It is often a surprise to many pet parents that their dog is suffering from dental disease at their veterinary check up. Over 80% of dogs develop dental disease by the age of 3. If we don’t look after our pet’s teeth properly, not only will they have problems with their teeth and gums, they can also suffer from issues elsewhere in their body.
Bad breath in dogs is often considered normal but it is actually due to an unhealthy mouth and an overgrowth of bacteria. The subsequent inflammation (gingivitis) and sore, often bleeding, gums can allow the bacteria to enter the bloodstream and spread to their internal organs potentially causing severe illness. In the later stages of dental disease, the teeth become loose and can fall out or lead to severe bone infections around the tooth roots. You may also notice dark red areas appearing along the gum line and brown discolouration (tartar) of their teeth. Normal healthy teeth should always be white.
In the early stages the problem is often reversible with regular dental care. The gold standard is daily teeth brushing with a special toothbrush and dog-specific toothpaste (human toothpaste can’t be used, as is toxic to dogs!) which will help slow the build up of plaque and tartar.
Dental chews can also be offered which help to draw plaque and tartar off the teeth helping to keep them clean. Special prescription dental foods are also available to help prevent dental disease in your dog. Hills T/D prescription food and OraVet chews are discounted in our practices until the end of our dental months.
During July and August, Sydney Animal Hospitals are offering free dental checks with our veterinary nurses, along with reduced price dental procedures and discounts on dental dog food. Call your local Sydney Animal Hospitals Kellyville 8883 0533 or Norwest 8883 0411 or book online www.sydneyanimalhospitals.com.au