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Signs your pet needs a dental check-up

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Dental issues in our pets affect their well being in multiple ways and a dental wellness exam with your veterinarian can help prevent or resolve these top 5 pet dental health concerns.

That fuzzy feeling when you run your tongue across your teeth. The smell of your own bad breath. Who can forget that nasty, stale taste? You forgot to brush your teeth last night before bed. We’ve all done it, but just think how you would feel if you hadn’t brushed your teeth in years!

This is sadly the case for many of our furry family members. It’s no wonder why eighty percent of dogs and cats develop periodontal disease by the age of three!

Dental issues in our pets affect their well-being in multiple ways and a dental wellness exam with your veterinarian can help prevent or resolve these top 5 pet dental health concerns.
Comfort: Human or animal, neither enjoy toothaches. Often times, when your pet’s dental issue crosses their threshold of pain, they are at a high risk of secondary infections. Sudden onset of pain can also be associated with a fractured tooth or foreign object lodged between teeth.

Behavior: Dogs and cats may have changes in their behavior when they are in pain. You might see them destructively chewing, constantly grooming, becoming head shy, increasing their vocal complaints, and hiding.

Nutrition: Dental issues may cause your pet to not eat and drink as much as they should which can quickly escalate to weight loss, dehydration, and decreased nutrition. Nutrition plays a crucial role in immune support. If your pet has a dental infection, the nutritional resources are used up quickly and their overall health will decrease.

Secondary Infections: Dental disease decreases your pet’s life by damaging their internal organs. Harmful bacteria in your pets infected mouth releases toxins. These toxins can then enter the bloodstream, traveling to internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, and heart. In fact, kidney and liver disease is a common occurrence in animals with poor dental health.

Bad Breath (Halitosis): No matter how much we love our pets, it’s no fun to cuddle with them if they have bad breath. If your pet has healthy gums and teeth, they will not have bad breath. If your pet’s breath is making you hold your breath, it’s time for a visit to the veterinarian for an oral exam and dental cleaning.

This all sounds bad, but don’t worry. There are multiple ways to keep your pet’s mouth healthy with daily brushing, healthy dental chew toys, and routine veterinary visits that include teeth cleaning. Together, we can help your four-legged family members live a long and healthy life.

Dr. Rebecca Whitlock, DVM

Midwest Veterinary Service

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