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Doggy Dental Trouble

Have you had your dog’s teeth checked lately? Dental care is just as important for dogs as it is for people. However, many dog owners inadvertently overlook this crucial aspect of Fido’s care. Here, a Columbia, MD vet discusses doggy dental issues.

Symptoms

Do your dog’s affectionate kisses make you cringe? Is Fido’s breath strong enough to wilt plants? While our canine buddies will probably never be known for having minty-fresh breath, really bad breath can be indicative of dental troubles. Some other common symptoms include ropy, bloody, or excessive drool; visible tartar buildup; swelling; blood on toys or dishes; and bleeding gums. Fido may lose interest in playing if his teeth hurt. He may also take longer eating, chew on one side of his mouth, or start favoring softer foods. Grumpiness is another warning sign. Your pup may also shy away if you touch his mouth.

Common Issues

Did you know that up to 80 percent of adult dogs have gum disease? Gum disease is painless and asymptomatic in its early stages, but can eventually lead to tooth loss. It can also contribute to some other serious health issues, such as heart disease and liver and kidney issues. Misalignments, abscesses, and infections can afflict our canine friends as well. Fido can also break or crack his teeth by chewing or playing with hard objects.

Treatment

Fido should have his teeth checked at least once a year. If he develops any of the symptoms listed above, schedule an emergency visit right away. Dental issues can be extremely painful, so they definitely should be taken seriously. As for treatment, it may range from simple cleanings to extractions or other procedures. Ask your vet for more information.

Home Care

Good doggy dental care really starts at home. Brushing Fido’s teeth is a great way to keep his mouth healthy. Start slow, to get your pooch used to the idea. Only use products made for pets: human toothbrushes and toothpastes are neither safe nor suitable for dogs! If your pooch won’t sit still to let you brush his teeth, offer him dental-formula treats, kibble, or chews. You can also give him a doggy oral rinse. Finally, make sure your pup always has fresh water and suitable chew toys.

Do you have questions about caring for your dog’s teeth? Call us, your Columbia, MD vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help.

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