Is your pet suffering in silence?
Our cat Lily has always been a healthy cat, but then we started to notice her mouth seemed to be tender when eating, and her breath – well lets just say it was no bouquet of roses.
Concerned about Lily finding it difficult to eat, I booked an appointment with our veterinarian and it was confirmed that Lily, although she did not have any gum infection, she did require teeth cleaning to remove excess tartar. Once this was done she was much more comfortable, happier and was able to eat more comfortably.
Lily’s bad breath and having difficulty eating is just one of many signs that your pet could be suffering from dental disease. Other symptoms could include lost teeth, inflamed gums, appetite loss, excessive drooling and pawing at the mouth.
Dogs and cats may suffer from different kinds of dental diseases but the most frequent is periodontal disease (gum infection). It’s present in nearly 85 per cent of all pets past one years of age.
“Dental disease is the most common clinical health problem in Canadian dogs and cats. It has been linked to other conditions including liver and heart disease,” says Dr. Lee Jane Huffman, a board certified veterinary dentist from the Mississauga Oakville Veterinary Emergency Hospital.
Periodontal disease is caused by dental plaque (bacteria) which will also form calculus (tartar) with time. In the early stage, only gingivitis (red gums) will appear, but in the other stages of the disease, infection will go down the root and affect the bone and the attachments of the teeth, making teeth loose.
“Just as in people, dental disease can be very painful,” says Dr. Huffman. “However, pets may not show obvious signs of discomfort because these are gradual changes and most cats and dogs are also very good at hiding their pain.”
As pet owners we are encouraged to make an appointment with our veterinarian and have a thorough oral and health examination. Just like Lily, it could be something a simple as having their teeth cleaned to make them more comfortable and happier, and that’s really what we want for our pets.
Learn more here about dental facts.
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Disclaimer: Opinions are my own. I have been compensated as part of the #DentalPetFacts campaign for this post.