February is National Pet Dental Health Month Information provided by American Veterinary Medical Foundation
Dental health is a very important part of your pet’s overall health, and dental problems can cause, or be caused by, other health problems. Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian to check for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy. Oral health in dogs and cats
Have your pet’s teeth checked sooner if you observe any of the following problems:
- bad breath
- broken or loose teeth
- extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
- abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- pain in or around the mouth
- bleeding from the mouth
- swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth
Some pets become irritable when they have dental problems, and any changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit to your veterinarian. Always be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth, because a painful animal may bite.
Causes of pet dental problems
Although cavities are less common in pets than in people, they can have many of the same dental problems that people can develop:
- broken teeth and roots
- periodontal disease
- abscesses or infected teeth
- cysts or tumors in the mouth
- malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth and bite
- broken (fractured) jaw
- palate defects (such as cleft palate)
Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats – by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken. Early detection and treatment are critical, because advanced periodontal disease can cause severe problems and pain for your pet. Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth. Other health problems found in association with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes.
It starts with plaque that hardens into tartar. Tartar above the gumline can often easily be seen and removed, but plaque and tartar below the gumline is damaging and sets the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and the tissues that connect the tooth to the jaw bone. Periodontal disease is graded on a scale of 0 (normal) to 4 (severe).
The treatment of periodontal disease involves a thorough dental cleaning and x-rays may be needed to determine the severity of the disease. Your veterinarian will make recommendations based on your pet’s overall health and the health of your pet’s teeth, and provide you with options to consider.
Featured dog- Leah
Leah will need a family or forever home that is aware of her need for exercising and for training. She is good on a leash and knows some basic commands but needs an experienced leader to help her continue to learn. She would do best with someone who has the time and patience for training and exercise. She is not an apartment dog unless you are home all day
Additional dogs for adoption
Bruno- Large lap dog. Loves people ad going for walks.
Clark- 3-4 month border collie mix. full of puppy energy
Featured Cat- Monty
Beautiful facial markings. Monty is a little shy after all the changes in his life and the loss of his owner. He loves attention and will reach his paws up for you to pet him. He gives head butts and purrs. He loves watching out the windows at everything going on around him. He loves to be in a small place where he can hide under the covers.
Additional cat for adoption
Sugar Sweet cat. Loves being brushed. Needs to be on a diet
If you’d like to visit with our adoptable pets, PLEASE CALL TO SET UP AN APPOINTMENT (702) 346-5268. The shelter is open, but an appointment is required prior to arrival. Thank you!