Hello, Floyd here again and I would like to tell you a little bit about dental disease in recognition of dental health month. Our teeth are important too just like yours or your human children’s teeth. In a little bit we will get to the story about my little brother Oreo but in the mean time a little bit about dental disease and prevention to keep your pets smiling. All small dogs are born with the same amount of teeth it doesn’t matter if you are a Great Dane or pint size like my brother Oreo we still have 42 teeth, did you know that? And, I am told that cats have 30 teeth. In small dogs this large number of teeth can cause crowding within the oral cavity. The crowding of the teeth and their roots causes a small dog to be at higher risk of dental disease than our much larger friends. Dental disease can be very serious especially when the tooth roots become infected. This can lead to a systemic infection which is called tooth root abscess and you can imagine how painful that could be for your furry friends. Also this infection can move to the jaw bone causing the jaw to break. To prevent dental disease from progressing to any of these dangerous levels it is important to regularly brush your pet’s teeth to decrease tartar and gingivitis. At your annual vet visit monitor the amount of dental disease your pet has and talk with your doctor about their dental care. The doctor will be sure to mention if your pet could benefit from a professional cleaning. Did you know that even our exotic and pocket pets in the house require regular dental care and monitoring? Now I will tell you about my little brothers dental journey since he has come to live with us….
Oreo is a 3 year old Miki and weighs in at a healthy 4 pounds; I told you he was my LITTLE brother! When he came to our family he had very bad breath and a painful mouth, he had what the professionals call moderate dental disease. He was one of those dogs that no one wanted kisses from and I can say it was hard to share a bed with him due to his mouth odor. So, mom took him in to Stow Kent Animal Hospital for a visit to estimate his level of dental disease and for blood work to monitor all organ functions. Pets must have blood work before undergoing any dental procedures. After we saw the doctor, mom scheduled a dental for my brother on January 1, 2013. Oreo was sedated for the dental and placed on IV Fluids which is standard for all dentals. Oreo stayed at the hospital for the majority of the day. His teeth were scaled, polished and he had 8 teeth pulled due to dental disease. He still came home that evening. He had to be on a wet food diet for a few days with pain medication to aid him in his recovery. Oreo told me that he is happy and his teeth feel much better. He has the freshest breath; I can even share my dog bed with him now! My family and I can tell how happy he is now and how it improved his quality of life dramatically. He is dental disease free and mommy is brushing his teeth daily to help him to never develop dental disease again. He wanted to thank Stow Kent Animal Hospital for helping him to have a whiter, dental disease and pain free mouth!
Please remember that your pet’s teeth need to be brushed just like your teeth do. If you are unsure about the status of your pet’s dental health or if they could benefit from a dental cleaning then please contact our hospital today, and we can help! Some pet’s dental disease is too advanced and brushing alone may not help their situation and may also be painful to them so if you have any doubts make an appointment first before you begin brushing. It is important to never use human tooth paste with your pets, this can be toxic! Remember that we do not rinse and spit out the tooth paste we swallow it so it needs to be safe. They make special animal tooth pastes that are safe and taste yummy too. There are also different types of toothbrushes that you could try to make the experience more positive. For example a normal toothbrush versus finger brushes. We offer pet flavor tooth paste here at Stow Kent Animal Hospital and Portage Animal Clinic. Remember that exotics and small animals may also need regular dental maintenance and though sometimes it is not thought of their dental health is important too!
We recommend that you bring in your pet to have their teeth examined and don’t forget to pick up some dental care items while you’re there. If you find that your pet needs a dental after having a doctor examine their teeth, you may schedule that at Stow Kent Animal Hospital with our surgery staff and a doctor.
From the desk of Floyd the Shih Tzu with help from Stow Kent Animal Hospital