Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

Pets with Bad Breath

Monday, November 29th, 2010

According to the 2009/2010 National Pet Owners Survey, 62% of all U.S. households own a pet. That is about 71.4 million homes. The majority of these pets are dogs, closely followed by cats.

But these four-legged creatures are often much more than just a pet, they are truly members of the household and family. Many of us care for these pets as if they are our own children.  We take them to the vet and groomers regularly, and spend hundreds of dollars a year on pet care.

While we give them treats (such as raw-hides) to chew on, our pets may still have dental problems and bad breath. Did you know that periodontal disease is the #1 disease in dogs and cats? Bad breath is one major sign that your pet may be suffering from this. So rather than spend large amounts of money on non-anesthetic cleanings or risk the more evasive anesthetic cleanings on your pet, try treating it naturally and effectively with Dr. Katz for Dogs + Cats Oral Solution. (more…)

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Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath? Free Dental Check-ups for Dogs in the UK

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

In the United Kingdom, March 2010 is the launch of “Oral Care Month“.  Vets are teaming up with a dog food company to give free dental checks for canines.  The veterinary services at Bristol University said that the purpose of these free exams was to put emphasis on the problem of gum disease in dogs.   In adult dogs, gum infections are the most common problem, and it affects 80% of dogs over age three.  That’s only one out of five dogs that is gum disease free!  Unfortunately, only TWO PERCENT of owners employ the use of a regular oral maintenance routine for their pets.

Hopefully, Oral Care Month helps educate pet owners on how important it is to maintain regular dental care, which includes brushing daily and offering a dog chews.  Both of these help to diminish the amount of plaque and tartar buildup in the oral cavity.  Chews can reduce plaque buildup by up to 60%, and tartar buildup as much as 80%.  Also, people will be learning what gum disease symptoms to look for in their pets, like bad breath, picky eating, and so on.  Sometimes these symptoms can signify a health condition, and should not be accepted as ‘normal’.

It is said that dogs need their dental health attended to just like humans.  When a dog hits age three, 80% have gum disease, which is caused by excessive tartar and plaque.  So, if you have a dog and live in the UK, this is the month to take advantage of a free checkup!

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Brushing a Dog’s (or Cat’s) Teeth

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

brush dog's teeth

Does your dog have bad breath? Well, maybe you are not employing the use of proper oral hygiene. After all, us humans need to maintain a level of oral care so that we don’t have halitosis. Also, just like people, dogs and cats can get gum disease–and if a dog or cat’s gums are infected and abscessed, bacteria can enter the bloodstream, causing liver, kidney, and even heart malfunctions. So, what’s a good way to brush your best friend’s teeth?

Here are some tips for brushing your pet’s teeth:

#1 Start off slowly. Make sure to use a toothpaste formula that is specifically made for animals, since human toothpaste can give stomach upsets to animals. Have your pet lick the paste off of your finger, and you might need to try a few different flavors to find one that your pet likes.

#2 Once you can get toothpaste into the animal’s mouth, use a slight amount on your finger and run it across the dog or cat’s teeth. This might even take several days to get your pet to do this agreeably. Once your pet is fine with you doing this to its teeth, use a toothbrush (made for pets) and make small circles on the gum line. Don’t brush too hard!

#3 Be sure to cheer on your pet and express approval during this process. Afterward, you could also give your pet a treat, playtime, a walk, etc., so it will think of brushing as a positive moment.

#4 In order to practice proper oral hygiene with your pet, try to brush your pet’s teeth every day.

Here are some warning signs to look for in your pet’s mouth:

  1. Yellow or brown tartar, especially where the teeth and gums meet
  2. Red, swollen, bleeding, inflamed, tender, and/or receding gums
  3. Chronic halitosis
  4. Teeth that are chipped/broken
  5. Tooth resorption (especially common in cats)- a very painful condition in which the tooth dissolves
  6. A change in the animal’s diet, chewing habits and appetite can signify depression (along with pawing at the face/mouth).

Also, don’t forget to try this oral rinse for dogs and cats that helps prevent plaque and tartar buildup.  Be sure to practice good oral hygiene with your pet, so that the both of you can have great smiles!

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Dental Care for Rabbits – Bad Breath Bunnies

Friday, February 19th, 2010

bad breath rabbits

Those of you who own those adorable bunnies may not realize how vital proper oral care is for them.  Most people do not know how many teeth rabbits actually have.  Besides the four large incisors, they have two tiny incisors, and six upper and five lower cheek teeth on each side.  Rabbits have teeth that are very much like horses’ teeth.  Their teeth are designed for constant wear because they are open-rooted, so the teeth grow nonstop their whole lives.  Because of this, rabbits need a certain amount of fiber in their diets.

A rabbit who only eats pellets will not be able to achieve the constant wear on the teeth that nature intended for it to have.  This can cause abnormal wear to the teeth and possibly sharp edges and points in the teeth, which could in turn cause cuts to the tissues in the oral cavity.  It may cause malocclusion, which is what is caused when the teeth do not meet correctly.   Malocclusion can cause problems like roots that become impacted, elongated, and inflamed, as well as possible bone infections or “jaw abscess”.  Once rabbits have malocclusion, it is very unlikely that the teeth will ever return to normal, and it may require trips to the vet, tooth trims, and surgery. 

As with humans, tooth problems in rabbits cannot be ignored.  Rabbits are prey animals, meaning they are not designed to show signs any illnesses or problems, so a pet rabbit needs to be brought to a vet (experienced in rabbits) regularly to check its health.  A complete exam may require the rabbit to be under anesthesia.  Also, dogs, cats, and birds are not the only animals that can have bad breath–rabbits can have halitosis as well!  If you notice that your rabbit has excessive salivation, tooth grinding, or bad breath, you should definitely take it in to the vet as soon as you can. 

Aside from bringing your rabbit to the vet 1-2 times a year, you can also make sure it has an appropriate diet.  Some things that you can offer your rabbit to provide a fibrous diet are hay, tree branches, leaves and twigs.  It is also important that all of these are gathered from vegetation that is not treated with herbicides, pesticides, fertilizer, etc.   Also, try to place the branches in water or put them in the freezer overnight to kill any insects. 

Rabbit-safe vegetation:

  • Orange/lemon trees: rabbits should be fed fresh or dried branches
  • Apple trees: fresh or dried branches
  • Willow: fresh or dried branches
  • Maple/ash/pine trees: dried branches
  • Rose canes: remove thorns first, and feed the branches fresh or dried

What are some tips for monitoring the dental health of my rabbit?

  • Make sure your rabbit has a good appetite, eats its daily diet of pellets and veggies, and chews his hay often
  • Monitor any changes in the rabbit’s eating habits
  • In order to check for any abnormalities, feel the left and right sides of the rabbit’s head (meaning in front of the eyes, on the cheekbone below the eyes, under the lower jaw, etc.).  If you notice any lump on one side that is not on the other side, take the rabbit to the vet ASAP.
  • Lift up the rabbit’s upper lips to see if the incisors meet evenly– if not, go to the vet!
  • Under the chin, look for any excessive salivating/wetness (not including moisture from eating veggies, drinking water, etc.)
  • If you can smell rabbit bad breath, go to the vet!
  • Eye/nasal discharge can signify that there are teeth problems
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Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath?

Friday, February 12th, 2010

bad breath in dogs

While most people just accept the fact that their dog’s breath smells like…well, dog breath…what they don’t realize is that odor might signify serious health risks with the potential to damage not only your pooches’ teeth and gums but also its internal organs.  To address the significance of oral health care for pets, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and several other veterinary groups have joined to declare February as National Pet Dental Health Month.

Bacteriologist and fresh breath guru, Dr. Harold Katz, is not only an expert on fresh breath for humans, he is also THE expert on fresh breath for man’s best friend. Dr. Katz is available to come in-studio with his electronic breath testing device, the Halimeter, and measure some pups’ breath on air, giving pet parents sensible tips on how to prevent doggie gum disease and get rid of bad breath in dogs for good!

Katz has been a featured guest on tons of local and national TV shows across the country.  Click here to view his most recent interview on Fox & Friends, and to access his full demo reel: http://www.viddler.com/explore/drkatz/videos/123/.

Thanks for your consideration – let me know what you think!

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