Does the sight of your dog coming in for a kiss make you panic? Does your cat’s persistent attempts to rub against your face make you queasy? Do you run away when your pet approaches you–is the odor from their mouth enough to knock you over? If this is the case you are not alone as many companion animals suffer from halitosis.
Don’t turn up your nose or stop getting close and personal with your furry companion-but do be aware that the odor may signify a significant health issue for your family member. Periodontal disease and gingivitis affect up to 90% of dogs and 70% of cats by the time they are 6. Periodontal disease is the most common clinical concern that is diagnosed in cats and dogs and it is a disease that is completely preventable. It is often overlooked by pet owners as most of the problem lies behind the gums and is not always visible; apart from that nasty breath there are few other signs that make it an obvious health issue.
The bad breath is generated from the germ infected plaque that multiplies under the gum tissue, allowing pockets of infection to grow. This creates the foul odor that makes most pet owners cringe. The odor signifies there is trouble brewing in your pet’s mouth, and that periodontal disease is having an effect on the quality of your pet’s life. As the disease progresses the tissue and bone supporting the teeth weakens and erodes causing the teeth to become loose and fall out. Side effects from this plaque buildup can include a sore and painful mouth, digestive issues, drooling, along with difficulty chewing and swallowing. Your pet’s immune system is under a constant challenge brought on by the bacteria invading the bloodstream this in turn can lead to extensive damage of their internal organs.
Often pet owners are surprised to find out that their pet is experiencing any type of dental disease–because often their pet will show no outward signs of pain or discomfort and their general behavior does not change; apart from their bad breath they appear to be in good health. Our furry friends have the inability to communicate with us about where it hurts and as pet owners we need to be proactive and provide them with the dental care they deserve throughout all their life stages.
February is nationally known as Dental Health month, Big Bay Animal Hospital would like to help your pet’s have better breath. Call today to schedule your complimentary 10 minute dental consult to discuss your pet’s current dental health condition and what we may do to help improve their oral health. Please discuss your pet’s dental health at any visit if any of these signs are present.
* red or inflamed gums
* Bleeding gums
* Yellow/brown film present at the gum line
* loose or broken teeth
* Missing teeth
* Pawing or digging at the mouth
* Difficulty chewing or swallowing