Question. What would your teeth look like if you didn’t brush everyday? Probably pretty gross huh? Another question. When was the last time you brushed your pet’s teeth. If you said, “Never”, you’re not alone. Most pet owners don’t attend to their pet’s dental health, but we need to change this. Dental disease is a very serious problem for pets that can lead to bad breath, tooth loss, pain, and even damaged organs.
How does this happen? Normally your pet’s mouth will have white teeth and pink gums, but without good oral hygiene food particles and bacteria will start to form a film called plaque on your pet’s teeth. If plaque isn’t brushed away, it will lead to calculus and tartar which are basically calcified bacteria.
If the bacteria and tartar travel under your pet’s gum line, it can lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis causes bleeding, swelling and mouth odor. If the problem still isn’t taken care of, your pet could develop Periodontal disease. With Periodontal disease, the supporting tooth structure including the bones and ligaments in the mouth are destroyed. Without these structures your pet will be in constant pain and will be in danger of tooth loss. At this stage it is imperative that your veterinarian begin extracting teeth.
What’s more when a pet has Periodontal disease,the bacteria and toxins that have been circulating through your pet’s system due to improper dental care, now have the potential of damaging your pet’s heart, liver, and kidneys. If this bacteria reaches your pet’s organ it can cause an infection and do major damage to your pet’s vital organs.
Serious infections are likely to occur if your pet’s oral health has not been cared for. In fact by the age of three, most pets in the United States already show signs of Periodontal disease and it only get worse as they age.
To prevent your pet from contracting this disease ensure that you are caring for your pet’s teeth daily. There are many products out there from dental chews to specialized toothbrushes and toothpastes that taste like bacon! Also, have your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned at least one a year by your veterinarian. Consult with your veterinarian about which dental hygiene products would be the best for your pet.
The dogs and cats that come to us at the shelter have often lived hard lives and are vulnerable to many different illnesses. We do all we can to ensure they receive the best available veterinary care before they are adopted. But providing medical care to the thousands of animals that enter our door every year is no easy feat. Would you be willing to make a donation to help us care for our animals?