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Dental care for your pets

Advice on what to do to keep your pets teeth and gum healthy

Bad breath: Difficulty eating or a change in eating habits, depression and weight loss, eating on one side of the mouth, pawing at the mouth, chipped or broken teeth, red, swollen or bleeding gums, salivation, facial swellings - all are clear signs of teeth or gum problems. Sometimes the signs are more subtle. Your pet will not show obvious symptoms, so it’s always best they have regular check-ups. Please do bring your pet in to see us without delay if you suspect a problem, as periodontal disease can be very painful and severely affect the health of your pet.

Cats are very careful not to demonstrate pain so it may not be obvious they have teeth problems, but they unfortunately have a high incidence of dental disease and a condition known as Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions or simply tooth resorption. This is very painful condition where the teeth begin to be destroyed usually just below the gum line, so it can be a tricky problem to spot unless a dental examination is performed. Please do bring your kitty in for regular check-ups.

Get them checked out : simply checking your pet's mouth can highlight a problem, and we can help you do this - our nurses run free dental clinics to help identify issues and to offer great advice on how to care for your pet's teeth, such as brushing. Cleaning their teeth may seem daunting but they will soon get used to it if you introduce things gradually as part of their routine - Brushing really is the best way to help ensure that your dog or cat lives a happy and healthy life without the pain, discomfort and associated serious health problems of periodontal disease. If brushing the teeth is not an option for you and your pet, we will advise you on other ways you can help their teeth stay as healthy as they can be.

Never brush your pet's teeth with human toothpaste, this could harm your pet if swallowed. Good brands of pet toothpaste have been designed so you don't have to do too much brushing and no rinsing - they are flavoured to make it easier for you and a nicer experience for your pet - also if they swallow some it won't harm them.

Home care : There are many products on the market that claim to help clean your pet's teeth and some may be beneficial, particularly feeding a good quality dried food or dried biscuits as part to your pets diet - however nothing comes close to the effectiveness of daily tooth brushing. Our nurses can show you how and  help you get started - the best time to begin getting them used to tooth brushing is of course when they are young - but even older pets can learn to have their teeth cleaned. Its particularly recommended after a scale and polish, as the plaque can start building up again very quickly. If you need further help or advice please book in to see us for a chat, we would love to see you.

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