New Milton Surgery Lymington Surgery
01425 614482 01590 673687
Emergencies (out of normal hours) 07000 614482
and Cats teeth are basically very like ours and as such really should be brushed
every day and in many cases scaled and polished every year: unfortunately not
many pets realise it! In this leaflet we will discuss the causes of dental
problems and their prevention, as well as how we treat any problems we can't
Cause of Dental problems.
like us dental plaque, which is a soft yellow/brown deposit made up of
food residues and bacteria, builds
up on the teeth over a period of time. If not removed it absorbs minerals from
the saliva to become a hard covering called dental tartar. This can then
rub on the gum causing gum erosion and ulceration, which leads to gum infection
and loosening of the teeth as well as holes in the teeth, known as dental
caries. This process is painful and after a time the affected teeth will
either fall out or have to be removed.
an owner you may notice your pet having difficulty eating or eating on one side
of the mouth, crying with pain whilst eating, bleeding from the mouth, swellings
on the side of the face under the eyes or a nasty fishy smell.
foul smell comes from bacteria which live in the plaque on the teeth, breaking
down food deposits and producing the foul smell.
only effective treatment for dental tartar is ultrasonic scaling under a general
anaesthetic followed by polishing to make the surface of the teeth smooth and
non-stick again. Usually we also prescribe a course of antibiotics to kill any
bacteria living in the cracks and crevices of the teeth and gums.
dental plaque can be much simpler. Anything that scrapes it off the teeth does
the job. This can be voluntary on the pet's part, such as chewing a bone
or eating special food or treats, or can be
involuntary, such as brushing the teeth with an abrasive toothpaste and
toothbrush. We can also use enzymatic gels
which, if put into the mouth regularly, will help dissolve the dental plaque
before it becomes dental tartar.
Smelly breath will usually respond to antibiotics but if
plaque and tartar are still there it will come back in a short while.
pets have about forty-eight
teeth as an adult and the time, discomfort and cost involved in trying to save a
damaged tooth is usually not justifiable. Therefore we often advise removing
seriously damaged or loose teeth. Obviously there are cases where we recommend
trying to repair the damaged tooth and we may then refer you to a specialist
veterinary dentist. If you are very keen to preserve your pets teeth do discuss
this with us, so that we can plan the best course of action.
we are trying to do here is stop the build up of dental plaque as this causes
the caries and leads to the formation of tartar. As we have said plaque is soft
and quite easily removed. Several methods are available.
brushing with toothpaste.
This is quite effective if your pet will let you do it at least once weekly, but should be done daily .
veterinary abrasive toothpastes, e.g. CET, are
very effective if brushed in well, however this requires a great deal of
goodwill on the part of your pet.
e.g. Logic will
help if they are smeared around the teeth
although brushing is strongly advised.
These should be used daily: weekly will rarely be effective.
human toothpastes often contain flourides
and are toxic if swallowed regularly: unfortunately persuading our pets to spit
them out is very difficult and so we strongly advise not using them!
We would recommend using a fairly soft toothbrush with a long handle, especially
in big dogs. This can be a special pet one, either from us or a pet shop, or a
child's toothbrush from the chemist. We also recommend the finger brushes,
especially if your pet is not used to having his teeth cleaned.
food has been made for pets that help clean
the plaque off the teeth.
bars made by Royal
Canin are quite
good at slowing down the build up of plaque
but contain lots of calories and so you must always reduce your dog's main meal
when you give them. Also they are very salty so they must be used with care
especially in older dogs.
RCW Dental can either be
used as a treat, especially at bed time
or as a complete food and works very well.
The teeth puncture the biscuit and scrape themselves clean as they sink into it.
It is rare for a pet to swallow them whole as they are purposely too large.
Bones can be very effective, however they can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as blockages if swallowed, and so must be used with care. The best bone is a head of a long beef bone. But do monitor your petís bone chewing.
Plaqueoff is an oral preparation for the reduction of plaque and calculus. These are granules put onto your pets food.
Aquadent is a solution added to drinking water. It
contains chlorhexidine an anti plaque agent and xylitol which limits plaque and
designed toys which are grooved and
which you can smear with toothpaste. They
can help prevent plaque build up and can be great fun too!
pets have problems with tartar, some do not. If yours does, try regular brushing
of the teeth and treats that will help to keep the teeth clean.
Remember, clean teeth not only help your petís breath smell better but also
they keep them healthier.