People often forget that pets have teeth too! Can you imagine eating what your pet eats everyday and never brushing or having your teeth scaled?
85% of dogs and cats over three years of age require dental attention. The presence of dental plaque and hardened tooth tartar caused by bacterial by-products in the mouth, leads to bad breath and inflammation of the gum tissue. Left untreated, the gums will recede leading to premature teeth loss.
We offer FREE Dental Clinics with one of our qualified nurses. For more information pick up the phone, or ask at reception when you’re next in.
Plaque is produced in the mouth at all times, it is soft and pasty and settles on the teeth. Plaque consists of salivary deposits, bacteria and food particles.
Tartar is plaque which has been left to calcify, this shows up as a hard yellowy/brown material on teeth.
Periodontal Disease is inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth. This is what is caused if plaque and tartar are not removed by brushing or otherwise. Signs of this are soreness of the gums, bad breath and, if it becomes serious enough, it can cause pain, eating difficulties and even loss of teeth.
Ways of Preventing Plaque and Tartar Build Up
Brushing – This must always be done with a toothpaste made specifically for dogs and cats, as human toothpaste can cause stomach problems in pets.
Brushing, although an effective way of removing plaque build up, is not always realistic, particularly in cats, and usually has to be something you start from an early age in order to be effective.
Diet – One of the most effective ways of removing plaque and tartar is by going back to nature and feeding a natural raw diet consisting of raw meat and bone, with vegetables.
The action of chewing on raw meat and bone acts like a toothbrush for your pet’s teeth. Animals which live on this type of the diet in the wild tend not to have the dental problems we see in our domestic pets. Also chewing releases endorphins in your animal so you get a happier and healthier pet!
Dry diets and biscuits can also aid the removal of plaque. Although they are not as effective as raw diets, they are much more effective than some canned foods, which can to contribute more to plaque build up.
Chews – There are a range of chews, such as specially made dental chews and raw hide chews, which will also aid in helping to clean your pet’s teeth. Make sure you check the label though as some brands are packed with sugar which rather defeats their objective!
Scale and Polish – This is the most effective way of removing plaque and tartar, particularly if the plaque has calcified and become hard making it almost impossible to remove without the aid of a scaler. The animal has to be under anaesthetic to prevent too much stress. The teeth are then scaled and polished much the same as your own teeth are at the dentist.
Just like us, it is important for our pets to attend regular dental clinics in order to help prevent dental disease from occurring or detect it at an early stage.
Here at Wharfedale Veterinary Centre our qualified nurses run a FREE Dental Clinic throughout the week, where you can attend for a 10 minute consultation with your pet. Whilst our nurse assesses your pet’s teeth, she will discuss with you a dental hygiene routine and will be more than happy to demonstrate how you can clean your pet’s teeth properly, answering any questions you may have. If our nurse detects any dental disease then she will advise you accordingly, and if necessary refer you for an appointment with a vet at a later stage.
We recommend that all animals attend a dental check at least twice a year.
To book a free clinic please feel free to pick up the phone or ask at reception next time you are in.