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You make sure your pet receives plenty of food, water, and exercise, plus a healthy dose of tender loving care. You may even go the extra mile to get your beloved pet special foods or medications for breed-specific conditions. Have you considered your pets’ dental needs?
Very few pet owners understand the importance of pet dentistry. However, with 8 out of 10 pets showing signs of periodontal disease by age 3, getting regular dental care at home and at the veterinarian is important. Dr. Metzger and our professional care team at the Rainbow Pet Hospital are here to assist you.
Periodontal disease is the most common medical condition affecting dogs and cats. Most pet owners can spot signs of this condition in their pets starting around age 3. What is the biggest indicator of the disease? Bad breath! Many pet owners smell bad breath in their pet and quickly dismiss the problem as an "animal thing". In truth, this symptom is a sign that your pet needs pet dentistry services. When owners fail to act on such a sign, we see the advancement of periodontal disease and its effects on the entire oral cavity in addition to your pet's internet organs.
Other indicators of periodontal disease include changes in eating habits, weight loss, disinterest in chew toys, bleeding in the mouth, excessive drooling, loose teeth, pain in the mouth demonstrated by negative response to touching the mouth or head, and pawing at the side of the head or rubbing the face on the ground.
Yes, periodontal disease is incredibly common in pets, but it is also preventable, to an extent. You may not be able to stop your pet from getting dental disease altogether. You can help minimize the intensity of the damage and suffering your pet experiences as a result of the condition.
Clearly, dogs or cats can't brush their own teeth. So, pet dentistry starts at home with you. Providing your pet with frequent tooth brushings, access to chew toys that reduce tartar buildup and special dental diets can all improve your pet's dental health. Talk to our knowledgeable staff at the Rainbow Vet Hospital for more information, as suggestions for brushings, toys, and diets may vary.
Another significant action you can take is getting your pet a comprehensive veterinary dental cleaning. According to the American Veterinary Dental College, professional cleanings can be advantageous to your pet's overall health, and minimize the need for most costly procedures down the line. A professional cleaning offers your veterinarian the opportunity to diagnose and/or examine the severity of your pet's dental problems, and clean beneath the gumline - which is one of the most effective steps to preventing periodontal disease.