Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

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Cat Dental Care

Dental care is one of the most overlooked and under-treated areas in small animal medicine. Cats are affected by many of the same dental problems that affect humans. The dental disease begins when bacteria colonize the mouth and a plaque biofilm is formed. After a while, this biofilm mineralizes and calcifies into tartar. The bacterial population accumulates, which leads to inflammation and results in periodontal disease. Additional factors such as misaligned teeth, systemic disease, nutrition, and genetics, may also contribute to disease. In addition to periodontal disease, cats can also develop other dental diseases, which include feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions, stomatitis, and fractured teeth.

What is involved in a dental cleaning procedure?

General anesthesia is essential for a proper tooth-by-tooth evaluation. There is a wide array of safe and effective anesthetics and monitoring equipment that make anesthesia as safe as possible.

Once the cat is under general anesthesia, the dental cleaning procedure begins. First steps are charting – the teeth examined for the presence of any loose or fractured teeth, visible tooth resorption, root exposure, periodontal disease, gingivitis/gingival recession. Then scaling is performed, scaling involves removing the tartar both above and below the gum line, on both the inside and the outside of the teeth. This is done with ultrasonic cleaning equipment and with hand instruments. The last step involves polishing, which smoothes the surfaces of the teeth (inside and outside), making them resistant to additional plaque formation.

Intra-oral x-rays are taken with every dental procedure. This is because it is common for cats to have more than one resorptive area, and often times, the resorptive pathology is below the gum line. Which means the only way to diagnose it is by taking an image of the tooth root. Diseased, non-salvageable teeth are extracted. For most teeth, extraction involves the surgical creation of a “gingival flap” (allowing better access to the tooth root, and allowing to more easily suture the tooth socket closed). Prior to any extraction, local or regional analgesia (pain) blocks are performed. When the procedure is completed, the cat is moved to a post-surgical area to recover from the anesthesia.

What are signs of dental problems in cats?

It is important to note that often there are no obvious signs of dental disease. Most cats who have dental disease still eat without a noticeable change in appetite. Signs of dental pathology can include bad breath, dropping food or chewing only on one side of the mouth, facial swellings or draining wounds, bleeding or discharge from the mouth or nose, sneezing, pawing at the mouth, tooth grinding, or discoloured teeth.

Are some breeds more susceptible than others?

The breed of the cat also can be a factor in dental disease. Some breeds, including Abyssinians, oriental breeds, and Persians, are more susceptible to dental disease than other breeds. Very short-nosed breeds, invariably have abnormally positioned teeth. Their jawbones are often too small to accommodate the teeth, resulting in overcrowding and misalignment of teeth.

What is feline tooth resorption?

More than half of the cats over three years old will be affected by tooth resorption. These tooth defects have also been called cavities, neck lesions, external or internal root resorptions, or cervical line erosions. Teeth affected by lesions will erode and finally disappear when they are absorbed back into the cat’s body. The root structure breaks down; then the enamel and most of the tooth become ruined, and bone replaces the tooth. This most commonly happens where the gum meets the tooth surface. Molars are most commonly affected; however, tooth resorptions can be found on any tooth. The reason for the resorption is unknown, but theories supporting an autoimmune response have been proposed.

Cats affected with tooth resorption may show excessive salivation, bleeding in the mouth, or have difficulty eating. Tooth resorptions can be quite painful. A majority of affected cats do not show obvious clinical signs. Most times, it is up to the clinician to diagnose the lesions upon oral examination. Diagnostic aids include a probe or cotton-tipped applicator applied to the suspected resorption; when the probe touches the lesion, it causes pain and jaw spasms. Radiographs are helpful in making a definitive diagnosis.


Dog biting another dog's tail

Community Parks and Dogs

End of school is here!  As a mum of two young boys, we live in our little park. Dogs pass through with their owners enjoying an evening walk, the kids are playing grounders and building sand castles, and the parents are unwinding from a hectic day at work and after-school activities.

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North Town Veterinary Hospital is committed to doing everything possible to combat the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

As part of this commitment, effective immediately, North Town Veterinary Hospital will be instituting the following precautionary protocol to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

For the safety of yourself, our staff, and the community, clients will not be allowed to enter the building. We have initiated a Closed-Door Policy, we have locked our front doors. Please call 905-451-2000 when you arrive for your appointment. We will meet you outside to get your pet. The exam will take place in our hospital and our Doctor will communicate the results of the examination via telephone. You can also place an order for pet food through our Online Store by visiting our website.


- If possible, please call us at 905-451-2000 to let us know you are on the way so that we can be prepared to meet you upon your arrival at the hospital.

- When you arrive, please stay in your vehicle in our parking lot and call 905-451-2000, and we'll come to you.

- If you do not have a phone or your pet's emergency is immediately life-threatening, please come to the front door and ring the bell.

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.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.