Dental Care: The Key to Keeping Your Pet Smiling
Like humans, the medical health of a dog or cat directly depends on his or her dental health. Left unmanaged, poor dental hygiene can lead to severe symptoms and conditions.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Pets with poor dental hygiene begin exhibiting telltale symptoms. The first of which is bad breath. Many view the stench as normal, but unless your pet has recently eaten food with a particularly strong odor, it's anything but.
A discoloration of the teeth would be the next symptom you notice. Healthy canine or feline teeth are white, just like humans. The darker the discoloration, or the closer it is to the gum line, the more serious an issue you have on your hands. Once periodontal disease sets in, the gum will become red and swollen. Left untreated, your pet's gums will begin to bleed.
The final symptom of gum disease will be a loosening of the teeth. This most likely means your pet has already experienced bone loss and is well on his or her way to losing teeth for good. A sudden change in appetite is a potential sign a pet's teeth may be starting to loosen.
When periodontal disease goes untreated, many bad things can happen. Due to the close proximity, any infection within the gums has a direct path to a number of major organs. Your pet's kidneys, liver, and heart can all be adversely affected by gum disease.
A Healthy Smile
Whether you have a puppy or kitten, a senior pet, or a four-legged friend of any age, his or her dental health starts with regularly scheduled professional cleanings. This is why every exam at DHAH, no matter the issue, includes an exam of your pet's teeth. If a cleaning is in order, you'll be the first to know.
In between your pet's scheduled cleanings, there are a couple things you can do to cut down on plaque and tartar buildup. For those with a more cooperative pet, regularly brushing his or her teeth is definitely recommended. For less cooperative animals, or as another means of maintaining healthy teeth, we recommend Breathlyser, a tasteless liquid that mixes with your pet's drinking water and reduces plaque buildup. Breathlyser is always available for purchase at our front desk.
Every February is Pet Dental Month at DHAH.
Be sure to ask about our money saving specials.