Dental disease is one of the most common problems we see at Country Corners. Nationally, periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed disease in cats and dogs over the age of 3 years. About half of the dogs and cats over 5 years old seen at this hospital suffer from significant painful dental disease. Dental disease is not just a disease of your pet’s mouth. Horses with bad teeth will often be at risk for poor weight, colic, abscesses in the mouth and training problems. Dogs and cats with dental disease often have bacteria shedding into their blood stream and this is harmful for their immune system, their kidneys and the valves of their hearts.
SYMPTOMS OF DENTAL DISEAE: Deposits of tartar and swelling/redness of the gums especially on the back teeth in larger dogs and the front teeth in smaller dogs, mobile or loose/wiggly teeth, bad odor in the mouth, swelling of the skin below the eyes (often a sign of a root abscess in the fourth upper premolars usually because of a slab fracture of the crown of the tooth from chewing hard objects like rocks or bones), eating or chewing with only one side of the mouth, dropping food or acting as if eating is painful.
BUT MY DOG’S MOUTH IS NOT PAINFUL DOC: Interestingly, most of my clients do not appreciate that their pets with significantly infected/inflamed mouths have any pain. Because dental disease is usually a gradually progressive problem, our pets become used to the pain in their mouths. It is common for my clients to report after the dental disease is addressed (i.e. cleaning, removing infected teeth) that their pet is so much brighter and happier!
For those of you out there whose pet’s mouths are doing great….keep brushing! Brushing your pet’s teeth once daily starting when they are puppies/kittens significantly prolongs the need for veterinary dental intervention. For those whose pets won’t allow a brush within a country mile there are other options too to help like CET chews and water additives as well as T/D diet.
Please call us if you would like more information or an appointment. 530-692-9552.
Dr. Sullivan and Staff at Country Corners Veterinary Hospital.