Did you know that 80% of domestic dogs and cats in Australia have untreated dental disease?
Although it is an extremely common health problem, dental disease in pets often goes untreated as they do not always show symptoms. Most owners assume that if their pet is happily munching away at food then there is nothing wrong. However, animals often learn to tolerate painful dental conditions or chew in a way that doesn’t inflame the affected area. So, a regular dental check-up is always advised.
What causes it?
The two most common causes of tartar and calculus build up are tooth overcrowding and lack of chewing. This bacterial build-up causes gum inflammation, decay, tooth loss and pain and can eventually affect the function of important organs like the heart and kidneys.
Signs of dental disease include:
- Inflamed gums (gingivitis)
- Bad breath
- Discoloured teeth
- Loose teeth
- Excessive drooling
- Reluctance to eat hard food or chew
- Facial swelling
- Changes in behaviour (aggression, disrupted sleep patterns)
How to maintain your pet’s dental health
Dental disease is treatable through a combination of veterinary and home care. Here are five key things you should do to ensure your pet maintains healthy teeth and gums.
- Utilise our free dental check-up services
Vets in Cranbourne offer free dental checks as part of your pet’s regular health assessments. Contact us today to book a complimentary dental care consultation with one of our veterinary nurses.
- Promote daily chewing
To prevent bacteria build-up, your pet should be chewing a minimum of five minutes every day. Dried chewable treats like raw hides and soft raw bones are ideal for these purposes. Avoid marrow bones as these have a high fat content which can cause stomach upset and could potentially fracture your dog’s teeth.
Never feed your pet cooked bones. These can easily splinter and cause serious injury.
- Invest in a specialised dental care diet
Hills Science Diet T/D is the gold standard for specialised dental care and is formulated to both promote chewing as well as reduce tartar and calculus build up.
- Tooth brushing and anti-bacterial mouth rinses
For some pets, teeth brushing is a great way to mechanically remove build up. Pets need to be trained to let you brush their teeth and it’s best to start when they are young. Pets cannot tolerate human toothpaste so you’ll need to invest in a small soft brush and some specially formulated pet toothpaste which is available from our clinic.Anti-bacterial mouth rinse is also a great way to minimise bad breath and periodontal disease caused by bacterial build-up. We recommend administering mouth rinse to your pet daily to achieve the best results.
- Veterinary dental care
In some cases, a professional scale and polish may be necessary to remove extensive build-up or an extraction may be needed to get rid of infected or damaged teeth.
We can perform these procedures at our Vets in Cranbourne clinic which has sophisticated ultrasonic cleaning equipment to ensure the best results. Once the procedure is complete, our dental care team will design a dental care plan tailored to the needs of your pet.