Clinic Hours

Monday - Friday



Pet Dental Care

Protecting Your Pet's Dental Health

Just like in humans, infection and inflammation of the gums and supporting tissues of the teeth are caused by bacteria present in plaque and tartar. When tartar builds up on your pet's teeth, it can lead to bad breath, bleeding, receding gums and even eventual tooth loss.

Dr. Holcomb and our staff believe the centerpiece of good dental care is a complete oral exam followed by a thorough cleaning designed to remove plaque and slow its buildup.

At Hill Country Animal Hospital your pet's dental appointment includes:

  • Oral examinations under anesthesia
  • Diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease
  • Supra and subgingival scaling
  • Tooth extractions
  • Polishing
  • Irrigation
  • Fluoride application

Should we find any issues, such as evidence of gum or tooth erosion, gingivitis, or excessive plaque buildup, we'll discuss any treatment options with you. We are experienced dental practitioners, and can offer a number of dental procedures and oral surgeries.

before and After

Caring for Your Pet's Teeth and Gums at Home

You can prevent serious dental problems by making sure your pet receives dental exams at the time of each vaccination, again at 6 months of age, and then annually. In between visits to your veterinarian, check your pet's teeth regularly for signs of problems. Brushing your pet's teeth is the single most important procedure you can do to maintain good oral health. If performed regularly, brushing dramatically decreases the incidence of gingivitis and can increase the interval between teeth cleaning appointments.

If you are unsure of how to brush your pet's teeth, please ask a staff member at Hill Country Animal Hospital for instructions.

Pet Dental CareSigns of Pet Dental Problems

Halitosis, or bad breath, is the most common sign of dental disease. Classic "doggy breath" is not necessarily normal. The major cause of halitosis is periodontal disease. This is an infection of the gums and potentially the other supporting structures of the teeth. Plaque builds up every day on the tooth surface, including at the gum line.

If left in place, the plaque can mineralize, or harden, in less than 2 days, forming calculus or tartar. The continued build-up of tartar above and below the gum line can produce an environment for certain types of bacteria that may be more destructive to the periodontal tissues and produce a more noticeable odor.

Other symptoms of dental disease include:

  • A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
  • Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
  • Loose or missing teeth

If your pet is experiencing any of the above symptoms, please call Hill Country Animal Hospital today at (512) 329-5177 for an appointment, so your pet does not spend any more time needlessly suffering with oral discomfort.