February is National Pet Dental month so for the moment I would like to focus on your pets’ teeth and gums. February has been designated National Pet Dental Health Month because veterinarians and pet owners alike have come to realize the role healthy teeth and gums play in the overall well-being of their cats and dogs.
A large percentage of cats and dogs over 3 years of age suffer from some form of periodontal (dental) disease. The disease process can range from mild tartar with slightly red and irritated gums to severe calculus formation on loose, painful teeth with pus accumulation at the gum line.
Depending on the severity of the condition, pets can develop liver, kidney, and heart disease.
Since our patients generally do not complain of sore gums or a toothache, it is important that teeth get checked on a regular basis by both you and your veterinarian. The sooner problems are identified and addressed, the better off you pet will be.
An added bonus is when a pet will respond favorably to daily brushing with a soft bristled brush and appropriate pet toothpaste. For dogs, brushing should begin when they are puppies and enjoy having things in their mouths.
Watch your fingers! As always, if you have questions about pet dental care, seek the advice of your veterinarian first.
I want to thank all “Fetch Your News” readers who have submitted questions. I will do my best to answer them as soon as possible and in the order they were received. If you would like to send a photo of your pet or to ask a question about your pet –
send an email to Dr. Philip Arnall