Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish
Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

ARCHIVE

2016

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Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

Tag Archives: cats

Pet Dental Health Month – Fractured Teeth

Brush Your Pet's TeethPotential causes include previous blunt trauma, e.g., being hit by a car, running into a wall or excessive chewing on hard objects such as rocks, hard Nylabones®, cow hooves, antlers and other objects that do not soften when chewed.

Dogs and cats with fractured teeth typically have pain while chewing and may selectively eliminate hard food from their diet in the acute phase or when the tooth is abscessed. In between the initial insult of injury and when the tooth becomes abscessed there may be no pain present.  The dog or cat may pick up food, attempt to eat it, and drop it out of the mouth (indicating oral pain). Reluctance to play with toys or failure to retrieve or engage in bite work (in working dogs) also signals oral pain. These patients may also resist oral examination or possibly “snap” at you when examining the mouth. Clinical overt signs include pawing at the mouth, rubbing the head or chin along the ground, reluctance to be patted on the head, obvious tooth fractures, ulcers on the tongue or lips from rough sharp enamel edges, excessive salivation and discoloration of the tooth itself.

Discolored teeth indicate the tooth or teeth are non-vital or dead. When a tooth is discolored red or pink, the blood supply to the tooth has leaked into the dentin. The blood supply coming into the tooth at the apex will be compromised causing complete separation of the blood supply. If left untreated, vascular necrosis develops over time and the tooth dies. The crown will initially will be red or pink, then will change to purple, light gray and eventually dark gray. Damage to the pulp can also result from thermal injury caused by incorrect use of ultrasonic scaling or polishing when the scaler or polishing cup is placed on the tooth surface for an extended time. The treatment of choice for fractured teeth where pulp is exposed or when discolored teeth are present is either root canal therapy or surgical extraction.

Ignoring fractured or discolored tooth or teeth will prolong the pain and discomfort and allow the infection to propagate, which will eventually cause major problems.

Tags: Ask the Vet, Cats, Dogs, Health, Pet advice, Pet Dental Health, Pet health, Vet

Pet Dental Health Month – Periodontal Disease

Brush Your Pet's Teeth

Periodontal disease is the loss of the periodontal attachment apparatus (periodontal ligament, alveolar bone, cementum and gingiva). Since 75-85% of these structures are identified below the soft tissues of the oral cavity (e.g. gingiva, alveolar mucosa, and palatal mucosa), a thorough clinical subgingival evaluation and intraoral radiographs are required to assess, diagnose and treat periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease may be potentiated by, but not limited to, malocclusions, crowding and rotation of teeth, systemic disease, nutritional status, individual patient susceptibility, genetics, trauma, and increased tooth to jaw size ratios.

The clinical signs of periodontal disease are often hidden and insidious. Halitosis, gingivitis, supragingival plaque and calculus, reluctance to chew, head shyness, pawing at the mouth, dropping food, sneezing, nasal discharge, are clinical signs. Unfortunately, many of those clinical signs require astute client observation and/or careful questioning from the clinician. Most commonly, there may be no obvious clinical signs to the owner and untrained veterinarian.

Stages of periodontal disease:

Stage 1 – Marginal gingivitis with no attachment loss. Minimal plaque and calculus

Stage 2 – Moderate gingivitis, bleeding upon probing. More plaque and calculus     accumulation is present, especially in the gingival sulcus. Dental radiographs may show signs of up to 25% attachment loss and some horizontal bone loss may be evident.

Stage 3 – Moderate periodontal disease. Periodontal pockets may be present and dental radiographs may show signs of attachment loss between 25% and 50%. Teeth may become mobile. Vertical bone loss and infra-bony pockets may be present.

Stage 4 – Severe periodontal disease. Periodontal pockets greater than 9 mm. Attachment loss is greater than 50%. Significant infrabony pockets with very mobile teeth associated with severe halitosis and generalized stomatitis.

 

Tags: Ask the Vet, Cats, Dogs, Health, Pet dental health month, Pet health, Preventative pet care

Pet Dental Health Month – Preventative Care

Brush Your Pet's TeethPreventive care and client education is an important step to introducing, implementing and improving overall dental and oral medical quality in your practices.  Understanding the veterinary team’s (DVMs, veterinary technicians and assistants, receptionists, managers) role in preventing periodontal disease before pathology develops through the three keys to preventive dental care are critical steps to embrace. Suggestions for partnering with your clients to actively involve them in their pet’s oral home care, understanding client perceptions, providing confident and personalized recommendations, working as a team to change and improve the hospital culture will be addressed.

Clients play a key role in insuring the success and oral health of their pet.  Proper education of the client regarding the need for home care and teaching the client to brush and to start an effective home care routine is important. This begins at an early age when pets are puppies and kittens. The hospital staff needs to spend enough time with the clients, explaining the causes of periodontal disease, so they will understand why it is important to continue home dental care and to recognize when problems are present so that proper intervention can occur.

During the pet’s first visit, and then during subsequent visits when the puppy or kitten receives vaccinations, the mouth needs to be examined.  Signs of malocclusions, retained deciduous teeth, developmental problems such as cleft palate, trauma or fractured teeth should be identified.  Discuss with clients when and which deciduous teeth fall out and inform them that the best way to begin preventive dental care is to start brushing the teeth when the pet is young, so he/she will get accustom to brushing.

Tooth brushing is the most effective means to prevent plaque and subsequent calculus build up because it is the mechanical action of the brushing that is effective in reducing plaque accumulation. Pet dental products such as toothpastes, toothbrushes, finger pads, finger brushes and dental wipes are available and should be used. Human dental care products should not be used. Dental diets, exercise toys, rawhide strips, dental treats, and many other dental toys can help reduce and eliminate the buildup of plaque and calculus.   Family and pet compliance will determine the best dental home care required for each pet. Cow hooves, bones, hard plastic toys such as Nylabones can fracture teeth and should be avoided.

Tags: Ask the Vet, Cats, Dogs, Health, Pet advice, Pet dental health month, Preventative pet care
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