Pet Care Basics: Dental Diseases and How to Prevent Them
Have you ever experienced your family pet trying to snuggle with you, but you suddenly cringe at the foul odor of your pet’s breath? Some refer to it as “doggie breath” or “garbage mouth.” Contrary to popular belief, bad breath among animals is not normal. If your pet is suffering from foul-smelling breath, it could be one of the first indications of an illness. Did you know that dogs with excellent dental health tend to live at least two years longer than those with oral problems?
What is dental disease?
Dental disease is an unpleasant condition that develops from plaque, tartar, and bacteria on teeth that get stuck below the gumline. Poor oral hygiene often results in several dental and general health problems. There is a connection between poor dental health and persistent illnesses in pets. Here is some available information that you need to know about your pet animal’s dental diseases.
Canine and Feline Dental Diseases
Dogs generally develop gum disease from the accumulation of dental calculus. Food, bacteria, and debris accumulate on the surface of the teeth with time, and it solidifies into a cement-like material. This brings about gingivitis and, at some point, gingival recession and bone loss.
Cats are less commonly affected by the periodontal disease from calculus. Nevertheless, they get feline-specific problems like resorptive lesions and stomatitis. These diseases are often excruciating and inflamed. Regular dental care is needed to keep optimal oral health in cats and canines.
Periodontal diseases are prevalent among canines and felines. In advanced instances, the bacteria might go into the bloodstream and wreak havoc on other organs like kidneys, liver, and heart. Vet diagnostic tools such as dog x ray are necessary for identifying diseases in dogs and felines.
Dental Diseases in Exotic Pets
Like dogs and cats, exotic pet animals also require dental care. Most exotic pets like iguanas, bearded dragons, rabbits, chinchillas, and various exotic pets need to have routine physical exams, including dental care appointments. Visit southwiltonvet.com for exotic pet facilities.
The most common dental issue affecting reptiles like snakes and lizards is stomatitis, typically called mouth rot. Turtles and tortoises are less commonly affected with stomatitis, though.
Small herbivores like rabbits and rodents generally have dental issues like elongated teeth that never quit growing. This is common because their diets don’t provide the regular grinding required to maintain their teeth of ideal size.
Dental Disease Prevention
- Begin early with your pet’s dental care. Brush their teeth with pet toothpaste daily or at least thrice a week.
- Ask the veterinarian dentist about treats, supplements, and food that can lower the development of pet dental disease.
- Avoid feeding your pets with canned food because these tend to stick to their teeth; instead, provide them dry food. Nonetheless, if canned food is what the veterinarian recommended for some nutritional functions, you need to follow your vet’s suggestion.
- Make sure to arrange dental visits and have a regular professional dental cleaning as early as one year old.
- Your vet is still the best person who can care for and monitor your beloved pets’ general and oral health.