More whiff than woof...stinky breath is more than you think

August - Pet Dental Health Month

This month is National Pet Dental Month and at The Pines, we're all about keeping our fur friendies healthy and happy - and most importantly, prolonging their lives. Dental disease is the most common condition occurring in adult dogs and cats, and is entirely preventable. In fact over 85% of pets over 3 years of age suffer from periodontal disease usually in the form of gingivitis, inflammation of the gums. Bad breath is the most frequent finding and complaint when dental disease if present. The food we feed our pets does not result in bad breath hence their breath should not be unpleasant for us. Many pets have much more subtle signs of disease that goes unnoticed by there owners for example; difficulty chewing and reluctance to eat, broken/loose teeth, excessive drooling, bleeding gums, pawing/rubbing at the face, chronic sneezing and nasal discharge and behavioural changes.  

But... the biggest danger is that the bacteria that is responsible for dental disease are released into the blood stream as the animal chews and can infect and damage the heart, liver, kidneys and other organs AND... could even contribute to many chronic disorders of inflammation and increase the risk of cancer.

We experience and know how how uncomfortable and even painful tartar, inflamed gums and rotting tooth-roots are leading to an extremely uncomfortable mouth. However It is rare for our pets to show signs of oral pain, leaving many to suffer in silence.

What can we do about it?
Routine veterinary check up should include assessment of teeth, gums and mouth. Once our pets have periodontal disease they need to have there teeth cleaned professionally. This means they will require a general anaesthetic to allow bacterial plaque to be removed from below the gum where disease is occurring and not just from the surface of the teeth. Unfortunately, pets just don't allow adequate examination of all teeth surfaces and do not tolerate adequate scaling and polishing when conscious and hence a general anaesthesia is required. Once a dental scale and polish has been preformed steps need to be made to prevent the re occurrence. Dental home care is crucial in maintaining good oral health and with a plethora of products available it can become quite overwhelming. Its important that an effective home care plan is tailored for each individual pet which is safe and suits both owners and pets lifestyle.

The month of August is national pet dental health month. In promotion of good dental health and well being of our pets at The Pines Vet clinic we are offering free dental checks and with any dental procedure booked in the months of August $100 off the total bill.