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Dental Awareness Month
With August in full steam, Pet Insurance Australia is urging all pet owners to consider their pets dental hygiene.
“Dental care is incredibly important for our pets,” Nadia Crighton spokesperson from PIA says. “The mouth and gums are the gateways to the body, so keeping your pet’s teeth in good condition can prevent many possible issues with their overall health.”
With dental disease being so prominent many vets now encourage discounted vet checks during the month of August.
“This is a really wonderful initiative being rolled out around Australia and a great reason to get your pets’ teeth checked.”
Dr Leigh Davidson, Director at Your Vet Online agrees;
“Our mouths are naturally full of bacteria that can lead to infection. This infection and inflammation that it causes isn’t just contained to the mouth though, it actually has far-reaching effects on all our body systems,” she says. “Heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease all have links to problems that start in the mouth. Dental health is something we can all do to keep our pet’s healthy! Dental disease is totally preventable.”
Dr Davidson is also quick to remind readers to be aware of the quality of your professional teeth clean.
“Have your veterinarian check your pet’s teeth every 6 months and perform a scale and polish if required,” she says. “Remember anaesthesia free dentistry does nothing for the disease below the gum line.”
Signs of dental disease
- Bad breath
- Staining on teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Excessive salivation
- Soreness around the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
- Unusual swelling associated with the jaw
“It’s also important to remember that our pets are masters at masking pain,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “So it’s up to owners to be vigilant with checking their pets’ teeth.”
“Occasionally they rub their face. Most often, we smell a nasty stench of bad breath. We call this halitosis and if your pet has this it is definitely time to get their mouth checked at the vets. Your animal’s breath should not have a smell that is unpleasant,” Dr Davidson adds.
“The other sign that your pet has a problem, and this is important, is if you see any redness around the gumline. This is a sign of inflammation called gingivitis. If present we need to treat your pet asap. Gingivitis can be reversed, but if left, it results in periodontitis, an irreversible condition that may result in your pet needing teeth to be removed.”
Look out for the signs and prevent dental disease with basic dental care, routine checks and cleaning.
Other preventative measures include:
- daily toothbrushing
- dental chews – check out VOHC.org for those that have a tick of approval
- prescription dental diets
- if your pet can handle it – a large, meaty, raw, non-cut bone
- cats enjoy cooked, long strips of gravy beef