Anyone who has ever been loved by a dog knows that “doggy breath” is not always the most pleasant smell but did you know that halitosis might actually be a sign of a bigger problem? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by the age of 3! We all know that brushing and flossing is important to keep our own teeth healthy but your furry family members need the same care and attention to their oral health.
Periodontal disease is a common problem we see in both dogs and cats but it can be prevented. One of the best ways to care for your fur babies teeth is to brush them daily. It sounds scary but its actually pretty easy. Click here for some instructions on how to do it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB3GIAgrTPE
When oral health is neglected, bacteria and plaque build up on teeth and can get into your pets bloodstream and lead to serious health problems. The organs most often affected are the kidneys, liver, heart and lungs.
If you would like to have your pets teeth examined and get some help learning how to care for your pets teeth, be sure to schedule a visit with your Best Friends veterinarian. Your veterinary health care team can teach you about brushing, what the best treats are for your pet, and what to watch for in case of a dental problem. Signs of dental disease can include:
- Bad breath
- Discolored teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Difficulty chewing or loss of appetite
If your pet already has dental problems or periodontal disease, your veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning under general anesthesia. Anesthesia is required to make sure that dental x-rays can be taken and that the veterinary team can do a thorough job of cleaning and polishing all of the teeth. Dogs or cats with severe problems may even benefit from seeing a veterinarian who is a dental specialist certified through the American Veterinary Dental College (http://www.avdc.org/ ).
A little extra care on your part will keep those pearly whites healthy and those tails wagging!