Did you know?
Over 80% of dogs and cats over 3 years of age have dental disease.
This can cause your pet severe pain and discomfort and lead to a shortened life expectancy.
This is due to constant bacterial attack on organs from chronic gum infection.
Signs to look out for.
• there is a bad smell from your pet’s mouth
• gums are red and swollen
• teeth are loose or broken
• your pet’s teeth are brown or caked in tartar, particularly on or adjacent to the gum line.
• your animal is reluctant to have his teeth examined
• your pet is eating slower or only on one side of his/her mouth
• signs of distress such as pawing at the mouth
• loss of appetite
• irritability or depression
Prevention is better than cure.
1. Brushing. This is the most effective way of preventing tartar build up. Yes, it is time consuming but if there was a more effective way we would not be brushing our own teeth twice a day! Even brushing once every two days dramatically decreases tartar build up as it takes 24hrs for a bio-film to form on the teeth. Do not use human tooth paste, this is made to be ‘spat’ out. Call to the practice and ask your vet or nurse for advise on brushing.
2. Diet. Feed a high quality dry food. Not all dry foods remain dry when they are chewed in the mouth. Some may produce a sticky residue which adheres to the tooth leading to tartar build up. Specially formulated dry foods which remain dry until the reach the stomach and provides cleaning by the mechanical action of chewing, is the way to go.
3. Suitable chews. Special toys and dental sticks are available which help an auxillary to teeth cleaning. Bones (raw or cooked) are not advised as they can cause damage in the mouth, constipation or more serious injury to the gut.
Your pet’s teeth will be checked at his annual vaccination visit, and you will be advised on the best course of treatment if required.
Your pet may need a ‘dental’. This means that your animal needs to be admitted to the practice for a general anaesthetic.
Tartar is removed from the animal’s teeth using an ultrasonic descaler. Each tooth is then examined and problem teeth maybe extracted.
Dogs and cats cope very well with few or no teeth, much better in fact, than trying to eat with a painful mouth.
Finally the teeth are polished to help slow down further tartar build-up.