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Dental care for your pets

Posted February 12, 2014 in Advice Column, Des Moines West

February is dental month, so let’s talk a little bit about teeth. Did you know that by 3 years of age, 70 – 80 percent of dogs and cats will have some sort of dental disease? Many of those problems are caused by the build-up of plaque on the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to pain and discomfort to your pet, damage to the teeth and gums and can even contribute to organ disease in the advanced stages of dental disease.

Some of the signs your pet may have a dental issue include yellow teeth, bad breath, difficulty eating, weight loss or excessive drooling, just to name a few. If you see any of these signs, please contact your Des Moines area veterinarian.

Thankfully, treatment of many dental diseases can be performed during a routine dental visit. These dental procedures include a thorough examination of the entire mouth, dental X-rays, complete dental cleaning and sealing and any advanced dentistry that may be needed.

Brushing your pet’s teeth at home is also an important part of dental care. Just as in people, it is best to brush your furry friend’s teeth daily with a toothbrush and pet-safe toothpaste. This will help to keep teeth clean during the times between routine dental cleanings at your veterinarian’s office.

As always, if you think that something is wrong, please don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you perceive something is going on with your canine or feline friend.

Information provided by Dr. A.G.  Miller, DVM, Ingersoll Animal Hospital, 3009 Ingersoll Ave., 274-3555

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