Posts Tagged ‘pets’

Dental Care For Your Pet Shouldn’t Be Like Pulling Teeth

March 15, 2010

As a responsible pet owner, you know how important quality nutrition and regular veterinary care are to the health of your pet. But did you know that dental health plays an important role in helping to ensure a long and healthy life?

Dogs and cats get plaque on their teeth just like humans do. This is formed by bacteria multiplying on the surface of the teeth. Toxins produced by the bacteria will irritate the gums, causing an infection.

When the plaque hardens it forms tartar. This progresses until the gums pull away from the teeth and leaves pockets that harbor more bacteria and infection. This can cause painful dental abscesses and malodorous breath. If left untreated, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream.

This is where it becomes dangerous! Once the bacteria and infection enters the bloodstream, they can travel to major organs and begin infections in the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and the nervous system.

To prevent this from happening, check your pet’s gums once a month; a good time to do this is when you give once-a-month heartworm preventative.

Additionally, and most importantly, your pet’s oral health should be assessed at least once a year by your veterinarian; older pets should have their teeth cleaned annually after the age of 5 to 7 years; some individuals may need to begin regular cleanings even sooner.

However, if you notice any bad breath, yellow or brown tooth deposits, red gums, or drooling, you should talk to you veterinarian immediately.

Dental care should not stop after your dog or cat has her teeth professionally cleaned by your veterinarian. Home care is VITAL to prevent gum disease from starting or progressing.

There are several products you can use at home to help keep your pet’s mouth healthy. Specially formulated chews such as Greenies and Hexa-Chews along with a special dental diet will promote healthy chewing and oral cleansing.

Ask our professional veterinary team which products would be best for you and your pet. Leave a comment or email michelle@newhavenvetclinic.com

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