Just like humans, pet’s teeth also need looking after. The health of a pets teeth and gum’s has a major impact on their overall quality of life.
Dental disease begins with a build up of bacteria in your pet’s mouth. Bacteria, combined with saliva and food debris, can cause plaque to accumulate on the tooth. This is the brown or yellow you can see near the gum line of their teeth.
Without proper care, plaque and tartar build-up leads to periodontal disease, which can cause oral pain, tooth loss and even heart, kidney and stomach problems.
Common signs of dental disease, include:
- Yellow-brown tartar around the animals gum line
- Inflamed, red gums
- Bad breath
- Change in eating or chewing habits
- Scratching or pawing at the face or mouth
- Refusal to eat or drink
- Excessive drooling (saliva)
- Pain or bleeding when you touch the gums or mouth
If your pet is showing signs of dental disease, please book an appointment to see your Kowloon Veterinary Hospital (KVH) vet as soon as possible.
Long-term control and prevention of dental disease requires a teeth-cleaning routine at home. The best way to begin this is to accustom your pet from an early age.
Dental home care for your pet may include:
- Brushing teeth daily – just like people do. This is the best form of dental hygiene. Pet toothbrushes and toothpaste are available at KVH. Do not use human toothpaste though; it foams too much and is toxic to your pet.
- Feed special dental diets (dog, cats and rabbits). This can help reduce the accumulation of tartar.
- Use dental toys, dental raw hide chews, or teeth cleaning biscuits, all of which may help keep the teeth clean.
- Feed your pets good quality pet food; avoid treats and any other food with sugar or corn syrup.
- H2O tablets in a secondary water bowl can help control plaque.
Some pets will need a professional dental clean from a qualified animal dentist. This is the same as a human scale and polish.
The majority of pets won’t sit still or open their mouth to allow a comprehensive cleaning of their teeth. For this reason most pets need to have a general anesthetic for a professional dental clean.
Your KVH vet will assess your pet to determine the degree of dental disease and whether extractions, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories will be required.
The assessment may also include a physical exam, blood tests and urine tests to ensure they are healthy enough to safely have an anesthetic. Once anaesthetized, we can give the teeth a thorough cleaning using our specialised dental equipment and perform any necessary dental work.
If you have any questions about dental care, or professional cleaning contact: KVH on 2382 3300.