Ovens & Murray Advertiser - North East Regional Extra

Dental disease in cats, dogs

- with With Ovens & Kiewa Veterinary Hospital

IMAGINE if we didn’t brush our teeth for years or never visited a dentist.

Dental disease is one of the most commonly diagnosed health problems in pets.

In fact, it affects at least 80% of all dogs and cats over three years of age.

Dental disease is initially caused by plaque (made up of food, saliva and bacteria).

Plaque sticks to the surface of the tooth, and if not removed will calcify or set into tartar.

There are many signs that can be suggestive of dental disease including: t CBE CSFBUI t EJTDPMPVSB­UJPO PS DSVTUJOH PO UFFUI t SFE PS JOnBNFE HVN MJOFT t SFMVDUBODF UP DIFX PS EJTDPNGPSU BT TPDJBUFE XJUI FBUJOH

t DIFXJOH PO POMZ POF TJEF PG UIF NPVUI

t ESPQQJOH GPPE ESPPMJOH PS EJTDIBSHF GSPN UIF NPVUI t EJʺDVMUZ TXBMMPXJOH t QBXJOH PS SVCCJOH BU UIF NPVUI BOE t XFJHIU MPTT

The most concerning side effects of dental disease are much less obvious.

Bacteria associated with dental disease can enter the bloodstrea­m lodging in heart valves, kidneys, liver and other organs and can result in organ dysfunctio­n.

Prevention is always better than a cure. There are many ways to help keep your pet’s teeth clean and maintain oral health:

t %FOUBM EJFUT BOE TVQQMFNFOU­T "fully balanced dry food plays an imperative role in your pet’s dental health and chewing dental kibble acts as a natural toothbrush by scraping plaque from teeth.

t #SVTIJOH EBJMZ CSVTIJOH PG UFFUI with pet toothbrush­es or a soft children’s toothbrush is best practice for removing plaque. Starting this process from a young age (as a puppy or kitten) is recommende­d to get your pet used to this procedure. Pet toothpaste­s are available and human toothpaste should never be used.

t 0SBM USFBUNFOUT UIFSF BSF TFW eral types of gels, water additives and chews designed specifical­ly for pets. These products work to reduce the accumulati­on of plaque and quantity of bacteria in the mouth. These products are often a much easier alternativ­e to brushing.

t $IFX UPZT TBGF DIFX UPZT DBO QSP mote chewing action and the production of saliva.

Dental disease can be treated by your veterinari­an.

If you are concerned your cat or dog may be suffering from dental disease, please book in for a dental check with a veterinari­an.

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