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Just like in humans, dogs and cats also have dental issues. It is one of the most common medical conditions seen in veterinarian practices today. Working together with pet owners we can help prevent dental disease and watch for signs of dental disease occurring. At CAH we offer free nurse dental checks to help prevent potential issues with your pet’s teeth. Bacteraemia (bacteria in the blood stream) can lead to further, more serious complications with the kidneys and heart and studies have shown a direct connection between dental disease and organ failure.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis simply means inflammation of the gums. When tartar and plaque accumulates it causes irritation around the base of the teeth and the gums become inflamed. As time goes on the gingivitis causes the gum line to recede eventually exposing the roots of the teeth. When roots are exposed infection can set in and the end result is loss of teeth or in extremely severe cases, damage to the surrounding structures like the jaw bone.
Signs of Dental Disease
- Smelly breath
- Bleeding gums
- Unwilling to eat/dropping food
- Pawing at mouth
- Rubbing mouth on ground
- Excessive saliva/drooling
What can we do as prevention?
There are several options for preventative dental care however not all methods are suitable for all pets.
Raw Bones – Raw bones are great for cleaning teeth, however they must be size appropriate and skin/fat and marrow removed. Bones can cause an upset stomach in sensitive pets and shouldn’t be given more than once or twice weekly. Unsuitable large bones can also potentially chip or fracture teeth so be mindful when selecting bones for your pet. Ask your Vet or Nurse about appropriate bones to give your pet.
Greenies – Greenies are a flexible dental chew designed to maintain healthy teeth and fresh breath. They come in various sizes and are highly palatable.
T/D Biscuits – This biscuit acts like a mechanical toothbrush and is a complete and balanced diet, this means your pet can have these biscuits lifelong. The kibble is designed to sink onto the teeth and scrap plaque away as they chew.
Tooth brushing – Daily tooth brushing is the best prevention available, however it can take several weeks to train your pet to accept having their teeth brushed. Ask your Vet or Nurse about the best way to brush your pet’s teeth. Do not use human tooth paste on your pets.