August is celebrated as the Australian Veterinarian Association (AVA) Pet Dental Health Month. This year it is going to be special for senior dogs as the theme of the celebration is it is never too late – senior dogs need dental care too. This initiative has been taken by the Australian Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS) and it celebrates the healthy smiles and well-being of pets every year.
It is also a month wherein pet owners can shower their love and affection towards their furry friends. This can be done with the help of taking care of oral hygiene of your pet. Whether you own a dog, cat, horse, rabbit, pony, mutt or moggy, all these animals need good dental care and this time the message is loud and clear for senior pets.
One of the primary things that happen during old age of the pets is that their immune system becomes less effective at fighting off bacterial and viral diseases. There are worn or missing teeth which affects the ability of the pet to chew their food properly. On top of it, this can also lead to upset stomachs. Older pets hide the pain from their pet owners until it becomes unbearable. This is where your role as a pet owner starts.
Senior pets have the tendency to develop various types of gum problems, tooth resorptions, and also sometimes oral masses. There are certain symptoms that will help you understand whether your senior pet is suffering from oral diseases:
Bad breath in your older pal means they are suffering from:
- Broken teeth
- Dental decay (usually found in toy breeds)
- Diabetes mellitus and accelerated gum disease
- Kidney disease and uraemic ulcers
- Liver, stomach, gastrointestinal complaints with vomiting
- Oral foreign bodies
- Periodontal disease
- Tooth resorptions
- Tumours with necrotic or dying tissues (includes cats with squamous cell carcinoma beneath their tongue)
Nasal discharge/infections indicates:
- Advanced oral tumours
- Chronic orinasal fistula due to periodontal disease
Poor appetite / picky eating indicates:
- Broken teeth and abscesses
- Dental decay
- Oral foreign bodies including stuck bones
- Periodontal disease
- Systematic diseases like renal or liver disease
As a pet owner it is your duty to ensure that your pet goes through regular dental checkups yearly so that there is minimal risk of oral diseases in pets. You should also provide dental friendly diet and chews like Advance Adult Dog Dental Large Breed, Hill’s Science Adult Oral Care Dog Food, Pedigree Dentastix for Large Dogs, Feline Greenies Chicken Cat Treats, Hill’s Feline T/D Dental Health, and Royal Canin Feline Dental Food S/O to your pets. Along with this you should also use Bradfield’s Natural Pet Mouthwash Spray and Dentipet Toothpaste for healthy teeths of the pets. Always take the help of your veterinarian if you find any of the symptoms mentioned above affecting the dental health of your pet.