Category Archives: Canine Dental Health

Dental Tips For Finicky Dogs

Many dogs will not adjust to having their owners scrubbing away at their pearly whites unless you train them from puppyhood. If your finicky pup rejects a toothbrush, here are a few alternatives for dog dental care.

Dental Tips For Finicky Dogs
We’ve all been there. You get one whiff of your dog’s breath as they go to give you a sweet puppy kiss, and you think, yeesh, you need to brush your teeth, buddy — stat.
Most owners have heard from their vets that brushing their dogs’ teeth is important for their long-term health, and yet 65% of pet owners still don’t bother. A lot of these owners may have tried dental upkeep and failed miserably when their pup gave their new toothbrush the stink-eye. Yes, there are meaty doggy toothpastes out there, but the reality is that many dogs will not adjust to having their owners scrubbing away at their pearly whites unless you train them from puppyhood. If your finicky pup rejects a toothbrush, here are a few alternatives for dog dental care.

Quality food that supports tooth health.
If your dog’s breath is especially offensive, their food might be to blame. Check that their food has quality ingredients that support their tooth and digestive health. Get a recommendation from your vet if you’re not sure what brand or ingredients might benefit your pup most.

Plaque-fighting treats.
Pet companies often take easy dental care for dogs into account when formulating some treats and toy lines. Hard meaty treats and tough chew toys help your dog wear down plaque. Avoid giving them bones, which are starchy, and sugary or carb-heavy treats. If you want to feed them some ‘people-food’ treats you have on hand, baby carrots or skinless pieces of apple are good choices.

A water additive.
Dental care for dogs can be a little sneaky when they’re feeling picky. If you’re already using a quality food and providing chewy toys and treats, but the stinky breath and plaque persist, consider an additive that you put directly in their water to promote tooth health. Some dogs may notice a difference, but most won’t. Pet supply stores often have several brands available. Ask your vet for their opinion on a safe and effective option.

A dental care procedure at their vet.
If your dog’s tooth situation is pretty dire, ask our vet clinic about the possibility of a dental cleaning procedure. Two things to consider: your pet must be in good health, as it may involve a sedative. Your dog’s mouth will never be so fresh and clean as after a professional vet dental, and upkeep will be easier.

Even if all these ideas are non-options for your particular situation or dog, AZ Paws will absolutely have more personalized advice for dental care for your animals. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and explore all options before your pets mouth is in a crisis.

Dental Dangers: What Happens When You Don’t Care For Your Pet’s Teeth?

Preventative dental care at the veterinarian office can help you save money by reducing the risk of some serious health issues. Read more about how on our AZPAWS.org blog

 

When it comes to pet healthcare, it’s important to spay and neuter your pets. But it’s just as important that your pets receive regular dental care.

By keeping up with cat and dog dental care both at home and at the vet clinic, you can help your furry friends live a longer, healthier, and happier life. What’s more, preventative dental care at the veterinarian office can also help you save money by reducing the risk of some serious health issues.

 

Dental Dangers: What Happens When You Don’t Care For Your Pet’s Teeth?

You’ve most likely heard about the dangers of periodontal disease in humans. As it turns out, periodontal disease is even more common in dogs and cats. By the age of three, up to 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will develop periodontal disease.

 

Periodontal disease can contribute to liver disease, heart disease, and kidney disease in your pets because the bacteria from your pet’s teeth can infect your pet’s blood. Periodontal disease starts when tartar is formed above and below the gum line.

 

Some of the most common signs of potential dental issues with your pet include:

Discolored teeth

Extra teeth

Bad breath

Broken teeth

Loose teeth

Swelling around the mouth

Pain around or in the mouth (your pet may refuse to eat)

Blood around the mouth

Abnormal chewing or drooling

Changes in eating behavior

 

How Do I Treat My Pet’s Gum Disease?

It’s important to consult with your veterinarian if you notice problems with your pet’s dental care. Your vet will perform a dental cleaning and conduct x-rays to learn how severe the damage is. Your vet will then talk to you about your pet’s dental care options.

 

The earlier your pet’s dental care is taken care of the better. Only your vet can treat the tartar below your pet’s gum line, but you can reach up to 90% of your pet’s teeth just by brushing at home.

 

You’ll want to make sure you’re brushing your pet’s teeth regularly. Between two to three times a week can help to reduce your pet’s risk of periodontal disease.

 

It’s important to spay and neuter your pet, but it’s also critical to keep their teeth as healthy as possible. For more information about Pheonix dog dental care or the importance of spaying or neutering your pet, contact AZPaws today.

Your Dogs’s Oral Hygiene Affects Their Overall Health

Your Dogs’s Oral Hygiene Affects Their Overall Health
Just as we take care of our teeth regularly, we should be doing the same for our animals. Dogs experience plaque buildup and tooth decay just as humans do, so it is important to prevent dental disease and infection. Dental problems in canines can cause a host of other health problems, affecting their entire body as well as their mouth. By implementing basic dental care for pets, you can prevent the following issues.

• Organ Damage: A dog’s mouth is the ideal environment for bacteria to grow, especially when left untreated. As these organisms grow, however, an infection can develop and spread to the rest of the body. If this infection reaches vital organs such as the heart and liver, your dog could experience more complicated health problems. Keeping their mouth clean will help you avoid pouring money into pet healthcare in the future.

• Oral Pain: If you notice that your dog is pawing their mouth or licking their gums, they might be in serious pain from dental problems. Severe swelling and decay can cause extreme discomfort for your pooch, and they will likely show visible signs. When a dog starts exhibiting these types of behaviors, brushing at home may not be enough. Be sure to take them to a vet for dog dental care and cleaning.

• Difficulty Eating: When their mouth is in pain, your dog have difficulty eating or may not be eating at all. You may notice them struggling to chew their food. If you dog drops weight suddenly, this is another sign of dental problems. Losing weight suddenly could be detrimental to their health, so be sure to take them to a dog vet clinic as soon as possible. Your vet may recommend an alternative dog food brand to use until you repair your pet’s teeth.

About 65% of pet owners do not brush their dogs’ teeth, so be sure to start doing so. At-home brushing and dental care for pets, however, may not be effective if your dog has severe dental issues. In many cases, veterinary care is the only way to diagnose and reverse the problem. During your pet’s next checkup, be sure to ask the vet to thoroughly inspect your dog’s teeth. Also be sure to ask about prevention best practices, as adopting the best at-home care will keep your dog’s bite strong and healthy for years to come.

Why It’s In Your Best Interests to Keep Your Pets’ Teeth Strong and Healthy

Dental health for your dog can be a serious issue. Read more about why keeping your dog’s teeth healthy is so important on the AZPAWS blog.

Why It’s In Your Best Interests to Keep Your Pets’ Teeth Strong and Healthy

One health item that is consistently overlooked when it comes to pets is their dental care. If a dog or a cat has bad breath, owners should sit up and take notice. Bad breath may be a symptom of a larger issue, such as rotting teeth or periodontal disease. If a pet has bad teeth, they could very well be in pain just doing simple tasks, like eating, and the owner may not know until the pain is quite advanced.

Keeping a cat or dog’s dental health up is not a difficult task, and most (if not all) veterinarians highly recommend that pet owners keep an eye on the dental health of their pets. So what can owners do to make sure that their pets’ teeth are healthy, and why are veterinarians emphasizing the need for pet dental health? Read on to find out.

Why is dental care for dogs and cats so important?

By the age of three, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of dental disease, which is why so many vets suggest dental care for your dog and emphasize dental care for pets in general. If not treated, poor dental health has been linked to problems in pets’ organs such as the heart and kidneys.

Teeth can also become infected, break, and tumors or cysts can easily form in these absences. Naturally, this is extremely uncomfortable for the animal and can impact their eating habits. Pet owners might be horrified to realize that they’ve caused their beloved pets unnecessary pain by not being aware of the situation. The older the pet is, the more important it is to keep an eye on their dental health.

What can pet owners do to improve dental care?

Dog dental care might sound silly, but it should eventually become a regular routine in pet healthcare for owners. It’s not too difficult to carry out dental care for your dog. Indeed, you can reach around 90% of the surface of a dog’s teeth by brushing. You don’t even have to floss!

Certain treats or pet food can also be helpful in maintaining good dental care for your dog or cat and if you can’t brush your dog’s teeth every day, investing in this kind of food or treat can be helpful. You should consult with the vet to put together the most effective regimen for your pet.

Your pet should also be visiting the vet annually (at least) and during that time, the vet should be doing a thorough examination of their mouth. After the age of seven, it’s recommended that they get inspected twice a year. Listen to the vet as well. Veterinarians report that even though they explain how important it is to brush pets’ teeth, around 65% of pet owners don’t follow through at home.

What happens if my pet is already suffering from bad dental care?

If you haven’t been paying attention to dental care for your dog or cat and you believe that your pet is suffering, you should take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible and see what the vet recommends.

They may need a veterinarian dentist to perform a procedure and/or carry out a thorough dental cleaning. In many cases, a vet can replace or repair broken teeth and pull bad teeth, just like with humans. Do follow their directions for post-procedure and be sure to pay attention to their instructions for proper pet dental care afterwards!

Pet dental care is often overlooked by even the most concerned pet owners, but it can cause so many problems for your pet, that pet owners should have a higher level of awareness. If you need a dental cleaning, come visit us, and let us help keep your pets’ teeth healthy and strong.

Thank you.

5 Warning Signs of Dental Disease in Dogs

Dog dental care often goes overlooked but it should be an important part of taking care of your pet. Visit our blog to find out how you can help your dog with better dental care.

Unlike humans, dogs don’t brush their teeth twice a day or floss between meals to keep their breath fresh and their smiles white. Because it’s not a particularly routine part of caring for your pet, dog dental care often goes overlooked. It is, however, a very important part of pet healthcare.

By age three, a whole 80% of dogs and 70% of cats suffer from periodontal disease. Not only does this dental disease cause tooth decay, it can also travel through your dog’s body, affecting the lungs, kidneys, and heart.

Detecting periodontal disease can be as simple as opening your dog’s mouth and checking out his teeth and gums. Here are a few warning signs to look out for:

1. Inflamed gums
Dogs get gingivitis, too. Caused by bacteria that lingers in the mouth from food stuck in the teeth, gingivitis is a disease that causes gums to become red, swollen, and bleeding. The bacteria will gather under the gum line and cause a serious infection.

2. Swollen jaw
As the infection gathers around the root of the tooth, it creates an abscess, causing the jaw to become swollen. You should notice a lump on the lower jaw by the neck or on the upper jaw around the eye.

3. Plaque and tartar
Plaque is a sticky film on the teeth, which is composed of saliva and food particles. When plaque is left unattended, it hardens into a thick formation called tartar. This occurs in both dogs and humans.

4. Nasal discharge
As gums become infected and the roots of the teeth abscess, pockets of pus can reach the sinus cavities. As the infection spreads to the sinuses, your dog may develop cold or flu-like symptoms, including a runny nose and sneezing.

5. Stinky breath
Dogs’ breath typically doesn’t smell like roses, but when infected by a dental disease, it can become much worse than usual. If you notice a sour, acrid odor, it may be a sign of disease in the mouth as well as other internal organs.

Dog dental care is about much more than making sure your pup has a sparkling white smile. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a long list of health problems in both animals and humans. If you notice any of the signs listed above, take your furry friend to the dog vet clinic right away.

How to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Healthy

Taking care of your dog’s dental health is part of their overall health. Read more about why canine dental health is so important on our blog.

 

How to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Healthy
Once you become a dog owner, you assume many responsibilities. You have to ensure your dog exercises enough each day, gets vaccinated at a vet clinic, and learns good behavior around other people and dogs.

One of the most often neglected parts of dog care is — believe it or not — dog dental care. If your dog has inflamed gums or a toothache, he or she is dealing with pain that you probably don’t know about, and might not be able to eat without being irritated. Plus, the bacteria could spread and cause a more serious and painful infection.

The truth is that you should be able to maintain your dog’s dental health much in the same way that you maintain your own — by brushing their teeth. Most dog dentists recommend a brushing every day, but if that is unrealistic, shoot for three or four times a week. Check out the list below for other tips concerning your pup’s mouth:

  • Ease into it — Your dog won’t accept the intrusion of a strange new routine easily, so give it time. Start by offering him or her some peanut butter or a treat and let him lick it off of your hands, sticking your fingers in his mouth. Once your dog is used to you handling his or her mouth, it will be much easier to incorporate it into your daily or bi-weekly routine.
  • Find pet healthcare clinics, such as AZPAWS.org where there are vets who have experience in dental care for dogs. We will be able to detect problems before they even happen, and recommend a course of action if indeed there is a problem
  • Design a healthy diet for your pooch — A healthy doggy diet might include certain chew toys or treats that supposedly help battle plaque, but it is also important to make sure that they aren’t chewing on bones made out of starches or consuming any sugars. Your dog can eat fruits and vegetables — which are all around better for them anyway since 66% of dog allergies are caused by beef, dairy and wheat.

 

By age three, 80% of dogs have periodontal disease. You can prevent this by brushing their teeth, which cleans virtually all (90%) of their tooth surfaces. Give us a call to schedule a teeth cleaning. We can help your canine companion get started with great oral health.

 

Did you know dental care for your dog is an essential part of keeping your pet healthy? Check out our website at AZPaws.org for more information.

The 4 Most Common Dental Problems for Dogs

By age three, 80% of dogs are inflicted with periodontal disease. Although veterinarians explain the importance of dog dental care, about 65% of pet owners report that they do not brush their dog’s teeth. When it comes to caring for your pet, oral hygiene should be a part of your routine. At the very least, your pet’s mouth should be examined at a dog vet clinic at least once every year.

Dog dental care is an essential part of pet healthcare and is vital for your furry friend’s happiness. You may not know what to look for when considering your dog’s oral health, so below, you can find a list of four common dog dental care issues.

Common Tooth Problems for Dogs

1. Loose Teeth: Just like kids, puppies lose their first set of teeth to make room for their permanent teeth. Your kids may start finding their own teeth beginning to wiggle around age five or six, but your puppy will start to lose teeth between four and six months of age (that’s around seven years old in dog years!). It is important during this time in your dog’s life to regularly check inside his mouth. Just like with people, a baby tooth may fail to fall out, and an adult tooth will come in where there is little or no room to grow, causing it to come in crooked. See your vet if you notice two teeth closely occupying the same spot.
If your adult dog is experiencing loose teeth, this should be a red flag. This usually results from some kind of trauma to the mouth, illness, or gum loss as a result of periodontal disease.

2. Periodontal disease: Symptoms of periodontal disease include swollen and bleeding gums. This is the most commonly diagnosed dental problem in dogs. Plaque builds up on the teeth and becomes tartar. When tartar is under the gum line, gums become puffy and red and develop gingivitis. Gingivitis, if left untreated, progresses to periodontal disease, which causes the gums to recede, eventually leading to tooth loss. This leaves your dog vulnerable to infection, which can spread throughout his body.

3. Broken or cracked tooth: Dogs love to chomp and chew, so you need to be aware of what you dog has in his mouth at all times. Hard objects can crack or break a tooth. When this happens, the nerve of the tooth can be exposed, which can be very painful. The tooth also becomes vulnerable to infection.

4. Tooth root abscess: When an infection sets in as a result of any of the above problems, your dog may experience a tooth root abscess, which occurs if the root becomes exposed to bacteria. This will be incredibly painful, so you will notice that your dog is having difficulty eating or avoid eating altogether, facial swelling, and even an eye infection as the eye is located close to the tooth’s root. Inside his mouth, you will see a bump or swelling of the gums, which will appear red and highly irritated.

If you have any questions, feel free to share in the comments.

http://www.azpaws.org/dental.html

 

The Importance of Dog Dental Care

Dogs are man’s best friend, as the saying goes. And if you have a dog, you’ll know that this couldn’t be more true.

Dogs are pretty amazing creatures when you think about it. Experts are still discovering all of the ways that dogs interact with humans, and make our world a better place. They can identify their owners by scent alone, whether they’ve just gotten out of the shower or have been sweating profusely all day. Many experts believe that dogs can laugh, although it looks much like panting and humans can’t tell the difference. Dogs have been known to sniff out cancers of the lung and skin, and it’s likely that they can detect emotions in others through their sense of smell, too.

Your own dog is definitely the best of all dogs, although you don’t need anyone to tell you that! If you’re like most pet owners, you’d do anything for your dog. From buying Fluffy’s favorite flavor of treats to letting him curl up in your bed on cold winter nights, it’s all the little things that matter the most.

One thing many pet owners forget about is the importance of pet healthcare, specifically in regards to dental care for dogs. Many pets aren’t big fans of having their humans brush their teeth, even when the “toothpaste” does taste like chicken. Although dental care for your dog might not be considered a “treat,” it’s still important. Paying attention to your dog’s dental health is just one way of keeping him happy and healthy.

If you just can’t seem to get much done with a dog toothbrush, here are a few other tips on dental care for dogs:
Treats: There are many kinds of chewy treats that are formulated specifically to clean your dog’s teeth. Keep in mind that most of these treats are made for different sizes of dogs. Even if your tiny chihuahua can scarf down a dental chew in two minutes flat, you don’t want to give him a bigger dental chew made for 50 lb. dogs.

Toys: Some chew toys can be great for dog dental care. Chewing on a rope or a leather toy, for example, can help clean away plaque. Other rubber toys are designed specifically to help clean teeth. These may not be as good as brushing, but they’re definitely helpful in between brushes.

The Vet: Vet clinics typically offer cat and dog dental care services in the form of a good teeth cleaning. This is one of the easiest ways to make sure that your pup gets his teeth cleaned just like you do. These dog clinics typically anesthetize the animals before the procedure, but this is only so Fluffy doesn’t get too nervous or scared. It’s a simple and painless process, and it’s easily the most effective strategy for cleaning a pet’s teeth.

Caring for your pet is something that you, and only you, can do better than anyone else. Dog dental care might not seem like a top priority at first, but it’s something that really does matter.

3 Reasons Why Dog Dental Care Matters More Than You Think

Many pet owners know that procedures like spaying and neutering help pets stay healthy and well-behaved. These procedures also help reduce the number of strays and unwanted animals, which makes them undeniably important.

But when was the last time you thought about your dog’s dental health — or even considered bringing your dog to a pet dental clinic?

The truth is that pets need dental care just as much as we do. This is especially true for our dogs, whose teeth can experience plenty of plaque and tartar build-up over time.

Brush up on the need to provide dog dental care to your four-legged friend with these three reasons why pet dental hygiene matters just as much as the importance of spaying and neutering your pet:

Regular dental checkups prevent pain

Unlike other people, our pets aren’t able to tell us when they’re in pain. As a result, you may not be aware that your pet is in pain until the problem becomes extreme. Regular dental checkups can help prevent this from happening, ensuring your dog doesn’t have to deal with painful tooth-aches. Your dog will be a much happier member of your family when he or she isn’t experiencing dental pain!

Pet dental care prevents tooth loss

Did you know that a full-grown dog will have 42 teeth? Each of these teeth is essential for chewing, biting and functioning. If your dog loses one or more teeth, this can be extremely painful and lead to serious health complications. By bringing your dog to a dog dental care clinic regularly, this tooth loss can be prevented.

Caring for your dog’s teeth will prevent numerous health problems

Much like spaying or neutering your dog can lengthen her or his lifespan by one to three years, ensuring your dog gets regular dental care is important for making sure he or she lives the longest, healthiest life possible. Dental care can help prevent periodontal disease, which has negative effects for the heart and other organs. And when your pet is healthier, your pet will be happier, as well.

What to know when your dog needs a dental cleaning.

Dental Prophylaxis for Dogs

A dental, also sometimes called a “prophy” or prophylaxis, is a cleaning and polishing of a dog’s teeth. It is important to realize that dental disease does not reach a particular level and remain there. Dental disease continuously progresses. As dental disease progresses, the treatment becomes more involved, meaning longer and more elaborate (and more costly) dental procedures. This means that sooner is better than later when it comes to addressing your pet’s dental disease with an appropriate treatment.

What Are the Indications for Performing a Dental Procedure?

A dental cleaning should be performed on your pet when gingivitis (red area along the gum lines) is seen or bleeding during brushing is noted. Many pets get their teeth cleaned once a year. A yearly cleaning is not necessarily appropriate for all pets. Diet, chewing behavior and preventative care (daily tooth brushing) are among the important factors affecting the potential of your pet getting dental disease and how fast dental disease can progress.

Larger breed dogs, who often eat only dry food and do a fair amount of recreational chewing, are not as prone to periodontal disease as are smaller dogs. Small dogs have more crowding of their teeth, are less likely to be eating only dry food and do less recreational chewing, all of which lead to increased risk of periodontal disease. Any damage of either the tooth or gums along the gum line will increase the likelihood of periodontal disease.

What Preoperative Examinations or Tests Are Needed?

A proper dental procedure for your pet requires him to be placed under general anesthesia. Prior to such a procedure, your veterinarian should perform a complete physical examination. Some basic blood tests, including evaluation of liver and kidney function and red and white blood cell counts, may also be done before an anesthetic procedure. If there is any concern of kidney disease, a urinalysis should also be part of the work-up. Concerns about heart function, such as the presence of a heart murmur, may need to be addressed.

What Type of Anesthesia is Needed?

Your pet needs to be under general anesthesia for a dental procedure for several reasons. A complete examination and cleaning of all teeth cannot be performed efficiently and safely (for both your pet and the veterinarian) if your pet is awake. Dental radiographs (x-rays) may be helpful for appropriate evaluation of dental disease and are impossible to perform on an a pet that is awake. Any tooth extractions that may be necessary most definitely require an anesthetized patient. Even the most routine dental cleaning is a fairly wet procedure and our pets are not very good at the “rinse and spit” aspect of dentistry.

How Is the Dental Procedure Operation Done?

After your pet has been placed under general anesthesia, your veterinarian will examine all of the teeth and gums. If any periodontal pockets (loss of bone around the tooth, below the gum line) are found, dental radiographs may be done to assess the extent of damage. Appropriate treatment of diseased teeth is done. Using an ultrasonic instrument, your veterinarian will remove the tartar on the teeth by scraping the tartar with a vibrating probe. This allows minimal damage to the tooth enamel. After all the tartar and plaque has been removed, the teeth are polished with a special tooth polish.

How Long Does the Dental Procedure Take?

The length of a dental procedure can vary greatly. A straightforward cleaning may take 20-40 minutes. Any dental disease that requires more treatment than just a cleaning or any necessary tooth extractions will, of course require more time.

What Are the Risks and Complications?

The risks of a dental procedure are usually minimal. Anesthesia is never completely without risk, but advances in anesthesia protocols and monitoring can greatly reduce risks. Appropriate evaluation of your pet prior to the procedure and addressing any medical problems can also go a long way towards reducing risks of anesthesia. Other risks include excessive bleeding following tooth extractions, fracture of the tooth root or the surrounding bone, or damage to neighboring healthy teeth. The potential for these risks is remote.

What Is the Typical Postoperative Care?

Care for your pet after a dental procedure depends on the extensiveness of the procedure. Special care is usually not required after a simple cleaning. If tooth extractions or advanced periodontal treatment was performed, feeding softer food, administering antibiotics and using an oral rinse may be recommended while healing occurs.

How Long Is the Hospital Stay?

Most dental procedures are complete within one hour and your dog may only spend one day in the hospital. Any concern of recovery from the anesthesia may warrant an overnight stay in the hospital for observation.

By: Dr. William Rosenblad