Virtually no one likes going to the dentist…but we all know it’s important! Dental care for humans and animals alike is something that should never be ignored. Proper dental hygiene is a critical part of keeping your pet healthy and happy, helping to avoid potentially life-threatening issues that come with dental disease. Want to know just a bit more? Dr. Tressa MacLennan from our Scottsdale location did a quick segment with a brief overview! Check it out:
Oh, those doggy smells. From the routine “Guess what I just rolled in?” to wet dog smell to the truly disgusting and stomach churning whiffs of “What IS that?” – here’s why you need to pay attention to Fido’s funk.
1/ Stinky after a bath or a swim is usually normal – there are bacteria and yeast that live on your dog’s skin that are generally odorless until you get Fido wet. Water releases the full force of the bacteria smell that is normally contained. If the odor persists when your dog is clean and dry, there may be an underlying skin condition. See your vet to be sure.
2/ Death breath – so the days of sweet smelling puppy breath are long gone. If getting up close to your pooch leaves you reeling, it’s something that you need to address. Brush your pet’s teeth regularly to help keep tartar build up at bay. Bad breath can also be caused by an underlying infection in the gums or teeth. It can also be a sign of even more serious health problems like kidney disease and diabetes. Get to the vet, stat!
3/ Certain dog breeds are more susceptible to skin diseases. If you have a Pekingese, Pug, Spaniel, Bulldog, or wrinkly Shar-Pei, there could be all kinds of bacteria and other microorganisms lurking in their skin folds, and the smell is definitely nasty. These breeds are highly prone to developing skin fold dermatitis, so pay careful attention to hygiene. Baby wipes or special cleansers can help you keep irritation and odors away. However, all dogs can develop skin problems due to allergies, hormonal disorders or infections. Best to get checked by the vet!
4/ Smelly ears can indicate an underlying yeast or bacterial infection. If your dog has long droopy ears, or loves to go swimming, they’re more at risk for becoming a bacterial breeding ground. Dogs with allergies also tend to get more ear infections. See your vet.
5/ Foul smelling flatulence – there’s a wonderfully funny children’s book series based around Walter the Farting Dog. The character Walter was inspired by a real dog whose owner fed him donuts and beer – definitely a no no! To date, the 5 book series has been translated into more than a dozen languages, so it’s a global problem. Poor diet and low quality grain-based foods are the most common causes of severe flatulence. Switching to a grain-free diet can help. If the problem persists, see the vet to make sure there are no underlying health conditions.
6/ Anal glands/sacs. Yes, like you, we’re not thrilled to know that they exist or that they may need expressing, but when anal sacs are full or infected, there is no ignoring the stench. Anal sacs are located on either side of your dog’s anus, and the fluid inside is usually expelled when your dog poops. If your dog is scooting across the floor, or constantly licking their posterior, they’re trying to relieve itching, so their anal sacs need to be emptied. Don’t ignore the problem – if the pressure on the anal sacs is not relieved, the anal glands could become infected or impacted, and as the saying goes, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Your dog’s anal glands can be manually expressed by your groomer or at the vet’s office.
Because humans have tended to pets for centuries, a tendency to ‘know what’s best for our pet’ has flourished, carrying with it certain myths about our pets’ health. The vet dentists at Arrow Group of Animal Hospitals have heard them all – and frankly, they ARE myths, as they do not hold much modern truths.
Here are some of the myths our vets have heard about the health and dental well-being of pets:
MYTH: My pet is not crying, so he can’t be in pain
FACT: Actually, the majority of pets will not cry, whimper or act painful at all. In most cases, when an animal is in pain, pet owners will not have any indication of any distress. However, a marked improvement in pets’ well-being comes about AFTER treatment for dental disease.
MYTH: My pet is still eating, so he doesn’t need dental care
FACT: Most animals will continue to eat even with sore mouths and painful dental disease. That is part of their instinctual behavior. But instead of chewing, most pets will simply gulp food instead of chewing, similarly to how humans might eat with a painful mouth disease.
MYTH: My pet is old, bad teeth is what happens to older pets
FACT: Older pets can have perfectly fine teeth. Old age is not a disease. Having bad teeth is a result of plaque and tartar buildup due to missed dental checkups, with additional problems caused by possible abscessed teeth, infections or worse.
MYTH: My pet has bad breath, but that’s normal for cats and dogs
FACT: Bad breath is caused by poor pet dental health
, dental disease or more, not by species. If you smell bad breath on your pet, that’s a very strong indicator that something in their mouth is abnormal and should be checked by a veterinarian.
Forget the myths, follow the facts. Contact your local Arizona veterinarian at www.Arizonapetvet.com and get your pet’s dental care back on track. And if you come in before December 31, you can save $50 on your pet’s dental cleaning with the printable coupon on the website.
“Imagine what would happen if you didn’t care for your teeth regularly. The same basics of dental care apply to your pet’s dental care. Periodontal disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats! About 85% of dogs and cats have some form of it and are vulnerable to the pain, bad breath and tooth loss that could follow. Chronic infections can spread to the heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys, where they can do even more damage.” C.E.T. Home Dental Care
Do you think a pets dental health is very important? As important as dental health is for you, it is just as important for your pets. Scheduling a veterinary dental evaluation and cleaning for your pet can easily uncover periodontal disease. This is the most common disease in US cats and dogs. Periodontal disease is also the most underdiagnosed and undertreated disease in pets. When left untreated, periodontal disease can be very painful and can lead to heart disease, kidney disease and even liver disease.
Visit Arizonapetvet.com to receive a $50 off coupon and schedule a pet dental cleaning today.