EVERY MONTH CAN BE DENTAL MONTH AT BLUE RIDGE VETERINARY !!!
""80% of dogs and 70% of cats
develop gum disease by the age of 3""
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop gum disease by the age of three years. Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition affecting dogs and cats. Infection and inflammation of the gums and supportive tissues of the teeth are caused by the bacteria present in plaque and calculus (tartar). The problem begins when plaque and calculus are allowed to build up on a pet's teeth, especially below the gumline. Bad breath, bleeding and inflammation of the gums, receding gums, loosening and the eventual loss of teeth are characteristic of the condition. Prophylactic treatment to keep the teeth clean is of great importance. Your veterinarian may recommend an oral hygiene program that includes regularly brushing your pet's teeth with toothpaste formulated for animals. Oral rinses and specially formulated chews are also available. Diet is a major factor in the development of plaque and calculus. Soft, canned or sticky foods should therefore be avoided, while certain chewing toys are beneficial. Specially formulated diets with dental benefits (reduced accumulation of plaque and calculus) are now available for dogs as well as cats.
Be patient when initiating oral home care, especially in older animals. It is best to start dental care at an early age. Introduce brushing gradually and begin by rubbing your pet's teeth and gums with a soft gauze wrapped around a finger. Gradually switch over to a toothbrush designed for pets or to a very soft human toothbrush. Avoid forceful restraint of the patient; rather make it a bonding experience and always praise and reward your pet for its cooperation.
Oral health has a profound effect on your pet's general health. Periodontal disease may cause bacteria and toxins to enter the bloodstream with potentially harmful effects on internal organs. On the other hand, poor systemic health may manifest in the oral cavity in various ways and may also exacerbate periodontal disease. Your pet's dental examination is therefore not limited to the oral cavity but always includes a general physical examination. Laboratory examinations, to evaluate systemic disease concerns, may also be recommended. Some dogs and cats suffer from chronic oral infection or stomatitis, a poorly understood condition which is difficult to treat.
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