Signs of Poor Oral Health in Animals
Keeping your pet’s dental health in optimal condition is essential for ensuring they have a long and healthy life. Without healthy teeth, your dog or cat won’t be able to chew their food properly and often can’t tell you what the problem is.
Poor oral health can cause infections in their teeth and gums as well as spreading bacteria to their lungs, liver, kidneys and heart, causing other serious health problems. To prevent this, you should take an active role in your pet’s dental health. This includes looking for signs of poor oral health and taking necessary action.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Poor Oral Health
Take a good look at your pet’s teeth, gums and the inside of their mouth. There are a number of signs that indicate there could be gum disease, including:
- Bad breath
- Plaque and tartar
- Red or bleeding gums
- Not eating
While many people assume stinky breath in dogs or cats is normal, it is often a sign of poor oral health, especially if it has a rotten egg odour. It can mean bacteria is present in their mouth.
Plaque and tartar
If you see dark yellow or brown coating on your pet’s teeth, it is plaque and tartar that has hardened over the teeth, which can harbour bacteria and cause infection.
Red or bleeding gums
If your pet’s teeth a beginning to turn brown or they have red, puffy or bleeding gums, it’s a sign of gingivitis caused by bacteria on the teeth.
If your pet is picky or reluctant to eat especially hard or crunchy food, it could be an indication of poor dental health or diseased or fractured teeth which cause them pain.
Other signs can include swelling on one side of the face due to an infected tooth, or dogs will touch their face or mouth with their paw as if to say “ow”, just like a person might.
Preventing Dental Problems
The best way to prevent oral health issues is to provide your pets with treats and chews that are good for their teeth and help clean plaque off teeth. You should brush their teeth at least three times a week (although every day is ideal) to help prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar.
Like dentists, vets can also provide special, scheduled teeth cleaning at their offices to remove stubborn plaque that brushing and chews miss. Owners with pets that experience difficulty with brushing can use dental water additives and rinses that help kill bacteria, freshen breath and soothe inflammation.
Treating Dental Problems
When the signs and symptoms of dental health issues are present, dental x-rays or ultrasonic dental scaling may be necessary to assess the teeth and gums. The appropriate treatment depends on the type and extent of the problem and could range from antibiotics to dental extractions.
Veterinary Dental Services in Perth
Floreat Veterinary Centre is fully equipped to carry out dental surgery on site. Performed under anaesthesia by our experienced veterinary surgeons, these procedures prioritise the safety and comfort of your cat or dog while addressing their dental ailments.
Should I Desex My Pet?
With more than 63 per cent of Australian households owning pets (according to the Animal Health Alliance), it’s no secret that we love our animal companions. It’s essential to ensure you act as a responsible pet owner, which includes ensuring your pets are desexed if you’re not a registered breeder.
Despite wanting the best for their pets, many owners still hesitate to sterilise their pets because they may have concerns about unnecessarily causing them harm or changing their personality. However, desexing your pet is ultimately one of the best things you can do for both their physical and psychological health, as well as making your experience as a pet owner much easier.
Preventing Unwanted Litters
The most obvious effect of spaying or neutering your pet is that they will no longer be able to breed. The RSPCA receives over 125,000 animals each year, many of which are the result of unplanned breeding caused by owners being too slow or unwilling to desex their pets. Unplanned breeding causes hardship for the parent animals, and the young produced incurring significant costs for the owner.
Health Benefits of Desexing
We recommend pets are sterilised at 6 months of age. Desexing prior to sexual maturity is an ideal way of reducing unwanted breeding and ensuring compliance. However, many people don’t know that it also offers health benefits such as preventing the development of:
- Testicular cancer
- Prostate diseases
- Mammary cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Cystic ovaries
- Uterus infections
The longer you wait, the more these risks intensify. For example, female dogs are 9 per cent more likely to develop mammary cancer if they have had one heat cycle and 26 per cent more likely after having two cycles.
Behavioural Benefits of Desexing
It is a myth that desexing will change your pet’s personality aside from making them calmer, easier to train and less frustrated from constantly wanting to mate. Desexing your pet can also reduce undesirable behaviours such as:
- Wanting to escape or roam in order to find a mate
- Fighting and other aggressive behaviour
- Inappropriate mounting and humping
- Urine spraying and marking
By reducing or eliminating risky behaviour associated with wanting to mate, you can ensure your pet lives a longer and happier life.
Pre and Post-Operative Desexing Care
Desexing your dog or cat is a very straightforward procedure. Most dogs are able to go home on the same day as the surgery with no side effects aside from a reduction in appetite that generally passes within 24 hours. All you have to do is make sure the area healing is kept clean and dry, and that your pet is kept quiet; minimal exercise is advised for approximately 10 days.
Male cats also recover within a day or two. Female cats have to undergo a more invasive procedure and require around 10 days of quiet and comfortable recovery. Cats should be kept inside until the surgical wound is completely healed and stitches are removed.
Desexing Services in Perth
If you need your cat or dog desexed in Perth, book an appointment today with one of our expert vets at Floreat Veterinary Centre. If you have any more questions or concerns about the procedure, feel free to get in touch by calling us on (08) 9383 7773 or contacting us online.
Our Favourite Pet Accessories and Products
There are untold wonders awaiting the eager shopper in the pet accessory world. Depending on how much you want to spend, it might be your taste to deck your pooch out in the latest high-end Parisian fashion. Personally, that’s not our style so we’ve put together some practical essentials for your dog or cat’s happiness and health.
The ABCs of Responsible Pet Ownership
Owning a pet is a great joy but it’s also a great responsibility. Pets are not an amusement that you can simply turn off when bored. Pets bring their own personalities, needs and flaws that must be considered in advance before deciding to get one. In this article, we’re taking a look at the basics of responsible pet ownership.
Understanding Your Cat’s Personality
Cats have different personalities, depending on the breed. Some are active and some are lazy, some extroverted and some introverted. Some will demand your attention, whereas some will enjoy spending time on their own. Choosing the right cat is as important for you as it is important for the pet itself.
When deciding what kind of cat to bring into your life, it’s important to consider how much time you have to give to the cat and what kind of temperament would best be suited to yours. Floreat Veterinary Centre has produced profiles of five common cats’ personalities to help you get started on your quest for the perfect cat pal.
Final Goodbye – Putting Your Pet to Sleep
Saying goodbye to a loved one is especially hard, even when those loved ones aren’t human. The lives of our pets are short compared to ours and sometimes they are shorter than we’d hoped they’d be; shorter than they deserved. Our furry friends’ little lives are brief shining moments and we should lay them to rest as best we can. After the joys they bring to our lives, it’s only proper to do them this final kindness. Here is some expert advice on handling this sensitive time.
Pet Insurance – Is It Really Worth It?
Many pet owners say they would go to any expense to get their pet the medical treatment it needs, no matter the cost. Unfortunately, life throws many challenges at us, sometimes all at once, so it’s better to safeguard your financial future as well as your pet’s future well-being. Make sure the tough times don’t need to be any tougher if they do come.
Preparing for a New Pet
Bringing home a new pet is one of life’s great excitements, no matter how many pets you’ve had before! Pets bring new joys into our lives and they each have their own personalities to add to the family but it’s important to not take the task lightly.
Pets can present challenges as well as rewards and it’s important to take all precautionary steps to ensure that you and your new friend both transition to your new environments as happily as possible. The team at Floreat Veterinary Centre has prepared a bit of info to help you with this exciting journey.
Lumps and Bumps – Unscheduled Visits to the Vet
Lumps and bumps are probably the most frequent cause of unscheduled visits to the vet. We are all aware of the risks of cancer to ourselves, and so we are rightly concerned if we suspect it on our furry friends. If you find an unusual lump on your pet, it is best to see a veterinarian right away. The sooner a problem is discovered, the greater the chance it can be effectively dealt with.
A lump doesn’t always mean cancer, much less death – but still, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here is a quick overview of what lumps and bumps could mean.
Pet Allergies – They Are a Real
Many of us know how unpleasant allergies can be; sneezing, wheezing, coughing and sputter, itchiness and rashes – the list goes on! Allergies are the immune system’s overly sensitive response to some particular substance or environment. Dogs and cats have allergies, too, and it’s tough to always know what’s causing it so we’ve put together this simple guide for owners!