Dental Disease is one of the most common diseases in pets. It is also very serious. When a pet’s teeth are neglected, it can
cause infected and painful gums and periodontal disease.
When food remains on the teeth it forms plaque. This plaque builds over time and hardens. Periodontal disease is caused
by a buildup of plaque below the gum line. This is painful to the pet and causes inflammation of the gums and possible tooth
loss.It can lead to other serious problems like kidney and heart disease.
Warning signs include bad breath, loose teeth, bleeding gums, and lack of appetite to name a few symptoms of dental
Your pet needs dental care – regular, professional care from your veterinarian and care at home from you. It is
recommended that pet owners follow these basic steps:
**Take your pet to the veterinarian for a dental exam. Don’t wait for the annual exam if you think there is a problem. A pet’s
bad breath is just one indication that there might be something going on.
**Start with dental care at home. Ideally, a pet’s teeth should be brushed twice weekly. Brushing removes the daily
accumulation of plaque from their teeth. Good dental health plays a major role in protecting and keeping vital organs
functioning well throughout your pet’s life.
**Schedule regular veterinary checkups. These are extremely important in helping your veterinarian monitor the progress of your
pet’s dental health as well as his/her health in general.
Visit your veterinarian regularly for routine exams. Since dogs and cats age faster than us, yearly exams can identify problems early. Make sure you let your veterinarian know any changes in your pet’s behavior or appetite and when it began.
Brushing removes dead hair and helps to stimulate blood flow to the skin. As you brush your pet, notice any bumps, skin problems or any hair loss. Let your veterinarian know if any of these occur.
Tooth brushing helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. You will notice mouth and tongue sores early if you brush your pet’s teeth. Dogs and cats have normal breath smells but if there is a change in their breath to the point that it is strong or offensive, your veterinarian should be told. This could signal various illnesses. Look for our Dental Services coupon under “What’s New”.
Exercise helps to maintain muscle tone, keeps the heart and digestive system healthy and improves a pet’s disposition. Try to walk or play with your pet at least twice a day.
Make sure your pet eats a good quality food that is for their specific life stage. Feed the amount that maintains an ideal weight. Always have fresh, cool water available for your pets.
Watch your pet. Keep an eye on his urine and bowel movements for something different going on. If there are any changes in habits or attitude, let your veterinarian know. Identify problems early.
When your pet gets older, it doesn’t mean that slowing down, gaining weight and changes in behavior are going to happen. Some changes that are associated with aging pets can be treated or even prevented.
Senior pets need more attention as they get older. Dogs and cats age five to seven times faster than people do. For that reason, health conditions change quicker. Some diseases and conditions include arthritis, cancer, dental disease, diabetes, intestinal issues, thyroid problems, and heart, kidney, and liver diseases.
With many advances in pet nutrition and veterinary care, our pets are living longer. In order to keep your senior pet healthy, we recommend bringing them in for a complete physical examination. This exam should include routine testing to help detect diseases early. Diagnosing a problem early is easier to treat.
Please contact us today to schedule a senior wellness exam. We will be glad to answer all your questions about your pet’s health. We can work together to keep your pet happy and healthy!!
The more responsibility you take to keep your pet healthy, the less veterinary bills you will have. Some of the most effective preventative items start at home.
This is an important tool for maintaining good health. Animals age faster than humans so their diseases tend to progress more rapidly. The annual exam checks all important body functions and can catch developing health problems at an early stage. In this way, treatment is more effective and less expensive.
Controlling parasites is less expensive than treating the illnesses they can cause. Heartworm and other internal parasites can be life threatening. Ticks carry disease and fleas can bring on severe allergic reations and tapeworm.
Spaying or neutering can possibly help prevent expensive health problems later in your pet’s life. Unspayed females are more likely to develop breast cancer. A potentially fatal uterine infection called pyometra can also be a threat. Unneutered males can get prostate disease, testicular and anal tumors and hernias that would require surgery.
Nothing will help your pet stay healthy more than maintaining its proper weight. Being over-weight will bring on arthritis that could result in the need for expensive surgery. Diabetes and cancer are seen more in obese animals as are breathing problems, spinal disease and smelly skin conditions.
Your veterinarian can help determine the ideal weight for your pet and guide you toward achieving and maintaining that weight. Measuring your pet’s food is the first step. Regular exercise will help your pet keep the weight off.
By age three, dogs and cats show signs of gum disease. Symptoms include yellow and brown build-up of tartar along the gum line, inflamed gums and bad breath. Infections begin in the gums and can spread to major organs. Heart and kidney disease are the most common problems.
A regular tooth brushing routine can help maintain good dental health. Use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste designed for pets. Don’t use human toothpaste because it has too much fluoride which can be toxic. Start young. Make brushing a part of your puppy or kitten’s play and give a reward when you are done. If your pet is grown, first dip your finger in broth for a dog and tuna juice for a cat and gently rub your finger along the gum line. The next time wrap gauze around your finger like a brush. Then use the toothbrush. Remember to have fun and finish with a treat. Try to brush your pet’s teeth at least two to three times a week.
Signs of infection are redness, swelling, odor or difficulty eating. Your veterinarian should be notified if you see any of these signs in your pet’s mouth.
Pets get sick when they ingest harmful human foods or common household items. Preventing accidental poisonings can save you an emergency visit to the veterinarian.
Common items such as chocolate, caffeine, grapes, raisins, avocado, onions and macadamia nuts can make your pet sick. Sugar free foods of all types from cake to gum that contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol can be very hazardous.
Human medications are the leading cause of pet poisonings. Keep all medications, even those for your pet, stored out of reach.
Common houseplants such as azalea, rhododendron, sago palm, kalanchoe and scheffleria will make your pet sick. Lilies are very toxic to cats, even in small amounts.
The wrong flea or tick product that is applied to the wrong species can be a problem. Consult your veterinarian before applying these products.
Take care in using and storing common products like rodenticides, antifreeze, fertilizer and household cleaners. While they are attractive to pets, they can cause serious reactions.
Owning a pet means accepting a life-long responsibility to provide proper nutrition, health care, shelter, training and attention. All these things have costs that can vary widely from animal to animal.
Look into pet insurance as an option to help with the financial part of owning a pet. While it most likely won’t cover all costs, insurance can help. There are many companies with a variety of coverage plans, so study each plan carefully before making the choice that fits your needs and budget.
Owning a pet should be a rewarding experience. Choosing the right one and planning for its health care, will help ensure your pet is a joy in your life.
are private websites that give you secure online access to your pet’s health information. We provide Pet Portals free of charge to all clients who have an active email address on file.
It’s easy to get a Pet Portal!! Simply give us your email address the next time you visit the hospital or call us on the phone and we’ll email you a password and a link to our website. To get your Pet Portal, simply click on the link to our website, select “Pet Portal Login” on the home page, enter your email address and assigned password. It’s that simple!!
You can also visit our website and click the Pet Portal Login button and follow the instructions from there!!
Be assured that we do not use your email address for anything other than communicating health information about your pet.