Updated: May 20, 2020
“ Hannah” a Shih Tzu cross Poodle came in today for a lump removal but during our examination we noticed her dental disease and resulting bad breath. She benefited from a full scale and polish but unfortunately some teeth we were unable to be save and had to be removed. She received lots of pain relief and even local anaesthesia, just like humans do, so that when she woke up from the anaesthesia, she was comfortable and relaxed.
I have no doubt that her human companion’s will be impressed by her sweet smelling breath, a spring in her step and a new enthusiasm at meal times.
Does Your Pet have Dental Disease?
If your dog or cat has stinky breath, it may be time to look for signs of dental disease. The first thing you can do at home is to simply lift your pet's lip, and ask yourself these questions:
Are the teeth yellow or brown? Loose or missing?
Are the gums red or swollen? How’s your pet’s appetite? Having trouble chewing food or chews?
Losing weight? If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, your pet could have serious disease. If not, that is great news! Your and your pet are doing all the right things. Or maybe it is early days and no problems have arisen yet.
Dental disease can be prevented, treated and even reversed if caught early. You can protect their teeth by remembering the following: Brush your pet’s teeth regularly to help reduce plaque, a sticky film that contains bacteria. Be sure to use toothpaste that is formulated for dogs or cats. Give your pet dental chews and perhaps consider pet food specially formulated to address dental disease.Raw bones can be useful but be careful. Bones can get stuck on the way down, bones can break teeth, cause constipation or gastroenteritis. They can also be very fatty and can contribute to obesity. There is also a rare neurological disease in dogs that can be contracted from raw chicken.
Visit your local veterinarian for regular professional dental checks. This will help catch problems before they are irreversible or produce disease.
Dental disease causes pain but your pet may not show it. Pets with dental disease are more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease as well as suffer damage to other organs such as the liver and kidneys. Bacteria from the mouth constantly enter the bloodstream and from there into the organs.
If plaque (the non-visible film on teeth) and dental calculus (the visible mineral deposits) are not routinely cleaned from pets' teeth, they can cause gingivitis (painful inflammation of the gums), bad breath (halitosis), periodontal disease, and eventually, tooth loss.