AAHA Dental Care Guidelines outline a comprehensive approach to improve the oral health and quality of life of canine and feline patients. Use these guidelines to promote the wellbeing of dogs and cats through effective, preventive oral healthcare.

These guidelines are supported by generous educational grants from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc.,
CareCredit, Hill’s® Pet Nutrition Inc., and Midmark

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