Dr. Bob's Animal Health and Information Site
Dr. Bobs Pet Health and Information Site
Dr. Bob's All Creatures Site
509 Benicia Road, Vallejo, California, USA 707-642-4405
Winter 2001 Newsletter
who the first person was to use the term "no brainer". I don't
know. I even "Ask Jeeves" on the internet and they didn't
know. If you are not familiar with the term, it refers to something
that is so easy to comprehend that it does not take any brain capacity to
calculate an answer. The phrase is one of those wonderful
contemporary culture extracts that has found its way into general usage in
When you think about it, there really are some things in life that are "no-brainers". In the veterinary profession for example, the need for your pet to undergo a routing dental procedure is as close to being a no-brainer as any I can imagine. Oral disease is so broad (approximately 80% of all dogs and 70% of all cats) and
effects are so potentially grave that , if you value your pet's well
being, having a routine dental procedure performed on your pet is really a
no-brainer! Left untreated, oral disease can systematically affect the
animal's heart, liver, and kidneys in addition to making their life
miserable from the oral pain they suffer. Additionally, pets with
advanced oral disease often suffer from nutritional problems because it is
usually very painful for them to eat.
February is National Pet Dental Health Month and we have devoted this issue of our newsletter to that topic so that you have the facts necessary to make a decision about your pet's dental health. I think that once you read this information, the maintenance of your pet's dental health will become a real "no-brainer"!
PET DENTAL HEALTH
The Steps Necessary for Proper Care
Your pet requires professional dental care - just like you! In order to provide the proper care for your pet, the American Veterinary Dental Society recommends that pet owners follow these three basic steps:
1. Take your pet to the veterinarian for a dental exam & cleaning. Our trained staff can examine your pet's mouth to determine the magnitude of dental work that must be done. For most pets a simple cleaning is all that is required. We will first sedate your pet so that he or she does not feel a thing. Depending on your pet's age and physical condition, the doctor may order blood analysis and other diagnostic tests to evaluate your pet's vital organs for coexisting diseases before proceeding with general anesthesia. Then, using many of the same sort of instruments your family dentist uses, we will begin polishing your pet's teeth to remove any harmful plaque and tartar.
2. Begin a dental care program at home. The main thing a pet owner can do to safeguard a pet's dental health is to begin brushing the pet's teeth on a routine basis. Some brushing suggestions are:
There are various methods of feeding your pet that will help combat oral disease. Our staff will be happy to suggest items and diets that are best suited for your pet.
3. Schedule regular veterinary checkups. Regular dental visits are an important part of your personal dental health care. The same is true for your pet. Routine checkups are essential for the proper monitoring of your pet's health.
FEBRUARY IS NATIONAL PET DENTAL HEALTH MONTH
CHEW ON THESE
1. Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets.
2. Oral disease begins with a buildup of bacteria in the pet's mouth.
3. Periodontitis is irreversible and may lead to other health problems.
4. Pet owners should look for warning signs of oral disease.
If you suspect that your pet is suffering from any of the above symptoms, contact us immediately. When your pet is suffering, time is of the essence!
We thank the American Veterinary Medical Association & Hill's Nutrition for supplying some information used in this newsletter.
ANIMAL HEALTH NEWS
COMMON PET DENTAL HEALTH
Cervical Line Lesions are a common dental problem affecting approximately 60% of all cats. Many cats with gingivitis or loose teeth are diagnosed with Cervical Line Lesions. These pinpoint holes (almost like a cavity) develop in the teeth at the base of the gum line. The lesions collect bacteria that can eventually lead to other ailments like gingivitis.
Unfortunately, the cause of Cervical Line Lesions is unknown. Brushing the cat's teeth and routine dental procedures performed by the veterinarian will prevent plaque and tartar deposits from forming. In turn, this will reduce the likelihood of bacterial infections of the gums with subsequent tooth loss.
Can pets get cavities?
A. Cavities in pets are relatively rare because their diets are usually not high in decay causing sugars. Cavities can be avoided by feeding your pet treats free of sugar and designed specifically for pets.
Q. What causes a dog to break its teeth?
A. Dogs often break teeth when they chew on items that are just too hard such as a bone or a cow hoof. Rawhide or other chew toys that soften as the dog chews are a good option.
What is causing a big swollen bump on my cat's gum?
A. Isolated swelling on the gum above one tooth could indicate severe possible problems such as a cervical line lesion or an abscessed tooth.
Q. does it matter whether my pet eats hard or soft food?
A. Studies show that hard kibbles are slightly better at keeping plaque from accumulating on the teeth. You may have heart that there are special foods proven to help reduce plaque and tartar. If you think your pet needs a special food, discuss this issue with a member of our staff.
BREATH - Take a Look In Your Pet's Mouth
Examining Your Pet's Mouth Can Reveal the Cause!
Many pet owners mistakenly think that bad breath is just a part of being a dog or a cat. Nothing is further from the truth! Bad breath in pets can sometimes indicate the presence of a serious illness but it is most often caused by bacteria that form when plaque and tartar are not removed from the teeth. This can cause gum infection or periodontal disease.
If your pet has bad breath, look at the pet's upper teeth by gently pulling back its lips. Examine the upper canines (the sharp, pointed teeth in the front corners) and the upper-back molars. If the gums above the teeth are red and the teeth are covered with brownish plaque, your pet is probably suffering from periodontal disease.
If this sounds like your pet, follow the procedures we have outlined on page 2 of this newsletter. Give us a call today for a dental appointment for your pet. You will be glad you did.