At Parklands Veterinary Group, we have:
Cats and dogs commonly suffer from dental disease. In fact, by the age of 3-4, up to 75% of cats and dogs will have some form of gum disease (periodontal disease). Initially the gum inflammation will cause halitosis (bad breath!).
Dogs should not have dog-breath and cats should not have fish-breath!
This gum inflammation may become more serious if left untreated, as the bacterial infection becomes more aggressive and destructive. This can cause deep pockets to form underneath the gum, harbouring nasty bacteria. These bacteria can enter your pet’s bloodstream every time they chew. In older animals, this can put a strain on their heart, liver and kidneys. The bony socket can become weakened due to the infection, and the tooth loses it attachment to the jaw bone. Ultimately, in the late stages, the tooth will be lost from the mouth. This can take years to happen, but in some pets can be very rapid. In humans, they have calculated the surface area of inflammation in periodontitis is the same size as the palm of your hand! Imagine this amount of inflammation elsewhere on your pet! Because this occurs in the mouth it is hidden from our view and therefore doesn’t seem as dramatic.
Dogs and cats RARELY stop eating because of dental disease. They have strong instincts for survival and to do this they must eat. Furthermore, dogs are pack animals, and if they show any signs of illness they are likely to go straight to the bottom of the pack! Your pet may have advanced dental disease and still appear ‘normal’ to you.
Signs of dental disease can be very subtle. Sometimes pets may chew preferentially on one side of the mouth which may not be noticeable to you. Some animals with toothache eat very quickly in order to swallow food with minimal amounts of chewing. This may seem like a ‘good appetite’.
If you are used to looking in your pet’s mouth, check for:
Remember, we are here to help!
If you are not sure whether your pet has dental problems, you may chose to see: