Dental health is a very important element of your pet’s care
Many owners of dogs and cats might tend to forget a very important element of their pet’s care: their teeth! Animals can get the same kinds of dental problems that their human owners get, and we know that you want to take the best care of your special friend as you possibly can. With that in mind, here is some information to help you ensure that your pet receives the best dental care.
Signs and Symptoms
Did you know that neglecting your dog or cat’s teeth could actually lead to some very serious health issues? Periodontal, or gum disease, can cause weight loss, and even infections of the kidney, bladder and heart valves. Periodontal disease is sometimes hard to detect because it occurs very slowly, but some of the early warning signs are as follows:
- bad breath
- loose teeth
- bleeding gums
- swelling gums
- gum recession
- tooth root below crown exposed
- decreased appetite
- teeth falling out
- foul-smelling discharge
- extreme pain
If you see any of these signs, it’s best to take care of the problem immediately. Periodontal disease can be very painful for your pet.
What You Can Do at Home
You are your pet’s best dentist! With proper home dental care, these issues will probably never occur. But it must be done properly. NEVER USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE OR BAKING SODA IN PETS! It may seem like an acceptable way to treat your dog or cat’s teeth, but some of these ingredients are meant only for humans and could cause stomach problems and foaming at the mouth in animals. Baking soda has a very high sodium content, which can also cause problems in your special friend, especially with a heart condition.
So how should you care for your pet’s teeth at home? There are two common methods: brushing and antimicrobial rinses. When brushing, use a toothpaste made for pets, it will do the cleaning for you. You can use a soft finger brushette to apply the dentifrice. What if this is new for you and your pet? We recommend a gradual approach. First rub your dog or cat’s face with the brush for a few days to get him used to the smell and sight of the brush. After this, slowly and gently rub the gums for a few days and then finally, add the dentifrice and rub it on the outside surfaces of your pet’s teeth. To prevent dental problems from occurring, brush the teeth every 2 to 7 days.
Brushing not something you’d care to do? There’s a perfectly acceptable alternative method; the dental oral rinse. The rinse will help to reduce the buildup of plaque. For your convenience, we carry a supply of oral hygiene products that we feel are the best to adequately treat your pet’s dental needs.
When Home Treatment Is Not Enough
Sometimes we do find that routine brushing is not quite enough. Just as humans go to have thorough dental cleanings, sometimes that’s what we will recommend for your pet. Under general anesthesia, we will remove plaque and harmful bacteria with dental instruments. Please call one of our veterinarians today if you feel that a thorough dental cleaning would be in your pet’s best interests.