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Doggy Dental Woes
May 1, 2017

Did you know that as many as 80 percent of adult dogs are afflicted with gum disease? Gum disease may not seem serious at first, but the infection can move through Fido’s bloodstream to his vital organs, and can cause or contribute to some very dangerous health issues, such as heart trouble and liver or kidney problems. Man’s Best Friend can also suffer from other dental issues, such as infections; abscesses; and cracked, broken, or loose teeth. Read on as an East Indianapolis, IN vet discusses doggy dental woes.

Warning Signs

Bad breath is one of the most common signs of dental issues in dogs. Although Fido isn’t exactly known for having minty-fresh breath, your pet’s affectionate doggy kisses shouldn’t leave you gagging, either. Some other symptoms include bloody, stringy, or excessive drool; visible swelling; and tartar buildup. There are also some behavioral indications, such as reduced appetite, longer eating times, grumpiness, and lack of interest in playing or chewing. Contact your vet immediately if you see any of these warning signs.

Veterinary Care

Fido should get his choppers checked by a vet yearly, starting at age one. If your canine pal gets tartar buildup, he may need a good deep cleaning. This will not only remove that icky gunk, it will also help fight off the bacteria and infections associated with gum disease. Other dental issues will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Keep in mind that the object here isn’t to give your canine buddy a perfect smile: it’s to take care of issues that can cause pain and/or lead to other health problems.

Home Care

There are also some things that you can do at home to keep your pup’s choppers healthy. Brushing is one of the best options. Fido will need an adjustment phase here, so start by rubbing your pet’s gums with your finger. Offer a yummy treat after, to sweeten the deal. From there, add some doggy toothpaste. The last step is to start using a pet toothbrush. Be sure to only use products made for dogs: human toothpastes can be toxic to pets. Dental-formula kibble, treats, and chews can also be helpful. Finally, make sure your pooch always has fresh water and suitable chew toys.

Please contact us, your East Indianapolis, IN animal clinic, with any questions or concerns about your dog’s dental care. We are here to help!