At Pet Medical clinics we are running a free dental check during the month of August. Why are we doing this?
Over 80% of aging pets suffer some sort of dental disease and it becomes more severe with age. Animals with dental disease left untreated will lead to teeth that require extraction due to infection within the gums and jawbone. These teeth can be very painful despite animals hiding mouth pain very well. Bacteria in the mouth can cause damage to the heart, liver and kidneys.
DID YOU KNOW?
Cats have 32 teeth and dogs have 42 teeth and they lose their baby teeth at about 8 weeks.
Dogs and cats both have baby teeth, known as deciduous teeth. These fully erupt (fall out) by 8 weeks and usually by 6 months, are replaced by permanent (adult) teeth.
Sometimes you may find the baby teeth in the food bowl or stuck in a toy as they become wobbly and fall out! Animals teeth the same way babies do when their teeth are coming through which is why puppies and kittens love chewing so much.
Bad breath almost always indicates dental disease unless of course they have just eaten something gross!
The top 10 breeds most at risk of dental disease are these breeds –
- Toy Poodle
- Standard Poodle
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Maltese Terrier
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Cavlaier King Charles Spaniel
WHAT DOES A DENTAL CHECK INVOLVE?
When a vet or nurse performs a dental health check, they examine the degree of plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, look at whether gingivitis (gum disease) is present and whether there are any obvious teeth that appear diseased, infected or broken.
WHAT IF DENTAL WORK IS REQUIRED?
A scale and polish can be performed under a general anesthetic, along with a full set of dental x-rays and any extractions required.
WHAT CAN YOU DO AT HOME?
There are many preventatives available for pets. It is best to start good dental hygiene from a young age. Bones and strips of raw meet are great and animals that have dry food in their diet also tend to have cleaner teeth.
Dental chews such as Greenies, Oravet or Dentastix are also help and these are available at Pet Medical clinics or you can order through our website here.
Daily brushing of your pets’ teeth will certainly help and there are specific dental diets designed to mechanically and chemically clean the teeth. Best to get a toothbrush from us, rather than use one of yours! And we have specially formulated beef or chicken flavoured toothpaste available too.
For animals that are particular about their food and don’t like chewing, there are additives you can add to the drinking water or sprinkle on food to help.DOWNLOAD DENTAL HEALTH INFORMATION SHEET (pdf)