ASDR spends alot of money on dental care for our fosters. Just recently we had two dogs who underwent dental surgery – one dog lost 5 teeth and another lost 8. That’s 13 teeth!! Here is a great article taken from Pets Magazine that gives important information on how to “keep our dogs smiling”!
Dental disease is one of the most common health problems for dogs. In fact, an estimated 85 per cent of all dogs suffer some degree of dental disease.
However, some animals that have very poor dental hygiene show no outward symptoms at all.
If your pet’s mouth is neglected, teeth may fall out, painful infections of the tooth root can occur and your pet may develop further diseases in other body organs, such as the kidneys, liver and heart. Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy can improve both the quality and the length of its life.
Your veterinarian can advise you on how best to maintain your pet’s dental health. Many pets require scaling (i.e. gentle removal of tartar and plaque on the tooth surface and under the gum line) and polishing, much like their owners—the main difference being the teeth are cleaned when the pet is under general anesthesia.
Some of your pet’s teeth may require X-rays, as these enable your veterinarian to study the roots and the bones around them. Root canals or extractions can be performed if necessary. Some pets even require braces.Daily brushing with pet-specific toothpaste, feeding plaque-reducing foods or treats and using mouthwash and tooth gels will all help prevent dental disease in your pet.Even older pets can be trained to accept daily toothbrush use. Some pet toothpastes are flavoured with poultry, beef or salmon to make them more attractive.
Oral hygiene solutions can also be added to your pet’s drinking water to further fight plaque and bad breath. For more information about keeping your pet happy and healthy through proper dental hygiene, talk with your veterinarian.
Julie Schell, DVM, is based at the Bow Bottom Veterinary Hospital and Boarding Centre in Calgary.