General Pet Advice
Dental care is just as important for your pet as it is for people. Keeping your pet's teeth clean and healthy is imperative to preventing dental diseases in the future.
Here at Spinney Vets, we understand the importance of your pet’s dental hygiene, its just as important as any other routine for your pet. That is why we also operate in pet dental care specialising in the build-up of tartar, tooth decay and gum disease prevention. Our specialist nurse clinics are here to provide essential dental care and advice for you and your pet's needs.
For pet dental care we recommend brushing you cat or dog’s teeth twice a day to maintain good oral hygiene in your pet. Just the same as humans, animals can suffer with a build of tartar which can lead to tooth decay. In the long term this can be very painful for your pet, as well as expensive for you to treat.
There are alternative options such as products that you can add to your pet’s water to help reduce plaque build up and bad breath. Bad breath is caused by something called Halitosis which is a when bacteria becomes trapped on the surface of the tongue or between teeth.
Treating dogs and cats
Dogs and cats can be very good at not displaying any signs of oral pain that could be dental disease. Some animals with severe dental disease, including root exposure, severe gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), and tooth root infections, will keep eating, showing only small, sometimes unnoticeable signs that something is wrong. This often leads to an animal requiring multiple extractions of teeth, we recommend combatting this by providing daily tooth brushing.
Signs of dental disease?
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Visible tartar build-up on teeth
- Red or inflamed gums (gingivitis)
- Discoloured teeth
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Slowness or reluctance to eat
- Chewing on one side of the mouth
- Dropping food from the mouth when eating
- Swelling around the mouth (from potential tooth root abscesses)
Why does dental disease occur?
Food and saliva that is left behind on the teeth will form plaque on the tooth. Plaque is soft and can be removed by brushing or using alternative dental products.
If not removed, the plaque will harden forming tartar, which is difficult to remove without dentistry intervention. You can utilise our dental care by having a dental de-scaling to remove tartar. If tartar is not removed then bacteria will spread below the gumline, causing red sore gums. This is called gingivitis and periodontitis, which in turn can lead to lose teeth, infection of the tooth root and jawbone infections.
Cats also get another form of dental disease known as feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORLs). It has an unknown cause, but 75% of cats are thought to be affected. It is particularly common in cats over five years but can occur at any age.
In these lesions, part of the tooth is eaten away by the tooth itself, forming a small hole in the enamel close to the gum line. These lesions are very painful for cats and can lead to tooth fractures as they weaken the teeth. They require extraction to resolve.
As a pet owner you may never have thought about pet obesity, but it is a very real issue facing many pets in the UK. With pet obesity on the rise, veterinarians are starting to see more cases of animals developing similar health issues to overweight humans.