Preventative dental care is one of the most neglected pet health needs. No matter what you do for your pets, plaque will build up on their teeth and dental cleanings will be necessary.
Minimizing the number of cleanings will decrease the need for putting your cat under anesthesia (which can have unwanted consequences). It’ll also save you, the owner, money on cleanings. Unlike people, cats must be put under anesthesia to have their teeth cleaned or extracted.
Here’s the description of periodontal disease that was handed to me following Linus’ dental cleaning.
Periodontal disease is a common and serious pet dental problem. Periodontal disease is caused by a build up of plaque below the gum line. Plaque, a sticky, colorless bacterial-laden film forms continuously on teeth. If not removed it hardens into calculus. Gums recede as calculus builds up causing bacteria-filled pockets. Bacteria infects gum tissue, roots of teeth and erodes the bone that secures the teeth. Eventually this will result in oral pain and loss of teeth. A large network of blood vessels near gums and teeth carries the bacteria throughout the body. An accumulation of bacteria can weaken liver, kidneys, heart and airways of the lungs, causing illness and a shortened lifespan.
Home dental care will slow down the rate at which dental tartar builds up on the teeth. Without dental care at home, you can expect that your pet may need dental cleanings every six to 12 months to stay ahead of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
What you can do at home:
- Brush your pets teeth, but this can be difficult if you have not sensitized your pet to this at an early age.
- Put them on a dental diet such as Hill’s Science Diet’s T/D, to help cut down on tartar build up.
- The more your pet chews, the healthier their teeth will be. Treats are helpful bu t often high in calories and pets do not spend as much time chewing them. Greenies and Plaque Attacker are some helpful products.
- Porphyromonas Bacterin, for dogs, is a new vaccine for dogs designed to cut down on plaque producing bacteria in the mouth. This can be started at seven weeks of age and provides additional help in the war against plaque. Something may be in the pipeline for cats in the future.
I’m trying the Greenies and the T/D. In my next post, I will discuss how my cats have been dealing with this new regimen.
Have you had any experiences with your pet’s dental health. Have they had teeth removed? Or have you tried some special dental treats or diets? If they have, please share.
I will check this out. Only mixing it into the regular diet, about one third TD and two thirds regular food, but then again, maybe that isn’t such a great idea. Don’t like the sounds of the these ingredients.
Have you checked out the ingredients in the T/D? Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Powdered Cellulose, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken Liver Flavor…
Not quite what a carnivore needs. A meat-based diet along with dental care go a along way toward preventing dental disease.