dental | Companion Animal Veterinary Hospital

dental

Nasty Nashers: Check those Chompers

Stephen Curtis's picture
A dog's mouth with brown calculus on the teeth and gingivitis

Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease in pets and is largely preventable. It is caused by the accumulation of plaque, a bacteria-nurturing gunge, that sticks to the teeth (that ‘furry’ feeling on your teeth if you haven't brushed for a while) and helps destructive bacteria to proliferate in the mouth. The plaque can then become mineralised, forming tartar/calculus that allows even more bacteria to attach and grow. While visible tartar is unattractive, it is the plaque and tartar that lies under the gum line that causes the real damage.

New product review: Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews

Matt Young's picture
oravet dental chews packaging

Oravet Dental Hygeine Chews are a daily chew that your dog can enjoy chewing on. 

There are broadly 2 ways of preventing periodontal disease:

  1. mechanical cleaning (eg. using a toothbrush)
  2. chemically cleaning (eg. toothpaste to reduce plaque formation)

Oravet chews offer both of these methods. By doing these they are better than other treats such as greenies which rely on mechanical cleaning only. 

They come in a box which contains individually sealed chews. The idea is to give 1 chew each day. 

Straightening out a smile

Matt Young's picture
a dog's incisor teeth with canines pointing out sideways

Chad is a dog that came into care with Wollongong Animal Rescue Network. As part of their routine care they have a full check up and when we did that I had a look in his mouth and was greeted with the smile above. 

Because of the way that Chad's jaw had developed the canine teeth were too close together and were hitting each other. As they grew they had done their best to get out of the way of the opposing tooth and most of the time they appeared to not contact each other. When I opened his mouth though I could feel the teeth clunking past each other. 

Dental X-rays- what's the point?

Matt Young's picture
Dental X-ray

Dental X-rays can save your pet from ongoing painful conditions or save them having painful procedures that are unnecessary. 

A case that proves the point

The X-ray you see above is from a cat that we did a dental on a couple of weeks ago. Just from an examination under anaesthetic I knew that most of the teeth would need to come out. You might think if you're taking the teeth out anyway what's the point in x-raying them?

xrays allow us to visualise the roots of the teeth, see where they are, and in some cases if they still exist. 

Cliff Notes: The Whole Tooth

Matt Young's picture
Golden Retriever having his teeth brushed.

 

What you need to know about your dog and home dental care

Sniff your dog’s breath.  Go on, I dare you.

Odds on, the odor is hardly enticing.

And that’s okay, within reason. Your average, healthy, happy dog, as a rule, get their jollies chowing down on a veritable shopping list of things too unspeakably revolting to contemplate printing, including, but not limited to: refuse, dead things, cat poop, horse poop and their own poop.  Or maybe that’s just mine. 

Any way you slice it, most dog’s breath is less than minty fresh.  But there is a definite line between a regular, doggy smell, and a distinctly unpleasant bouquet that tends to go hand in hand with tooth issues.

Dental disease is far and away the most common affliction of dogs, cats and people.  But that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can, or should, do about it.

Unhealthy teeth and infected gums are constantly, chronically painful, and sap the joy from chewing, eating, scrapping, playing, fetching, tugging, and hanging off things with you teeth, which is roughly 80% of what gives a canine life savor.

The other 20% would probably be cuddles and pillow hogging, both of which take a serious back seat in the day-to-day dealings of even the most beloved pooch when a certain stink threshold is reached.

So we owe it to them to help them make the most of life with a blissful abandon that would be the envy of the most hardened hedonist.

ALL dogs can get dental disease, but some are more predisposed than others.  So if you’re the proud parent of anything small and fluffy with a short face and a crowded jaw, I AM TALKING TO YOU.

The shorter the face, the more jumbled together the teeth, and the higher the likelihood of scraps getting stuck and encouraging bacteria.  The more squished the nose and airways, the more chance there will be of some degree of mouth breathing, which dries up bacteria fighting saliva.

Pugs, spaniels, malteses, poodles, shih tzus, yorkies,  Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, papillions, dachshunds, and, perversely, greyhounds, are massively at risk of developing crippling dental disease.  So part of sharing your life and your heart with one is budgeting your time and your finances to keep it from getting out of hand.

So what can we do?

Free Pet Dental Month Checkups

Why get a dental check?

By the time dogs and cats show signs of dental disease such as bad breath or having trouble eating they generally will have advanced dental disease, and quite often will end up needing to have teeth removed. Having a dental check can allow us to detect problems in the mouth and discuss preventative measures that can taken to stop or slow-down plaque formation before it results in periodontal disease.

If your dog or cat has smelly breath, or is having difficulty eating, or is drooling, they may have periodontal disease and need to have their mouths checked. During August we are offering free dental checks on your pet. Book an appointment and have your pet's mouth examined to find out if there are any issues with their teeth that need to be dealt with.

Rabbits need dental care too!

It's not just dogs and cats that have problems with their teeth. Rabbits get dental disease as well. Rabbits teeth grow continuously and are vital to ensuring that food gets broken down for digestion. If the teeth are not properly aligned they will not wear properly and this can lead to difficulty eating. Rabbits also qualify for a free dental check.

Dental Disease Treatment

If your pet does need dental treatment we can perform scaling, polishing and dental extractions at our hospital.

Without proper dental care 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will show signs of oral disease by age 3

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