Posts Tagged ‘tooth root abcess’

Pet dental care

It’s never too late to start brushing your pet’s teeth, but persuading Fluffy and Spike to go along with it can be a challenge. Here are 8 great tips to help you ease your pet into a new part of its daily routine:

  1. Introduce a brushing program gradually: training your pet for this procedure may take several days or weeks.
  2. At first, dip your finger into beef bouillon for a dog or tuna water for cats, and rub your finger over the pet’s mouth and teeth.
  3. Make these initial sessions brief and positive.
  4. Introduce gauze on your finger with the same beef or tuna flavor and begin rubbing the teeth in a circular motion.
  5. Before graduating to a soft-bristle toothbrush, put a small amount of pet toothpaste on your finger and allow your pet to taste it.
  6. Place the toothpaste on the toothbrush and allow your pet to lick the bristles.
  7. Apply a small dab of toothpaste to a moist toothbrush and begin brushing gently at a 45° angle away from the gumline.
  8. Do not use a toothpaste designed for people; it contains ingredients that may upset your pet’s stomach.

     February is National Pet  Dental Health Month.
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Tips reprinted from the Pet Owner’s Guide to Oral Care, available at our clinic.

This article originally appeared on Feb. 15, 2012.

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PetDental_logoPet

Your pet’s mouth may seem like a mysterious cave into which objects disappear and only occasionally come back out. But do you really know what it looks like in there, or what it should look like? 

If your pet is cooperative at home (that is, if you’re not in danger of being bitten) gently pry open his mouth and stare into the gaping maw. Check for evidence of poor dental health:

  • Are any teeth loose, broken, or missing?
  • Are the gums swollen or inflamed?
  • Are there any growths on the gums, lips, roof or floor of the mouth?
  • Do you see pus or blood in the mouth?
  • Are the teeth yellow, brown, or crusted with tartar?
  • Is there a foul odor?
  • Is there fur wrapped around the teeth? (This happens mainly in pets that lick or chew at themselves often.)
  • Has your pet become reluctant to eat, drink cold water, or play with chew toys?
  • Is your pet drooling excessively?
  • Is there a lump beneath one or both eyes (this can signal a carnassial tooth root abscess.)

If you notice any of those signs in your pet, it’s time for a dental checkup.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Good pet dental health begins at home. 
Look for pet-specific toothpaste (human toothpaste is not recommended), gels and liquids meant for cleaning your pet’s mouth after meals.

Regular use of a dentifrice can help delay plaque and tartar buildup and it can help freshen your pet’s breath.  (We like Oxyfresh Oral Hygiene for Pets and VetzLife Oral Care Gel.) 

Also, regularly cleaning your pet’s teeth after meals will allow you to notice any changes in oral health right away.

Choose a dentifrice made for pets.

Choose a dentifrice made for pets.

Left: a calculus shell    Right: a molar once covered by the calculus shell  (Photo by Jennifer Miele)

Left: a calculus shell Right: a molar once covered by the calculus shell (Photo by Jennifer Miele)

This is the inside of the calculus shell, which was molded to the tooth.  (Photo by Jennifer Miele)

This is the inside of the calculus shell, which was molded to the tooth. (Photo by Jennifer Miele)

If your pet is uncooperative at home, schedule a dental exam with the vet, but take note: some pets require sedation for a thorough oral exam.

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