June is Pet Dental Care Month so this month I thought I would write about all things mouth-related.
As fellow mammals, dogs and cats can have the same types of dental problems as their owners and it is important to keep the teeth in good condition to ensure a long and pain free life.
Quite often, the first sign that a pet may have a dental health issue is halitosis or bad breath. This is usually caused by waste products from bacteria which live in the mouth. During eating, a slimy film of plaque forms on our teeth. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar and various bacteria latch on and cause inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). These bacteria breed and produce nasty chemicals, with foul odours. Regular cleaning of the teeth helps to keep plaque at bay and we can provide several different methods for this.
•Firstly, certain types of dry food are formulated to clean your pet's gnashers as he chews. Some also contain chemicals which polish the teeth and prevent plaque from forming. In fact, human toothpaste companies have started using some of the techniques learned in dog food manufacturing to keep owners smiling too.
•For more specific treatment, vets can supply toothpastes and oral hygiene gels, which you can regularly apply to the teeth to keep them shiny.
These treatments will only work however if the teeth are free from tartar and decay. For that reason it may be a good idea to let us have a look in your pet's mouth. During a dental consultation, we can check for tartar, broken or rotten teeth, and gum disease. We can follow this by advising you on the best plan to get the breath smelling sweet again.
Small furry pets like rabbits can have different dental issues, which are no less important. Because they are herbivores, rabbits have teeth which grow all the time, allowing them to chomp through hard plant stems. If a bunny has a bad diet or badly aligned jaws, the teeth don’t get worn down and can grow so much that they cause pains which will stop him from eating altogether.
During June, we are happy to provide free dental checks for your pet as part of Pet Dental Month. If you would like to book a dental checkup, give us a call and we will be delighted to help and advise on the best plan to keep your pet's smile sparkling!
Don’t forget – you can send your pet pics to firstname.lastname@example.org
James Buick is a partner at Ards Veterinary Clinic. The clinic is a branch practice of Comber Veterinary Clinic, which has been serving the animals of Comber for five years. AVC is an exclusively small animal practice, dealing with all aspects of pet medicine and surgery and is based at 4 North Street, Newtownards, BT23 4DE, telephone 028 9181 8898, web: www.ardsvets.com