Pet Awareness - February

February Is is Pet Dental Health Awareness Month

Healthy teeth and gums are at the core of the robust physical condition for our pets.

According to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS),80% of dogs and 70% of cats will develop some form of oral disease by the age of three.

Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets. Just as the public has come to realize that their own oral health is linked to their overall health, veterinarians want people to understand that dental health care is essential to maintaining the overall health and well-being of the family pet.

Periodontal Disease is one of the most common occurring conditions, especially in our older pets. The disease begins from to accumulation of plaque that forms on the teeth after eating. This is largely responsible for resulting in "stinky breath" which often becomes unbearable. If the buildup of plaque is permitted to continue unchecked, gingivitis results with gums becoming red and inflamed.

Left untreated, gums recede, teeth become unstable with tooth loss and abscess formation occurring. Due to the abundance of bacteria forming on teeth and gums, which is highly accessible to the pets blood stream, internal organs can become infected, which may cause systemic conditions such as kidney failure, liver and heart disease.

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

Unhealthy Dog Mouth

Healthy Dog Mouth
Red Inflamed gums
Stinky breath
Hard yellow calcified build up on teeth
Facial Sensitivity
Pawing at the mouth or drooling
Tooth loss or bleeding gums
Poor appetite or unwillingness to eat

If your pet has any of these symptoms arrange an appointment with your veterinarian to initiate dental care. If serious dental disease is present, your veterinarian may have to extract the decayed teeth. However, it is simply amazing to see how well pets adjust with healthier gums.

Finger Toothbrush

So please don't wait until you observe symptoms. Ask your veterinarian to teach you how to keep your pet's teeth clean in between professional visits. Once your pet is accustomed to this essential part of pet care, this task is certainly well worth the time you spend performing it.

The number one way to prevent tartar accumulation and gingivitis in pets is tooth brushing, using a finger toothbrush. A procedure that can be done quickly and easily on most pets with a special tasty, edible, non-fluoride pet toothpaste. Donít use toothpaste for humans as it will upset your dogís stomach.

Inevitably, some pets will not accept this practice. For those pets, it is good to use a combination of at least two other preventative measures, such as water additives, oral rinses, or special veterinary chew treats.

1-800- PetMeds is your Source for your Pets Dental Health Needs

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