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With the Senior Pet Checks proving so popular over the last 2 weeks, one aspect that has been particularly apparent is that teeth are often overlooked as a source of problems for our dogs and cats.

 

A population of pets that are living longer and spending more time indoors in close contact with their owners means that dental disease is definitely an up and coming issue!

 

How many people reading this article never brush their teeth? Well that’s the situation with almost all of our companion animals! I find it amazing to open the mouth of a 12 year old cat and only find a bit of tartar – if I didn’t brush for 12 years I would be lucky to have any teeth!

 

Having said that, sometimes we open the mouth of a dog or cat and find teeth that are in such a state that it is amazing the animal can even eat!

 

Dental disease (fractured teeth, tartar, caries, and periodontal disease), can have quite significant repercussions on your pet’s health. Apart from making it difficult to eat and groom their coats, the hidden damage can include liver and kidney disease, heart and lung issues, and upset stomachs. Not to mention the effect on the owner of bad breath (halitosis) and an unhappy animal.

 

Some animals will require routine dental care through their lives; others may never need dentistry done. In some cases an animal will lose most of its teeth quite early in its life – but it can still enjoy life as a gummy!

 

So, if your cat or dog is showing any of the following symptoms:

 

  • Bad breath (Halitosis)
  • Pain or discomfort when eating (this can show up in many ways – growling when eating, dropping food or refusing to eat food that they previously ate with no problems), or hiding or not playing with toys.
  • Wetness or blood about the mouth or excessive moisture on the coat after grooming (you might smell this as well!)
  • Rubbing or pawing at the mouth (Look for brown saliva stains on the front paws)

 

Don’t delay - get in touch with your vet and have them checked!

 

There are many preventative things to do to help keep your pet’s teeth in good condition. Call into Clutha Vets and find out what you can do to keep your pet healthy.