Feb 01 2016

Pet Dental Health 101

Bad breath in pets is often joked about, but it is not a laughing matter! Dental disease affects up to 80% of pets over the age of three, and just like humans, there can be serious consequences of poor dental health.

Dogs start out with 28 baby teeth, cats with 26 baby teeth that fall out by six month of age and are replaced by permanent teeth.  Dogs end up having 42 permanent teeth and cats have 30 permanent teeth.

You should start thinking about dental care for your pet earlier rather than later.  Dental disease progresses in stages, if caught early you can prevent further damage and save as many teeth as possible.

Home care:Regular teeth brushing (at least 3 times a week) will help your pet’s mouth stay healthier.  You can start by just lifting your dogs lip and looking at the teeth.  Then gradually introduce a small tooth brush with some pet toothpaste and brush a few teeth at a time.  Work up until you can brush most of the teeth, just concentrate on the outside part of the teeth.  If your pet will not let you in their mouth you can try some anti bacterial rinses or chews. Ask our veterinarians or technicians what the best product for your pet would be.

Professional Dental Therapy:  If your dog or cat is over the age of 3 we recommend a dental exam before starting a home care regimen.  We may recommend a professional cleaning under anesthesia to remove heavier tartar build up and address any ongoing infection in the mouth.  We follow the American Animal Hospital Association guidelines for dental cleanings which include pre operative blood work, monitoring while under anesthesia, dental radiographs, and scaling and polishing of the teeth.

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