We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

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Dental Care and Your Feline

Caring for your cats’ teeth and gums are important for their daily lives. Periodontal disease is the most common problem seen in veterinary clinics. Daily care can be done to prevent the following problems.

Dental disease itself is caused by tartar and calculus accumulation onto the tooth surface. The tooth surface is home to over 1000 bacteria which multiply and produce plaque; some of this is removed by food and tongue action while the rest will mineralize creating tartar. The accumulation of tartar on the teeth will eventually build-up to the gums and then under the gum line where we can no longer see. It will lead to infection if not addressed.

Periodontal disease is inflammation of the bone and ligaments that support the tooth and is the body’s immune response to plaque. Once the bone and ligaments are destroyed, the teeth become loose and eventually will fall out. The empty socket will eventually be filled with bacteria causing disease which can spread into the bloodstream and eventually into the organs. The secondary effect on the organs can cause disease or increase organ system disease such as endocarditis.

Your cat may not show signs of dental disease even if they are in pain. Watch for:

  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Shaking head
  • Dropping food or chewing with discomfort
  • Blood tinged saliva
  • Smelly breath (halitosis)

If dental disease is caught early enough and dental scaling and polishing of teeth is performed, most teeth and gums will have a full recovery. But if left untreated it may be irreversible.

Cats being as special as they also have another reason we must take care of their oral health. Cats can develop tooth resorption (Feline Oral Resorptive Lesion). The tooth slowly gets resorbed, and eventually, all tooth would be gone if left.

Half of the cats over the age of three most likely have at last one tooth affected. The lower premolars are primarily affected, but any tooth can develop this as well.

The cause is unknown, but the end result is the erosion of cementum, and once dentin is exposed, it is painful. Most cats will suffer in silence, watch for muscle spasms/trembling jaw, increased salivation, oral bleeding, or trouble eating. The best course of action once found, is to extract the tooth.

Dental care is very important for your cat. Start early in their lives. The best thing for them is to introduce the brushing of their teeth. Getting your cat used this does take time and persistence, but overall it does pay off for your cats’ health and your wallet. You can also feed special dental diets that are sold at your veterinary clinic, as well as water additives and various toys and chews. When looking around for dental products make sure you check for the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) seal, this is a guarantee that what the product says that it helps or prevents is proven to do so.

Preventative care is vital to control dental disease but having a full dental scaling and cleaning is also important in the maintenance of your cat’s teeth and gums, have a dental exam done by your veterinarian and see if this is right for your cat.

Written by: Meaghan, RVT



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Why Does My Dog Walk Around in Circles Before They Lay Down?

Circling around before lying down is likely a residual instinct from when their ancestors lived out in the wilderness. Your dog’s ancestors would have paced in circles to flatten down and warm their sleeping area.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

Last Updated: Monday, May 11, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 204.253.2668. We will take a history over the phone, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the exam is complete, we will give you a call to discuss our recommended treatment plan and then return to your vehicle. For those who do not have a mobile phone, an easy knock at the door will work the same way! Note: the door will be locked. Please distance away from the entrance and a member of our team will greet you.

2. We can now see all cases by appointment only.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours:
Monday & Tuesday: 7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday & Thursday: 7:30 am - 8:00 pm 
Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sunday: Closed

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at St. Vital Veterinary Hospital