Ask the Vet?

Ask the Vet?

Ask the Vet?
Severn Edge Vet, Rachel answers; “why does my pet have bad breath?”
Although there can be several causes of smelly breath (or ‘halitosis’), dental disease is one of the more common reasons for this problem. Tartar, gum disease and tooth infections can all contribute to unpleasant breath, but there are also more serious reasons why good oral health is just as important for dogs and cats as it is to humans. Gum disease and tooth infections can be very painful, as can cavities, and infections have the potential to spread elsewhere in the body. By examining your pet’s mouth regularly, you can quickly pick up any changes that could be indicative of these problems.

“But my pet is still eating, so surely they don’t have sore teeth?”
This is something that vets hear quite regularly, however pets are very good at hiding their discomfort. Subtle signs of pain can be a change in preference from dry to wet food, eating slower or less, salivating while or after eating, or rubbing at the mouth. Some cats and dogs will show no obvious signs of pain, hence the need for regular dental examinations.
“What do I do if my pet has dental disease?”
Treatment of dental disease usually requires a general anaesthetic in order for the teeth to be cleaned and any extractions to be performed if necessary. Techniques used are very similar to those used by human dentists.

“What can I do for my pet to prevent dental disease?”
The very best way to prevent dental issues is to brush your pet’s teeth, just like we would do for ourselves. Always use a toothpaste designed for dogs and cats rather than human toothpaste, as the fluoride in human paste can be toxic. This needs to be done at least three times a week to be effective, although every day is ideal. While many dogs enjoy this (my own dog loves the flavour of his toothpaste!!), cats can be a bit trickier, so there are other options available. There are diets available that contain dental preventative care, and there are also products available that can help prevent plaque sticking to teeth so well.
Just ask your vet or vet nurse and we can help you ensure the best dental health for your pet.