The tooth to dental care for your hairy family members
IT IS pet dental month and veterinary practices are running a pet dental month promotion throughout August to raise awareness of pet dental problems, prevention and treatment.
Acacia Veterinary Surgery Dr Martin Hack said the promotion was an initiative of the Australian Veterinary Association,and aimed to educate pet owners about the benefits of annual dental health checks and regular tooth brushing.
"Four out of every five dogs and cats over the age of three years have some sort of dental disease which may go unnoticed by their owners," Dr Hack said.
"Pets often won't show pain so it awareness is vital for your pet's wellbeing. Even with sore gums, infected mouths and broken teeth, pets will continue to eat so owners may not notice any problems.
"Dr Hack said at his surgery they saw up to 30 pets daily and of those, around six had dental problems.
"Your pet's breath should not smell bad, this is a sign of infection," Dr Hack said.
"Gums may be red and inflamed, your pet may be dropping food and the teeth may have yellow and brown tartar deposits on them (normal, healthy teeth should be white).
"Annual dental health checks are an ideal opportunity for owners to find out if their pet has existing problems which have gone unnoticed.
"Dental health checks also help ensure bacterial infections from dental problems do not spread to the heart, liver and kidneys via the blood stream.
" Dr Hack said about 80% per cent of animals have some degree of dental disease, which becomes more severe with age if left untreated.
"To help prevent dental disease in cats and dogs, we recommend brushing your pets teeth regularly," Dr Hack said.
"Many cats and dogs can be trained to enjoy this by starting from a young age.
Feeding a high quality dry food will also help prevent tartar build up and potential dental problems.
"Dental checks should be done at least every twelve months on pets of all ages.
"For the remainder of August Acacia Veterinary Surgery is offering a discount on routine dental procedures for dogs and cats.