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Happy New Year! This is a great time to take a look at your canine buddy’s care regimen, and maybe see if there’s room for improvement. It’s also a wonderful time to commit to continuing your education, and perhaps learning something new. One aspect of dog care that is more important than many people realize is dental care. Dental health is by no means simply a cosmetic issue: it affects our ability to properly chew our food, which affects our entire bodies. Plus, dental issues can be both painful and dangerous. Read on as a Roswell, NM vet discusses doggy dental woes.
Fido can suffer from many of the same issues that we can, including abscesses, infections, misalignments, and overcrowding. Pups also sometimes crack or break their teeth playing with hard toys, or sometimes just chewing on things. Periodontal disease is also a common issue. Although this is painless and asymptomatic at first, the infection can spread to your furry buddy’s vital organs via his bloodstream, and has been linked to heart disease and other serious issues.
It’s important to know what to watch for. Some warning signs include swelling; bleeding gums; heavy, ropy, or bloody drool; and visible tartar buildup. Bad breath can also be a giveaway, though it can also be indicative of many other issues. You may also spot some behavioral changes. Fido may eat more slowly than he used to, chew on one side of his mouth, or start preferring softer foods. Your furry pal may also act sad, grumpy, or depressed, and he may lose interest in play. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these things. Speaking of vets, we recommend having Fido’s teeth checked annually, starting when he’s around a year old. By then, all his adult teeth should have come in.
There are ways to keep Fido’s choppers healthy. Brushing is very beneficial, and may be much easier than you think, once you get your pooch onboard with the process. (Hint: treats will go a long way here.) Dental-formula treats, kibble, or chews are also beneficial, as are oral flakes and rinses. It’s also important to make sure that your canine companion always has clean water and safe, suitable chew toys.
Please contact us, your Roswell, NM animal clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!