One of the most important things you can do for your dog and cat is to be aware of their dental health.
Dental disease is one of the most frequent problems seen at CVH in dogs and cats and reputedly, more than 80% of Australian pets have some sort of dental problems. Tartar (plaque) build-up, smelly breath, loose teeth, excessive drooling and painful inflamed gums are all too common. This poor dental health leads to a build-up of bacteria in the oral cavity with adverse effects on vital organs such as the kidneys.
Checking your pet’s dental health
If you are at all concerned with the state of your pet’s mouth, please ring for a check-up. Be aware of the symptoms of dental disease:
- Pets can seem hungry, rushing to their food dish, but after a mouthful, turn away, indicating pain on eating
- Halitosis (smelly breath)
- Gingivitis (inflamed gums)
- In severe cases, infection in the mouth causes facial swelling
- Pain and possible aggression when the face and mouth are handled.
Some dental problems will respond to a change in diet. Soft food means no exercise for teeth and gums. At CVH, we stock specialised dental diets such as Hills Science Diet T/D. These diets can help your pet’s oral cavity return to good health.
For more severe dental disease, we undertake safe ultrasonic teeth cleaning and tooth removal under general anaesthetic. Removing loose and painful teeth, and clearing tartar away from gums, can make a huge difference to your pet’s appetite and general health.
- Starting puppies and kittens on biscuits as well as soft food is the very best way to prevent future problems. High quality dry food is well-balanced in nutrients, and biscuits help exercise teeth and gums, keeping teeth free of bacteria and tartar build-up.
- We have a great range of manufactured products designed to encourage chewing – dental chews, Greenies, pig’s ears etc.
- Dental diets such as Hills Science Diet T/D provide good chewing exercise, contain substances to reduce tartar and can be used as part of a daily diet.
- Believe it or not, your dog and cat can also benefit from a regular teeth brushing session. We stock special soft pet toothbrushes and toothpaste and can show you how to keep your pet’s teeth clean and sparkling. Note: human toothpaste is NOT suitable for pets.
- Additives for drinking water are available that help strengthen teeth and keep them free from decay.
- Raw meaty bones (chicken wings or necks, large marrow bones) can be fed in moderation but talk to us first – some pets may not be suited to eating bones. Never feed cooked bones, they can splinter and injure the digestive tract.