Posts Tagged ‘oral care’

National Pet Dental Health Month


Q: Do dogs wear braces?
A: For some dogs, braces are necessary to straighten the teeth enough so the dog’s mouth opens and closes correctly. Orthodontics work can vary from limited work on a few teeth to a full set of braces. However, most dogs are born with sufficiently straight teeth to allow them to chew without problems.

Q: My dog shows a ridge-like wear on its canine teeth. What causes this?
A: Wear patterns show up from repeated chewing. The ridge-like wear you describe could be attributed to chewing on a chain-link fence. Dogs that are left alone in backyards may chew on fences because they are bored, scared, frustrated or for other reasons. The best solution is to keep the dog and the fence away from each other.

Q: Does it matter whether my pet eats hard or soft food?
A: Studies show that hard kibbles are slightly better at keeping plaque from accumulating on the teeth. Currently, there is a separate product for dogs and cats that has been proven to reduce plaque and tartar. If you think your pet needs a special food, consult your family veterinarian.

Q: Will my pet suffer if I don’t take care of its teeth and gums?
A: Gum disease can cause pets pain and serious dental problems later in life, as well as possibly lead to more serious illnesses, such as heart and kidney disease. But gum disease can be prevented. By beginning early in your pet’s life to care for its teeth, you can spare your pet the discomfort caused by gum disease.

Q: How can a professional teeth cleaning by a veterinarian help my pet?
A: A professional dental cleaning will remove plaque, stain and tartar encrusted above and below the gumline, restoring your dog’s [and cat’s] teeth to a clean and polished condition, and removing the bacteria that can cause gum disease.

These questions and answers taken from “Dr. Logan answers your frequently asked questions” (expired link)

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Welcome to National Pet Dental Health Month!

A healthy mouth = a healthy pet. 

     “By the age of three, more than half of all cats and dogs are beginning to show signs of a dental problem.” – Hill’s Pet Nutrition

What is periodontal disease?
     It is a disease affecting the tissues that support the teeth and can lead to destruction of the tooth root, gums, and jaw.

What are the precursors to periodontal disease?

  • Plaque – a colorless film containing bacteria
  • Tartar – hardened plaque along the gumline
  • Gingivitis – inflammation of the gums, leading to gum disease and tooth loss

     “Infection associated with periodontal disease can be responsible for bad breath, and bacteria can enter a pet’s blood stream and spread to vital organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys.”  – Hill’s Pet Nutrition

What are contributing factors to periodontal disease?

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Breed – especially among breeds of dogs and cats with small, crowded mouths
  • Age

What signs should I look for at home?

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Drooling
  • Tooth loss
  • Tartar buildup
  • Pain when eating
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Change of eating habits
  • Subdued behavior

What can I do about it?

  • Schedule your pet to get a dental exam and teeth cleaning from the veterinarian. Some pets may need the services of a veterinary dental specialist. Pets sometimes need root canals, just like people!
  • Clean your pet’s teeth after its meals, using a pet-specific toothpaste or liquid dentifrice.
  • Add Oxyfresh Pet Oral Hygiene Solution to your pet’s drinking water.
  • Feed Prescription Diet t/d to healthy adult pets. Hill’s t/d food is designed to scrub your pet’s teeth as he chews.

Information for this article adapted from “Oral Health:  Caring for your pet” by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Copies of the pamphlet are available at our office.

Repost from February 6, 2012.

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October is National Pet Wellness Month.

Something to chew on:

“Infection associated with periodontal disease can be responsible for bad breath, and bacteria can enter a pet’s blood stream and spread to vital organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys.” 
– Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Sometimes our lives get so hectic that important tasks are forgotten. September begins a cycle for many people of school / work / holiday chaos that doesn’t seem to end until January. Unfortunately, our pets can get lost in the shuffle.

Maybe you forgot to apply the spot-on flea control or, more seriously, forgot to give the heartworm preventative.

Perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve taken your pet to the groomers.

And when was the last time you were able to devote an hour to playtime with your cat or taking your dog for an extra-long walk?

That’s why having a Pet Wellness Plan in place is so important: it keeps our pets top-of-mind and makes it easier to remember tasks like giving medication or going to the vet to update a Rabies shot.

At its most basic, a Pet Wellness Plan consists of three things:

  1. Twice a year examinations
  2. Protective vaccinations
  3. Pet health insurance

But we’ve expanded the list this month to include:

       4.  Microchipping
       5.  Spay/neuter
       6.  Internal parasite control
       7.  External parasite control

Today, we’ll add this:

       8.  Dental care

Remember the statement from Hill’s Pet Nutrition at the beginning of this post? Your pet’s mouth is the gateway to his general physical health. Problems that begin in the mouth, such as plaque buildup and inflamed gums, can lead to more serious problems affecting vital organs.

February is Dental Health Month, but oral care is a year-round task. So why not get started today?

Links round-up

Tips for brushing your pet’s teeth
Tooth root abscess
VetzLife Oral Care Gel
Oxyfresh Oral Hygiene Solution

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