|How To Keep Your Pet Smiling|
Grove Park vet Paloma Diaz on the need for good dental care
"Does your dog have bad breath? Is your cat refusing to eat his favourite food? Is your rabbit losing weight? These are just a few of the most common primary symptoms of dental disease in our pets," says Grove Park Veterinary Clinic's Paloma.
It is estimated that around an 80% of dogs and cats over the age of three need dental treatment. Dental disease can be easily overlooked as pets carry on eating in most cases. But as periodontal disease progresses, bacteria could spread from the mouth via the blood stream and affect other vital organs and structures such as the kidneys and heart valves.
Prevention is the best medicine against a serious disease that can affect your pet’s quality of life. Most problems are reversible and preventable with good oral home care. Many loving pet owners do not realise the extent of their pet’s disease and are unaware of the importance of tooth brushing, daily oral hygienic chews and the special dental diets which can help to avoid problems.
The daily brushing of your pet’s teeth with a special Pet Toothpaste (that can be safely swallowed), the everyday use of dental chews and the regular checking of your pet’s mouth (by lifting its lips) are all means of preventing more serious disease from developing.
Signs of redness and swelling of the gums, bleeding around the teeth, pain, bad breath, broken teeth, pawing at the mouth, are all a good indication that your pet must be taken to the vet!
Ask your vet for advice on how to get started on dental care with a new puppy or kitten – note also that rabbits have a very specific requirement for dental care.
Paloma Diaz Carretero
September 15, 2009