Do wish you had a gas mask on when your dog gets too close or your cat climbs up for some loving. Bad breath is a frequent complaint of many pet owners. Halitosis is a sign of significant dental disease in pets. Dental disease is the most commonly diagnosed disease in our pets. It is reported by the American Veterinary Dental Society that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will have dental disease by the age of 3 years. The signs of dental disease include bad breath, yellowish discoloration of the teeth, redness at the gum edges and broken teeth.
Oral disease begins with the buildup of bacteria in your pet’s mouth. Bacteria combine with food debris and saliva to form plaque on teeth. The bacteria grow in the plaque and calcium salts are deposited to form plaque or tartar, which is what is seen as the yellowish discoloration on your pet’s teeth. The tartar attracts more bacteria and its rough surface enhances the attachment of bacteria. The bacteria are the real offenders in this process. The inflammation and destruction that accompanies periodontal disease results from the direct action of these bacteria and their by-products. Left untreated, dental diseased can lead to oral pain tooth, loss and disease in other parts of the body.
The bacteria that have accumulated in your pet’s mouth are also absorbed into the blood stream. Organs such as the kidneys, liver, heart and brain, which filter the blood, can develop small infections, which can lead to permanent organ damage.
The good news is that periodontal disease is preventable and treatable. If your pet has signs of dental disease a trip to see us is in order. The veterinarians at our clinic can examine your pet and determine a treatment plan for your furry friend. If significant disease is present your pet will require an in clinic treatment to remove built up tartar and plaque and to further treat the periodontal disease. Once your pet’s oral health has been restored preventative care can begin.
The best preventative care starts early before disease is present. The best way to prevent dental disease is to brush your pet’s teeth daily. If you are unable to brush your pet’s teeth everyday adding in a dental diet like Hill’s T/D will provide the dental care needed to keep your pet healthy. We are more than happy to talk to you about the options that exist and the right ones for your pet.