Dental Health

Trench mouth is not a pleasant thing and can lead to organ failure. BBBOOOO! But how many of you brush your pets teeth?

Is that crickets I hear?

Have you ever even thought about it or tried it? When was the last time you lifted your pets lip and checked out the health of their gums and teeth? Anyone even know what a healthy gum color is?

Alright, I’ll stop with the questions. I don’t want you to feel called on the carpet or picked on, I’m just trying to point out a part of pet health that is often overlooked and even a joke sometime with the dragon breath some fur kids have. Some technicians don’t even dare putting their hand in their pets mouth so you’re not alone but it is definitely something we need to work on together.

You want to increase the life span of your pet? Dental health is a sure way to do that as well as keep them away from the pain of dental disease. Brushing your pets teeth is the absolute best way to keep the teeth happy, but there are also dental treats, dental diets, dental toys, water additives and even wipes to clean your pets teeth. Find something that works for you and your pet and stick with it. Repetition will make it easier and keep you up to date on your pets dental health.

Healthy Mouth:

Puppies start out with 28 beautiful, but sharp teeth. They should be pearly white with nice pink or black gums depending on breed. They should also be a single row like this. Some smaller breeds don’t lose their baby teeth but the adult teeth grow in and make a shark of your pet. We usually pull these at the spay or neuter to keep them from causing problems, but you’ll want to check with your veterinarian on what is best for your pup.

These ‘milk teeth’ will be replaced by 42 adult teeth somewhere between 14 and 30 weeks of age.

You can see yellow tartar starting on the molars in the way back, but otherwise this is a healthy smile with beautiful gum color.

My estimation is that you will pay the same for dental care. Either little bits on daily care with yearly vet visits to scale and polish like your dentist does for you to keep things happy and healthy or one huge amount late stage when the teeth have rotted out and dental disease is rampant. To be fair, most pets do just fine without teeth, but that is not a good reason to skip the dental care. Dental disease does NOT stay in the mouth. The bacteria and debris carry on through the system and can cause all sorts of havoc on internal organs and workings.

The goal here is to keep that beautiful smile well into your pets advancing years. Brushing is the most effective way to do this. Try it. Try it again. Go slow. Try, try, try.

Dental Disease

Does your pets breath smell so bad they could kill a plant? Have they recently stopped eating as much even though they seem quite hungry? Are they rubbing at their jaw or whimpering? If so, your pet may need a dental.

We love to see this big of a smile, but it’s easy to see by those lower incisors that this is not the first sugary snack this kid has had. Smaller breeds already have dental issues without bad diet and poor oral health. That gook all over those teeth has got to go before all those teeth start falling out on their own. OUCH! This is your sign to get a dental and start finding better treats!

It’s not uncommon to see staining in older kids or those that have spent a lot of time trying to chew their way out of their kennels. These teeth are definitely warn but clean and stained none the less. Wear and tear don’t generally effect health unless the tooth is worn into the pulp canal that contains all the nerve endings. Gah!

Cats get Dental Disease too!

Remember Draco our office cat? He is a toothless wonder because he had severe stomatitis.  Stomatitis is more often fixed by cleaning and proper care, but Draco and many like him have to get all their teeth out to cure it. It’s painful and not fun. Do not ignore your cat’s teeth.

This beautiful kid might just be crying out in pain. Did you happen to notice that red spot on that back left molar? That’s a sure sign your cat needs closer inspection.

Yawning is the perfect time for you to peek in that big mow and see if any trouble is lurking.

Just looking at this cat’s mouth makes me shiver. He needs more than just a dental cleaning. Maybe antibiotics and pain meds. YEOWCH! Have you ever seen your cat chatter it’s jaw when it’s eating? That’s an involuntary pain response. They just bit down on an exposed nerve and their body reacted. Gah!

No teeth would be a blessing for that kid. Just look at this happy girl!