Posts Tagged ‘pet halitosis’

February is National Pet Dental Month!

Friday, February 5th, 2010

pet health

February is National Pet Dental Month!  According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats allegedly have symptoms of dental disease by age three!  Beyond that, oral disease is also the most commonly diagnosed health issue for our canine and feline friends.  We may hear about bad breath in pets all the time, but that doesn’t mean that it could be caused by something serious. 

Periodontal disease has the same roots in dogs and cats as it does in people.  Bacteria from food can build up in the oral cavity, and if it’s left untreated, the bacteria cause plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth and gumline.  Over time, if the buildup is neglected, periodontitis can form, which is an irreversible condition involving gum inflammation and infection.  If the gums are inflamed, they become separated from the teeth, thus allowing bacteria to enter and attack the tooth’s root.  Furthermore, bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and venture on over to the heart, liver, kidneys, and other organs, and cause serious problems.

These are all reasons as to why it is very important to be proactive about protecting your pet’s health.  Some warning signs that you can look for in your pet are: bad breath, yellow-brown crust on the teeth, bleeding gums, changes in eating/chewing habits, pawing at the mouth, and/or depression.  These are all potential signs that the pet has an infection, and you should schedule a dental checkup as soon as you can.  If the pet is in good health, one should schedule regular veterinarian visits anyway.   A pet owner should schedule a professional cleaning to have the following done: tartar removal, cavity/growth check, diseased teeth extracted, and tooth polishing.  Tooth polishing helps prevent the formation of new plaque/tartar buildup

You should also practice regular brushing with your pet, and follow a home care regimen.  You can introduce toothpaste to your pets by using a small amount on your finger and rubbing it on their teeth.   Make sure to use a toothpaste that is specially made for cats and dogs.  The next step is to have the pet lick the bristles of a toothbrush with the toothpaste on it.  Then, you can begin brushing its teeth.  This should be done twice every week.  Don’t give up if your pet doesn’t seem willing to have its teeth brushed. 

Also, certain pet foods actually help plaque/tartar removal, so you can look for that in stores.  Ask your pet’s doctor for any advice.  Good luck and spread the word!

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Bad Breath in Cats and Dogs

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Bad Breath in Dogs Can Mean Serious Health Complications

Imagine your beloved pet coming up to you to cuddle like it does every day, but lately you’ve been noticing your pet has bad breath that is getting worse and worse.  With our furry friends, there could be multiple causes for this bad breath.  These include teeth problems, kidney dysfunction, diabetes, and foreign bodies in the mouth.

Dental disease is the most common, and dirty teeth is one of the main things that the vet will be looking for when looking in your pet’s mouth.  Other things to be checked out are the pet’s hydration status, and the color of its gums.  If the pet’s teeth are covered in chunks of calculus, the solution requires much more than brushing.  Nowadays, pet owners are more aware that their pet’s teeth need to be scaled and polished just as a human’s would.

Oral foreign bodies can cause infections, like a bone embedded in the roof of a dog’s mouth.  Metabolic disorders can occur when the pet’s kidneys are not working properly; thus, toxins in the blood can cause ulcerations in the mouth that cause bad breath. Remember that any mouth ulcerations or inflamed gums can give your pet bad breath, including viral diseases in cats. Diabetes can give a your pet’s breath a certain “ketotic” odor that your vet should recognize.

All in all, brushing and buying tartar control treats for Fido may not always be enough, so remember the possibilities!

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