Tag Archives: veterinary dental

Common Signs of Pain in Animals

How to recognize the common signs of pain in animals

It’s not uncommon for pets to get injured. With all the outdoor activities and rough-and-tumble play throughout the day, accidents are certainly unavoidable. While injuries are a source of pain for many animals, health ailments are also responsible for pain and discomfort in pets. Pain commonly causes changes in an animal’s demeanor and often indicates that they are experiencing discomfort. Behaviors like whimpering, anxiety, and other changes are the ways our animals communicate to us that there is something wrong and they need our help.

Dogs and cats have different ways of showing pain, but there is some overlap in the behaviors that these animals display if they’re feeling under the weather. Some of these shared behaviors may include:

  • Decrease or loss of appetite
  • Quiet or submissive behavior
  • Hissing, howling, whimpering or growling
  • Increased and excessive grooming, licking self, biting self, etc.

While there are many similar pain-related behaviors among dogs and cats, here are some symptoms that can often be unique to each animal.

Signs of Dog Pain

Unique to dogs, these indicators can signal that a trip to the vet is in order:

    • Increased aggression. Unlike cats, dogs can display aggression if they aren’t feeling well. Don’t take this behavior personally. Aggression when sick is known as a defense mechanism used to protect against unwanted bothering.

 

  • Restlessness. A dog in pain may not be able to settle down comfortably. If your dog seems agitated and stiff, watch for a limp and lethargy – these can be important clues for recognizing hip pain or arthritis. A dog that arches their back or tends to stretch more than usual may also be indicating back pain or spinal issues.

 

  • Squinting. Dogs with eye pain may react by squinting. Smaller pupils can also be an indication of pain. Corneal ulcers and other eye diseases should be treated immediately to reduce the chances of permanent damage.

Signs of Cat Pain

Often quiet and lackadaisical, it can be hard to know when these creatures are hurting. So how exactly do you know if a cat is in pain? Keep a lookout for these behaviors:

 

  • Hiding. Hiding is one way that cats can ensure that they won’t be bothered. Typically social creatures, a cat that’s in hiding for long periods of time may be a sign of something awry.
  • Hunching posture. A change in posture can signal a cat in pain. Sitting with their paws underneath them, showing disinterest in their surroundings or sitting alone could indicate a number of different health ailments, including abdominal pain, constipation, urinary infections and in some cases an abscess, cancer, pancreatitis, feline panleukopenia, or gastrointestinal obstruction.
  • Trouble using the litter box. Back or hip pain can prevent a cat from crouching in the right position to use the litter box. Feces and urine on the sides of the box may hint that your cat is having some mobility issues.

 

What to do when your dog or cat shows signs of pain

If your pet is exhibiting one or more of these behaviors, it’s best to take them in for a visit with your veterinarian. Even though animals can be masters at masking their injury or ailments, it’s important that you still take your pet to the vet for further examination. There are many options available to treat pain in animals including analgesic medications, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, laser therapy, and therapeutic massage. Your vet can provide insight into what’s happening with your pet, and discuss treatment options. If you suspect your pet may be experiencing pain and discomfort, make an appointment with your vet right away. The team at AZPetVet is available 7 days a week to help you ensure your pet is living their best life, pain free.

Disclaimer: Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

 

How Do You Brush a Cat’s Teeth?

The Best Ways To Care For Your Feline’s Adult Cat Teeth

How Many Teeth Do Domestic Cats Have?

Cats have 30 adult teeth and 26 baby teeth. Regular brushing at home combined with dental cleanings at the vet help to reduce the presence of plaque and tartar, both which kickstart inflammation and potential diseases. So how can you tell when your cat needs a good clean? 

As gross as it may seem, the smell of your cat’s breath is either a good indication of proper oral hygiene or prospective disease. Feline halitosis (as bad breath is scientifically referred to) can be caused by many different things. Most common is periodontal disease, a build-up of plaque that irritates the gums and can lead to infection. If plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar, serving as a formidable base on which more plaque builds up. 

Is Bad Breath an Indication of a Bigger Problem? 

Although bad breath in cats doesn’t always mean something’s awry, bad breath can sometimes serve as a warning symptom for a much more significant health problem. If the root of the (tooth) problem is caused by oral cancers, this can severely impact both the comfort and life span of your cat.  

The smell of your cat’s breath can also predict conditions that extend beyond the surface of the mouth. A urine or ammonia smell coming from your cat’s mouth may signal kidney disease which requires professional care, so it’s best to take your cat into your local veterinary clinic as soon as possible.

Brushing Habits

So, how often should you brush your cat’s teeth? Ideally, to prevent decay and infection a cat’s teeth should be brushed just as often as human teeth. We understand that daily brushing can seem unattainable and unrealistic – especially if you want to avoid invading your cat’s personal space and risking their wrath every night before bed! So, as a supplement to regular brushing, you can consider dental cleansing treats; just be sure to discuss these with your veterinarian to ensure they are an acceptable part of your pet’s individual diet.  

Preventative Care

During a cat’s annual health check-up, veterinarians will check your pet’s teeth and gums for signs of disease. Looking at their gums for redness, yellow tinting, swelling, bleeding, and inflammation can help your veterinarian rule out gingivitis, liver disease, and poor oral care. Many domestic cats don’t get regular veterinary care until they are injured, or they show definite signs of being sick, so be sure to help keep your pet in good health with once-a-year wellness exams. 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 before bringing them in!

Five Reasons Why You Should Get Your Pet’s Teeth Checked

Pet Dental Health MonthFebruary is Pet Dental Health Month, so if you haven’t made an appointment yet, it’s time. Here are five good reasons why you should get your pet’s teeth checked.

1/ If you’re like most people, you brush your teeth at least twice a daily because good dental care is essential to maintaining good health. But did you ever stop to think that your pet’s teeth need brushing, too? It’s best to begin when your pet is young by making it a regular part of your pet’s grooming routine. Your veterinarian can demonstrate proper techniques and recommend pet-friendly toothpastes.

2/ Animal lovers know there’s nothing quite like puppy or kitty breath. By the time their breath get a bit noticeable – and not in a good way – dental disease has gotten its first stronghold. In fact, by age three, nearly 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of dental disease.

3/ Pet dental disease could be a heartbreaking and expensive road leading to lost or broken teeth or even more serious problems. In fact, dental disease in pets has been linked to heart disease and other serious health conditions. The good news? Pet dental disease is preventable. With regular cleanings and veterinary exams, dental disease is also potentially reversible.

4/ Full grown cats have 30 teeth. Adult dogs have 42 teeth. In some cases, retained baby teeth can also cause problems. Regular veterinary care and routine dental cleanings can catch these issues early before they lead to more serious conditions.

5/ Remember, pets are masters at hiding pain. It’s part of their survival instinct. Changes in behavior like hiding, excessive drooling, or trouble eating hard kibble can signal dental problems like cracked or missing teeth. If you notice these or other behavior changes, make a veterinary appointment for a check-up.

During Pet Dental Health Month, AZPetVet is offering $50 off any dental service. Click here to find a location near you.

The Importance of Dental Health

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:

Pet Dental Health Month Is Almost Here

People brush their teeth because it helps keep their breath fresh, and because it’s important for maintaining their health. These things are true for animals too, but too many pet parents neglect their pet’s dental health simply because they don’t realize its importance.

National Pet Owners survey found that only 14% of dogs and 9% of cats receive dental care at the veterinarian’s office. Early treatment, regular dental examinations and cleanings, and a home care regimen are key to maintaining your pet’s health and longevity. Don’t make that mistake. Periodontal disease is one the most prevalent diseases in companion animals today. In fact, four out of five dogs over the age of three have some sort of periodontal disease.

Numerous studies show a link between gum disease and serious health issues like heart disease. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, bacteria can enter your pet’s bloodstream from their teeth and mouth, leading to potential infections of your pet’s heart, lung, kidneys, liver, and nervous system. Prevention is the best approach, so regular brushing, dental exams and cleanings are vital.Plaque and tartar build-up on teeth is a sign of trouble, so make dental chews, teeth brushing and regular check-ups part of your routine. Cats need regular dental care as well.

The American Animal Hospital Association guidelines recommend regular examinations and dental cleanings 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.

So its clear: an annual dental examination is the best way to identify issues before they have a serious impact on your pet’s health. Your veterinarian will observe your pet’s face, their gums, cheeks, palate, and bite patterns to isolate dental health concerns and recommend cleaning and/or treatment. Regular dental cleanings can also make a huge difference to your pet’s overall health. Your vet can help you establish a home-care routine. Make that commitment.

This coming Pet Dental Health Month AZPetVet is offering $50 towards vital dental treatments. Make the appointment today. Click here to find your nearest AZPetVet location.