FitnFurry Asks a Veterinarian About Dental Care

pittyWHAT’S IN YOUR PET’S MOUTH?

Do you regularly look inside your pet’s mouth?  Would you be able to identify a problem if you see one?  Being aware of what your pet’s teeth and gums should look like may help you identify a problem early.  Dental disease is the most commonly diagnosed problem in small animals, affecting about 75% of dogs and cats by the time they’re only 3 years old.  Without regular home and professional care, bacteria and plaque accumulates leading to not only bad breathe but also gingivitis.  Left untreated, this can result in periodontal disease includi ng gingival recession, enamel erosion and root abscess.  In extreme cases, bacteria from your pet’s infected mouth can get into the bloodstream and may cause debilitating systemic disease in the heart, liver, and kidneys.  Fortunately, as for your own oral health care, serious problems are preventable with good oral hygiene habits, regular dental exams, and prompt treatment.  Staying on top of your pet’s oral health will not only improve their quality of life, it can also prolong their life.

It would be n ice if your pet could tell you when they had oral health problems.  Instead, they often mask their discomfort, so it’s important for you to learn how to look for problems yourself.  Gently pick up your pet’s lips and simply look at the teeth and gums.  If your pet’s teeth are discolored, if the gums are puffy, bright red, recessed, or bleeding, your pet probably has gingivitis and may be well on its way to more serious periodontal disease.  Difficulty eating, excessive drooling, putrid breath and loose teeth are also signs of advanced problems that may result in tooth loss or worse.

It is never too late to begin good oral health habits for your pet!  Start today by having your pet’s mouth and teeth examined and continue every 6 – 12 months.  Your veterinarian will be happy to teach you how to properly perform preventive maintenance and work with you to achieve the highest level of oral health for your pet. With regular attention, your pet will not only tolerate dental homecare, but will enjoy the extra attention!

Don’t forget about the “No Flea’s” Flea Market at Fit’n’Furry! This is a benefit for the Petaluma Animal Shelter and the Sonoma Humane Society. Fit’n’Furry is collecting pet related donations that will be sold “Flea Market’ Style on October 24th in which all proceeds go to these great organizations. You can help by donating your slightly used  beds, leashes, collars, cratsadshelterdoges etc. by October 17th or by coming down and buying something on the day of the event. Please spread the word and help us help these very important animal-care facilities!

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