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Did you know that February is Pet Dental Health Month? Dental health is as important for dogs as it is for people. Fido can be afflicted by many of the same dental issues as we can. Doggy dental problems can be very painful, just as ours are, and can lead to serious, even life-threatening, infections. However, your pooch can’t make himself an appointment, or even tell you there’s an issue. It’s important to know what the common issues are, and what the warning signs are to watch for. A local Cornelius, NC vet discusses dental issues in dogs below.
Gum disease is likely the most prevalent dental issue we see in dogs. As many as three-fourths of pups over the age of three are afflicted. This is a serious issue, because gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss. It’s also been linked to many other health problems, such as heart disease. Other common issues include misalignments, abscesses, and overcrowding, which is common in small dogs. Fido also sometimes cracks or breaks his teeth, which isn’t surprising, given his love for chewing on and playing with hard objects like sticks.
It’s important to pay attention to your furry friend, and be on the lookout for signs that something isn’t right. This applies to all aspects of his care, not just his choppers! Some red flags include bad breath, visible tartar buildup, drooling, bleeding gums, and swelling. Fido may shy away if you try to touch his face, and he may not feel very playful. You may also notice grumpiness, depression, and changes in eating habits. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these things. While any medical issue will be discussed on a case-by-case basis, in some cases, a deep cleaning and/or medication may be all that’s required. More serious issues may call for extractions. Your vet will be able to go over various options once a diagnosis has been made.
There are things you can do to keep your pup’s teeth healthy. Brushing is really the most effective. You’ll need to take some time training your canine buddy. Start by just slowly rubbing his teeth and gums, and then slowly work in Fido’s doggy toothbrush and pet toothpaste. Be sure to offer lots of treats and praise! If your pooch isn’t having it, ask your vet about other options. There are many products available, such as dental sticks, chews, and treats.
As your Cornelius, NC animal clinic, we’re here to help! Contact us anytime!