Tag Archives: cat dental health

Your Pet Probably Has Dental Disease

Pet dental disease is the most common and preventable health condition for pets. They start out with beautiful, shiny white teeth. But by age three, nearly 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of dental disease. This can lead to more severe health problems.

Pets need dental care just like people. Without regular cleanings, plaque begins to build up on the teeth. Plaque is a nasty, sticky film caused by bacteria in the mouth. As plaque forms on the teeth, it irritates the gum tissue, causing red or swollen gums. Eventually, minerals in the saliva will harden the plaque into tartar.

Bacteria and plaque build-up on your pet’s teeth that isn’t removed through at-home brushings will mean bad breath and tartar are definitely in your pet’s future. Regular dental cleanings by veterinary professionals can reduce your pet’s risk for developing gingivitis, a painful inflammation of the gums, periodontal disease, and avoid tooth loss. Pets with periodontal disease are at risk for developing heart, liver or kidney disease .

if your pet has bad breath, red or swollen gums, missing, loose or cracked teeth or has experienced a recent change in appetite or trouble eating, it’s time for a trip to AZPetVet.

Find an AZPetVet location near you.

How do you brush a cat’s teeth?

When asked ‘how do you brush a cat’s teeth?, cat owners and veterinarians will most likely answer, “VERY CAREFULLY”.

While the joke is good for a small giggle, the better question is WHY you need to clean kitty’s teeth. The answer? Because they’re teeth. They get dirty.

Adult cats have 30 teeth – so there are a lot of places for problems to begin. Regular brushing at home combined with dental cleanings at the vet helps reduce plaque and tartar build-up that kickstarts inflammation and allows disease to creep in.

So, how’s your cat’s breath?

Get up close and personal to get a whiff of your cat’s breath. Is it regular old cat breath (meaning slightly fishy, but not overwhelming) or ‘OMG…I can’t even, oh noooooo…’ breath?

If it’s the first, great – that means you still have time to establish a preventive dental care plan.

If it’s the second – you and your cat have a real problem. Foul breath is the first indication of oral health problems and disease. Make an appointment with your vet. Don’t delay.

Still good? Go a bit further…

If your cat will allow it, gently flip their lip to reveal the teeth and gum area. Look for redness, swelling, bleeding, or inflammation of the gums. You’ll probably see discolorations on the teeth, too. Are any of the teeth chipped or broken? Any of these conditions require professional care.

Call your vet and make an appointment. Don’t delay.

Speaking of appointments with the vet…

All cats and dogs should have an annual health check up. Part of a thorough health check includes checking the pet’s teeth and gums for signs of disease. Sadly, too many domestic cats and dogs don’t get regular veterinary care until they are injured or they show definite signs of being sick.

Remember, your pet can’t tell you their teeth hurt, and cats are notorious for hiding pain. Don’t wait until your pet is clearly in pain or distress.

Not quite convinced?

February is Pet Dental Health Month, so you’ll save $50 off a dental treatment at any Arizona PetVet location. Find the nearest location.

Flip the Lip: Recognizing Dental Disease in Pets

Periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed preventable disease in dogs and cats. By age three, nearly 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of dental disease, which can lead to more severe health problems.

There are strong links between gum disease and heart disease in humans and animals, so prevention is the key.

Your veterinarian can spot signs of dental disease during your annual wellness exam, and provide you with treatment options. In between exams, here’s a couple of things you can look for on your own:

Get down on their level. Flip the lip. Take a close look at the REAL condition of their teeth.

Are their gums pink and healthy, or red and inflamed?
Can you see discolorations on the teeth or at the gum line?
Is there evidence of any loose, cracked, or broken teeth?

We’re betting there’s a lot more going on in there than you realized. Luckily, it’s National Pet Dental Health Month, so pet parents can save $50 off a dental cleaning for Fido or Fluffy at any AZPetVet location.  We’ll even help you create a simple, regular home care plan for keeping doggy and kitty grins brighter.

 

National Cat Health Month

National Cat Health MonthLet’s talk about cats, shall we? Going by poll numbers,“Team Cat” is clearly ahead in the hearts of American pet owners: approximately 86 million of America’s pets are cats versus an estimated 78 million dogs.

So when it come to healthcare, why do so many cats fall so far behind? Quite simply, too many pet owners believe their cat doesn’t need routine wellness check-ups. They couldn’t be more wrong. Cats need to visit the vet at least once per year, but ideally they should be seen every six months. Since February is National Cat Health Month, we’re going to look at six big reasons why you need to make an appointment for your kitty ASAP!

  1. Teeth cleaning & dental care (Psst – it’s also Pet Dental Health Month so you’ll save $50!)
  2. Spaying & Neutering – cats are prolific breeders, so it’s a must
  3. Changes in a cat’s health can happen quickly, so preventive care is important
  4. Sick cats often show no signs of being ill – they hide symptoms and pain well
  5. Early diagnosis of health problems equals early intervention/better outcome
  6. Regular vaccinations are vital to protecting your pet from diseases

Don’t wait for veterinary visits – make regular head to toe exams for your cat part of your routine. While you might not know what to look for, you’re far more likely to pick up on any changes in your pet’s health, and as a bonus it helps your pet get used to being handled. Your vet and vet techs will thank you!

So now that you see the importance of preventive care for your furry feline friends, when is the last time your cat got a health check up? If the answer isn’t within the last six months, then it’s time to give us a call. Find your nearest AZPetVet animal hospital here.

National Pet Dental Health Month is Here

2016_AZPV_DentalMonth_RD5-01The American Animal Hospital Association guidelines recommend regular brushing to keep your pet’s teeth healthy. Dental examinations and cleanings should be performed for all adult dogs and cats annually, starting at one year for cats and small-breed dogs, and at two years of age for larger-breed dogs. Here’s why:

Periodontal disease can lead to more serious health problems. Numerous studies show a link between gum disease and serious health issues like heart disease. (This is true for people, too) Prevention is the best approach, so regular brushing, dental exams and cleanings are vital.

Four out of five dogs over the age of three have some sort of periodontal disease. Plaque and tartar build-up on teeth is a sign of trouble, so make dental chewies, teeth brushing and regular check-ups part of your routine. Our feline friends need regular dental care as well.

Brushing means better breath. Bad breath can be an indicator of periodontal disease in people and in pets. Regular brushing helps keep teeth healthier and breath better, so those slobbery kisses won’t take your breath away.

Decay and gum disease can cause tooth loss in animals. This condition which can be very painful, and cause serious health problems. Regular care saves you money in the long run, and helps prevent tooth loss.

Symptoms of Hidden Dental Problems 

Your pets can’t tell you directly that their teeth hurt, so you might not realize they have a serious dental issue until it’s too late. If your pet is drooling more than usual, has bleeding gums, loose teeth, or suspicious looking spots on their gums, make the appointment today.