We are offering a 20% discount on all dental procedures in March! *
A Vet or Nurse can perform a free of charge dental check before booking the procedure
* Excludes any drugs and valid from 1st – 30th March
Did You Know?
…..80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by the age of 3…..
…..poor dental health can lead to bad breath, loose teeth and tooth loss, mouth pain and poor appetite…..
…..dental disease can cause serious health problems affecting the heart, kidneys and liver…..
…..preventative dental care can significantly improve your pet’s health and quality of life…..
Should I be brushing my dog’s teeth?
Yes, you should brush your dog’s teeth as a responsible pet owner, but only if you have started brushing when they are very young and only if they co-operate.
There are small fingerbrushes or pet toothbrushes that you can buy as well as ‘toothpaste’ especially for your pet.
Never use human toothpaste as the foaming can panic some dogs, even if they like the minty taste and it may also irritate their stomach if swallowed. The pet form of toothpaste is in the form of a flavoured gel that contains an enzyme to help break down plaque and control the bacteria responsible for plaque in dogs’ mouths.
They are available in all sorts of doggy flavours such as chicken or liver to make it as pleasant as possible for your dog. Most of the brands do not even require brushing – you just add some to their food.
Smaller dogs and especially those with flatter noses suffer more with teeth problems as their teeth tend to be malaligned due to the shape of their faces, they tend to be on soft food diets, they may have sugary snacks as treats and they live longer.
The plaque build up can be so bad that it leads to a gum inflammation or gingivitis which is very painful. They will need a full anaesthetic and a dental.
If they are very old, a pre-anaesthetic blood test is usually performed to make sure that there is no liver or kidney damage that could affect their recovery from the anaesthetic.
They may return home minus a few teeth as once the plaque is removed, a very fragile tooth usually remains which is better out than left in for more plaque to build up on it. Some small dogs can end up with their tongues hanging out if all their little front incisors were so loose that they needed to be removed. Common in old Yorkshire Terriers.
Why are dentals necessary?
The plaque also houses all the bacteria (which is where your dog’s terrible breath comes from when he pants lovingly in your face).
This bacteria can enter the bloodstream and become particularly lethal. It can cause heart, liver or kidney infections. We don’t advise dentals on your pet simply because they have halitosis; we advise it as dental disease can be fatal and it will prolong your pet’s life to have healthy teeth.
As it involves a full anaesthetic and possibly some pre-anaesthetic bloods, it is usually a very costly procedure, especially if many teeth are removed.
Remember too that most insurance companies will not pay out for routine dentals, so try to prevent dental complications as far as you can by feeding a good quality dry food with no sugary snacks and get your dog used to having its teeth brushed from an early age.
There are some effective chews available that help mechanically to break down plaque. Remember though that chews can have quite a high calorie content – yes, even those bland looking rawhide chews, so take this into consideration when your dog is on diet too.
Knotted rope toys are very good at cleaning teeth. They act a little like dental floss.
Other problems such as growths or abscesses in the mouth can also result in a reluctance to eat and a smelly breath so take advantage of our 20% off dental procedures in March!
Have your pet checked if their smelly breath gets too much – and you will have a more amenable pet around for longer.
This is one of our Vet’s dog’s Derek who has been a blood donor for the fourth time!
Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine (a bit like caffeine) that is poisonous to dogs
What exactly is Alabama Rot and should dog owners be concerned?