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Pet Dental Care: An Important Part of Your Pet's Overall Health
Diseases of the mouth and gums are the most common abnormalities seen in pets. There are a couple of reasons why this is true of our pet's mouths. First, we forget about our pets teeth since they are hidden from our view much of the time. Second, most of us live busy lives and it is difficult for us to find or take the time to brush our pet's teeth or use some other type of preventive care product. Gingival infection and periodontal disease affect most cats and dogs over the age of three.
The best care for you pet's mouth is daily brushing. The same inflammation and infection in our pet's mouths caused by bacteria can also damage their heart valves, kidneys, and liver as well. Our doctor at All Creatures Pet Hospital in Gardendale recommends that pet owners use some type of effective dental care product every day. Most pets over the age of four need an annual prophylactic teeth cleaning. Also, your pet should receive a dental exam one to two times yearly to insure that there aren't any dental problems developing.
Just as it is important for humans it is critical for your pet to receive the proper dental care that it needs. The key to your pet's healthy mouth is a commitment to a daily regimen of preventive care. If you are unable to implement a daily regimen, then try to commit to three times weekly. Any amount of preventive care is helpful. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
All Creatures Pet Hospital Recommends Daily Dental Care For You Pet
Dental disease in pets develops in the same way as it does in people. WHAT IF WE NEVER BRUSHED OUR TEETH? Plaque forms on the teeth daily and if not removed with brushing, turns in to tarter. Over time tarter thickens and turns in to calculus, a mineralized substance that is literally hard as concrete. Calculus can only be removed with an ultrasonic dental scaler. If left untreated, the calculus will continue to thicken and push up into the gingival tissue allowing bacteria to form an infection behind it. As the bacteria replicates it produces gas which gives off a distinct bad odor in our pet's breath that we have all smelled before. Eventually the infection will cause a painful abscess/infection around the root of the tooth. At that stage of disease the tooth will have to be extracted which can be quite expensive.
If your pet paws his or her mouth, has bad breath, has lost his or her appetite, or seems to be uncomfortable in the mouth, please call us to schedule a pet dental appointment today so we can diagnose and treat the problem before it worsens. This is especially important for geriatric patients, as older pet's immune systems are not as strong as younger pets.
During your pet's annual dental exam and cleaning our veterinarian, Dr. Ted Hankes, with a trained technician will thoroughly examine your pet's mouth and ultrasonically scale and polish your pet’s teeth under sedation. The doctor can also perform extractions, if needed. Of course we always believe in treating your pet for any pain it might be experiencing. Prior to any anesthetic procedures, we will perform a blood chemistry screen to insure that your pet doesn't have any hidden health problems that may increase the risk of anesthesia.
We would be glad to demonstrate for you how to properly brush and care for your pet's teeth. We have numerous products that are effective at maintaining the health of your pet's oral cavity.
Daily brushing is the most effective technique to keep your pet's teeth healthy. We have special toothbrushes and toothpaste made specifically for pets. Never use human toothpaste as they contain ingredients that are harmful to your pet! Start out gradually introducing the brush and paste so as not to scare your pet.
Remember to patient with your pet while he or she gets used to brushing. Use affirmation and be consistent. Most cats and dogs will adapt to a daily dental hygiene routine.
Other effective products for the care of your pet's teeth and gums:
1. Drinking water additive. Will help clean your pet's mouth while drinking it's water. Just add a small amount to your pet's water bowl each day when you provide fresh water.
2. Enzymatic chews. Are much more effective and safer than your average OTC rawhide chew. They contain an enzyme, hydrogen peroxidase, that actually break down the plaque in your pet's mouth. The rough texture acts as an abrasive to remove plaque and tarter.
3. Tarter Control Food by Hill's Science Diet. Actually removes plaque from the teeth mechanically when the tooth passes through the large kibble.
Call All Creatures Pet Hospital at 205-631-6210 to schedule a dental checkup for your pet today!
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