Is your pet suffering from a sore mouth? Central Coast Vet Dr Anya Roche presents some hard facts about pet dental disease in the local area…
Did you know that foul “doggy breath” is not normal and reflects a diseased mouth? An astonishing 80% of dogs and cats over 2 years old have dental disease.
The reason the rate is so high is that our pets are not eating what they did in the wild. Wild food is tough to eat – literally and it acts like a natural dental floss. Much of the food we feed, while nutritious, doesn’t require the chewing needed to keep teeth clean.
Dental disease is painful, can restrict eating, can lead to other diseases in the body and will shorten the life of your pet. The good news is that it can be prevented or reversed in most cases.
How to tell if your pet has dental disease:
- Bad breath
- Loss of appetite
- Reddened gums-gingivitis
- Tartar build up
So here’s what to do:
If you notice any of the above signs, make an appointment to have a dental check done by Dr Anya or any of our team. The dental check can also be part of your pet’s annual health check. The earlier we get to see the problem the greater the chance to intercept it before it becomes irreversible.
In some cases the teeth need to be cleaned. This requires a general anaesthetic because in dogs and cats the teeth are not only cleaned on the surface but also under the gums.
Once clean, brushing and raw bones go a long way to keeping teeth clean. For pups and kittens, begin feeding raw bones as soon as you can. 2-3 bones a week is enough. We may also recommend particular foods that are beneficial in keeping teeth clean as well.
And it is not just Dr Anya who is concerned about pet dental problems. Many a Central Coast Vet has remarked on the effects that dental disease has on our pets. Visit Coast Animal Health Lakehavenor phone 4392 8822 for more information.