When we think about our pet’s health, we often underestimate how vital a component dental care is to our pet’s overall health.
As humans we are taught to routinely care for our own teeth, but sometimes our pet’s needs for the same routine dental care go unconsidered.
Symptoms of poor oral care in pets include:
Weight loss. Infected gums and tooth pain can result is difficulties eating, leading to a reduced appetite and significant weight loss.
Bad Breath due to neglected teeth and gums.
Dirty, and stained teeth that can harbor bacteria.
Heart, kidney and liver disease can all result from dental infections.
Pre-mature death due to neglected dental care.
One of the primary causes of the previously listed symptoms is gum disease, outwardly seen as bacteria-harboring plaque and tartar accumulation on your pet’s teeth. This build up in turn infects the gum tissue, causing pain and potential tooth loss. The bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and cause damage to your pet’s internal organs. If left untreated, the infection caused by poor dental care can lead to organ failure and eventually death.
Keeping up with your dog’s dental care is extremely important. We all know most dogs love to chew, especially as puppies! Puppies and adolescent dogs usually chew because they’re teething. As Dr. Suzy often describes, a teething puppy’s brain is screaming at them to chew, chew, chew! Dr. Suzy recommends offering your growing puppy many safe chewing options, both to help them with the teething process and also to save your belongings from falling victim to your pup’s need to chew! Dr. Suzy recommends natural products as chew toys, including cow hooves, rawhide chews, and other natural low calorie choices.
Providing your dog with healthy chewing options is also a great way for your dog to help naturally inhibit tartar build up.
Please ALWAYS MAKE SURE CHEW TOYS ARE NOT SMALL ENOUGH TO BE SWALLOWED. There are many low cost chew toy options, if the chew toy is becoming small enough to even consider being a choking/swallowing danger to your dog—throw it out! Dr. Suzy will be happy to explain this during your puppy’s first examination at Westside Animal Hospital.
Here’s some wonderful information on how and when your puppy’s teeth are developing!
Adult dogs will have 42 teeth in total by the time they are 7 or 8 months old. Many dogs will show signs of gum disease by the time they are 4 years old due to poor dental care and a lack of proper dental cleaning.
Symptoms of poor dental health can include:
Inflamed or red gums
Cysts under the tongue
Tumors of the gums
Particularly bad breath
Research has shown that dental disease is the primary health concern for cats!
An estimated 70% of felines over 3 years old experience some for of dental problem. Between 4 and 6 months of age, kittens lose their baby teeth and develop their permanent teeth. Once the permanent teeth are present your cat should have around 30 teeth in total.
Signs of dental disease in cats include:
Blood in Saliva
Bleeding, red, or swollen gums
Broken or missing teeth
Dental Prophlaxis, otherwise known as a dental clean and polish, is the most routine dental treatment performed on cats