River City Companion Animal Hospital

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pets Have Teeth Too! Companion Animal Dental Care is Important!

 Dental health is extremely important for the overall health of your furry family members- going far past just oral hygiene. Think of all the chewing, licking, and eating your pet does. Is your pet’s dental health routine enough?

Why should you care about periodontal disease?

By three years of age, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of periodontal disease.  Periodontal disease is an infection caused by plaque bacteria.  If left untreated, it can cause serious illness in your pet.  Heart, kidney, liver and chronic inflammatory diseases have all been attributed periodontal disease.  Other medical problems such as chronic sneezing (oronasal fistulas), jaw fractures, eye problems, and oral cancer, can be detected with regular dental cleanings allowing for treatment to begin.

What can I do at home?

You are probably already familiar with your dog’s mouth and breath from the daily welcome home kisses.  Be on the lookout for any particularly offensive odor or discoloration of the teeth or gums.  Keep your eyes open for any changes in eating habits, chewing, or salivating.  These could all be signs of dental distress. 

“Flip the lip”….If you see calculus along with red, inflamed gums, it’s time to have the teeth cleaned.  Sniff….If you smell “bad breath”, you can be reasonably certain your companion has periodontal disease and needs their teeth cleaned. 

Be an advocate for your pet and seek
dental care to keep your furry companions healthy and happy!

Examples of periodontal disease: 
                                              Mild gum swelling and inflammation
                                                Some plaque and tarter buildup
                                             Severe tarter and calculus buildup
                                                           Severe gingivitis
                                                  Red, swollen, bleeding gums

                              Chronic infection destroying the gums, teeth and bone
                                              Severe tarter and calculus buildup
                                                           Severe gingivitis


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