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   Four Paws Animal Clinic

521A Searls Ave., Nevada City, CA 95959


Dr. Susan Murphy


$199 - Includes IV Catheter, Fluid therapy, Anesthesia, complete exam, cleaning and polishing.

extractions, medications and x-rays additional charge

Dental Disease in Dogs and Cats


   Clinical signs commonly associated with dental disease include:

  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased salivation
  • Changes in food preferences

More than 80% of dogs and cats over the age of four years have some form of dental disease and, Over time, this plaque hardens into tartar – a hard yellow-brown substance.  This build up of plaque and tartar can lead to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and eventually periodontal disease may develop. Periodontal disease is a painful inflammatory condition where bacteria invade the gums and tissues which hold the teeth in place, damaging them and ultimately leading to tooth loss. These bacteria can also invade the bloodstream, potentially causing damage to the internal organs, in particular the lungs, heart, kidney and liver.

Some factors which contribute to your pet developing dental disease include:

  • Poor oral hygiene – plaque and tartar build up.
  • Breed – overcrowded or misaligned teeth can more easily trap food particles or cause ineffective chewing. This is often a problem in the smaller breeds of dog. Some breeds of cat are more predisposed to periodontal disease.
  • Food – feeding a predominately soft food diet can result in a more rapid accumulation of plaque.
  • Age – dental disease occurs more commonly in the older animal.

An examination and assessment by your vet is the best way to determine if your pet has dental disease. However, there are some signs of dental disease that you may have already noticed in your pet:

  • Bad breath
  • Tartar build up causing yellowing of teeth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Pain when eating or pawing at the mouth
  • Change of chewing or eating habits
  • Tooth loss
  • Subdued behaviour
  • Dribbling saliva

In severe cases, the vet may advise extraction of loose or damaged teeth. In early dental disease – a clean and scale to remove plaque, tartar and staining may be all that is required – just as your dentist might perform when you have a dental appointment. For these procedures to be as effective and safe as possible, your pet will usually be given a general anaesthetic. Depending on the condition of your pet’s teeth, the vet will recommend professional cleaning/scaling every six to 18 months.

Following initial treatment – continued dental home care for your dog or cat can make a tremendous difference to their comfort and health, as well as your veterinary dental bills. The aim of dental home care is to minimise the build-up of plaque on the teeth, and prevent mineralisation (hardening) of plaque to form tartar. Plaque can be reduced by mechanical methods such as tooth brushing and chewing. Chemicals can also be used to kill plaque bacteria or slow down tartar formation, and generally are used in combination with mechanical cleaning. Combining several methods will generally achieve the best results.

Home care products do not replace the need for regular dental checks and professional dental care under anaesthesia. Even humans who brush their teeth twice a day, floss and use mouthwash need to have their teeth examined and professionally cleaned by human dentists on a regular basis. Home care spaces out the need for professional care, and means that teeth are less likely to be lost or irreversibly damaged.


Our Resolution

Our Resolution is to always do our best to provide excellence in wellness, illness and surgical care for patients; to build close, positive relationships with clients, and to provide education and empowerment to clients and staff in a calm, comfortable, healing environment.


       Dr. Susan Murphy and Jenna

Four Paws Animal Clinic is a full-service animal hospital whose mission is to provide compassionate care and support for all our 4 and 2 legged friends. We provide complete medical, dental, surgical and imaging services, including ultrasound as well as deluxe cat boarding.  Our staff is extremely well trained and are passionate about veterinary medicine , having worked with Dr. Murphy at Best Friends for many years. She calls them the "Dream Team".


At Four Paws Animal Clinic, you will walk into a calm, welcoming, and friendly environment every visit, so that the experience is as comfortable as possible for you and your pet. We strive to provide professional, affordable, and advanced veterinary services, including, but not limited to newer alternative therapies such as cold laser and stem cell therapy using your pets own stem cells found in their fat cells. click here to read about this new and exciting treatment for your pets arthritis .

We also have an in-house pharmacy, dental care products, carry some premium foods and have access to specialists, making our veterinary facility a one stop shop for your pet's health and medical needs. Please browse around our new website to learn about our facility and to read interesting pet articles. Click on the "email us" link below to ask us a question or to submit feedback. For directions to our office see our contact us page. To receive free monthly veterinary care articles, please subscribe to our newsletter.

Remember, at Four Paws Animal Clinic, your pets are our family!

Dr. Susan Murphy
Nevada City Veterinarian | Four Paws Animal Clinic | 530-265-3722

521A Searls Ave.
Nevada City, CA 95959

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Four Paws Animal Clinic
521A Searls Ave.
Nevada City, CA 95959
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Dear Dr. Murphy,

Thank you so very much for your brilliant diagnoses of my endocrine issues this past year.

I am now a happy, active boy; getting more stamina by the day. The bounce is back in my step. Thank you!  

Love, Harvard  Nevada City