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Posted on 02-15-2013

Dental disease is a very common and often overlooked issue among cats and dogs. It's surprising, but 85% of pets have periodontal disease by the time they are three years old. February is dental month and here at Eagle Animal Hospital we are honoring it by giving great discounts and free products with all dental cleanings scheduled from now through the end of March!dental4836925_1.jpg

While most of us are pretty good about taking care of our own teeth, we don't usually think about our pet's. Dog's and cat's teeth are physically very similar to humans and just like us they need routine dental care to keep their mouth's healthy throughout their lives.

The best time to start taking care of your pet's teeth is when they are puppies and kittens so they become familiar and comfortable with your routine. If your pet is older, it may take more time and patience, but it is never too late to start a dental care routine.

Brushing your pet's teeth is by far the best option for a healthy mouth. Brush on a daily basis if possible, but at least two to three times a week is recommended. DO NOT use toothpaste meant for humans as they contain ingredients that are not meant to be swallowed by pets. There are toothpastes specially formulated in appealing flavors such as poultry and seafood. There are also toothbrushes shaped uniquely for ease of use on your pet and finger brushes for small pets.

In addition to brushing, or if brushing is not an option, there are many other products on the market today to help you pet's oral health including chews, liquid water additives, mouthwashes, gels, and prescription diets. Talk to our doctors to discuss what products are best suited for you and your pet(s).

bigstock_Veterinary_Examination_10723649SMALL.jpgWhen teeth are left uncleaned the plaque will calcify into tartar. The tartar cuts off oxygen and allows only harmful anaerobic bacteria on the teeth. Over time the bacteria can damage and eat away at the teeth and gums. Bacteria can travel from the mouth and lead to infection in other parts of the body as well.

During a regular wellness exam our veterinarians will inspect your pet's mouth and determine whether a dental cleaning is recommended and if any tooth extractions are needed. Pet dental cleanings require general anesthesia. The pet is fully asleep so we are able to get the teeth as clean as possible and protect the airway from aerosolized bacteria. After you get your pet's teeth professionally cleaned, you should continue an oral care regime at home to ensure that their teeth stay clean and healthy.

Contact us at Eagle Animal Hospital at (610) 458-8789 to learn more about how to take care of your pet's teeth, oral care products and/or to schedule you pet for a dental cleaning. We serve Chester Springs, Downingtown, Exton, Glenmoore and the surrounding areas.

Written by Kaelin Mast, receptionist

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