Things our pets wish they could tell us…. “My mouth hurts!”

Did you know that, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society,80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by 3 years of age?

One easy way of assessing how healthy your dog or cat is by getting it to say “Ahhhh”. Does your pet have bad breath, red/bleeding gums, yellow/brown teeth or loose/missing teeth? If so, your loved one could be suffering from dental disease. Bacteria that accumulates on dirty teeth will cause oral infections involving the gums and teeth. Infected teeth and gums are painful, but your pet will not be able let you know about the pain till it is very severe.

When bacteria in the mouth are present in large numbers over long periods of time, they can also travel via the blood stream to infect other internal organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys. Such infections of the internal organs can be difficult to diagnose, treat and can be life-threatening. It is for these same reasons that we have been told to brush our teeth daily. Tests and treatments arising from such complications are also often far more expensive and complicated than regular dental care.

Do not wait for your pet’s teeth to be dropping or for the gums to be bleeding before seeking veterinary attention. Your pet depends on you to keep those pearly whites as shiny as yours! The routine of brushing our teeth daily and regular visits to the dentist applies to your furry one too. This ensures that you preserve your pet’s full set of teeth to last a lifetime. If you are not familiar with dental care for your pet, speak to your veterinarian for more advice today, don’t wait till it’s too late (i.e. when teeth go missing)!

Written by: Dr. Brian Loon BSc. BVMS (Hons) (Murdoch)