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

Tag Archives: pet health

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

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

Brush Your Pet's TeethAnyone 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!

Tags: Cats, Dental Health Month, Dentistry, Dogs, Pet health

It’s the New Year! Did you make resolutions for your pets in 2016?

Lots of Dog Food

It’s that time of year where hope springs eternal and we resolve to make positive changes for ourselves AND our fur babies. Given the temptation of yummy treats over the holidays, these resolutions are often centered around health and weight. Be honest, did your pet put on a few pound over the holidays? If you and your pet have resolved to greet 2016 with a new food attitude, here are some tips to help you, help your pet:

  • Portion control

Many of us “guesstimate” the amount of food that we feed our pets but doing this can really overestimate the amount of food that they should be getting. Be sure to measure the amount every time you feed. The recommended guidelines on the bag of food are a good place to start but, depending on your pets age and level of exercise, you may need to cut this back a bit as well (usually by about 10%-20%). For example, older pets or those with sedentary lifestyles may not have the same calorie requirements of a young or very athletic dog.

  • Watch the snacks

Snacking can quickly add up to too many calories and excess weight so keep an eye on how often you are giving your pet snacks. If you like to give snacks as rewards and are watching your dog’s weight, some healthy options include apples (no seeds/core), strawberries, watermelon (no seeds), green beans, or carrots.

  • Get out there and exercise

If just taking a walk doesn’t sound appealing, how about trying a new activity with your dog? Hiking or swimming are great ways to spend time with your dog and a great way for both of you to get some exercise. For cats, new prey toys, food toys, lasers, or catnip toys are great ways to encourage your favorite feline to get moving and burn some calories.

  • Schedule a visit with your veterinarian

A trip to the vet is an important part of your pet’s health and should happen at least once every 6 to 12 months. Your vet and the veterinary team are a great source of information about diet and exercise for your pet. They can help you decide on the best diet for your pet based on their age, activity level, or underlying health concerns. They are there to help, so don’t be afraid to ask for their advice.

 

With a little diligence and behavior modification, you can make sure that your pet has a happy and healthy 2016.

Tags: Cats, Dogs, Food, Pet health, Treats
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