Oral Care in Your Pet - They Need Clean Teeth Too.
Our pets need there teeth to be kept clean too. Here are a few tips for you.
oral care in your pets.
Many of our pets suffer with dental problems at some point in their life. Owners often fail to stop and think about their pet’s oral health. This can lead to many problems that may be very expensive to put right.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Stomatitis is inflammation of the mouth and often affects the back of the mouth where the upper and lower jaws meet. Dental disease is commonly associated with dental plaque and tartar formation. Signs to look out for are bad breath, dribbling, loss of appetite, weight loss, bleeding gums, pawing at the mouth, poor coat from loss of grooming. If you spot any of these signs in your pet, you will need to take them to your Veterinary Surgeon for a check. The vet will look for inflammation of the gums, ulcers, erosions of the teeth and plaque/tartar build-up. If necessary, blood samples and oral swabs for culturing viruses and bacteria may be taken, along with a biopsy of the inflamed tissue. Your pet may need dental treatment to remove plaque/tartar and any damaged teeth. Specific dental diets may be helpful but supportive nursing care may be needed to tempt cats to eat, groom coat etc.
Long-term oral medication (antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, pain relief) may be required in some cases. Some animals may be difficult to medicate by mouth, especially if the mouth is sore and they may require regular injections. In some cases extraction of all the teeth can alleviate the problem. Surprisingly, most pets cope well without any teeth at all and some can even cope with dry food.
Dependent on the cause and severity of the condition, some cases cannot be cured and long-term treatment may be required to manage the condition. However, many pets respond well to treatment and dental management may be curative, though not in every case.
Dental hygiene such as brushing of the teeth is the best preventative, this is best started at an early age; your pet will get used to you touching their mouth and will become more tolerant of this, enabling you to actually brush their teeth. Never use human toothpaste for your pet because these contain foaming ingredients. You can buy special pet toothpaste from a good pet shop or your Veterinary Practice. Some pets will tolerate this better than others and some may also tolerate specially formulated mouthwashes. Regular veterinary check-ups may identify dental problems early and prevent it becoming worse.
I hope this has been helpful to you. If you have any worries or questions about your pet dental health, please consult your Veterinary Surgeon.