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Caring for Fido’s Teeth

Do your dog’s affectionate kisses leave you gagging? If so, your pooch may have some dental issues. In fact, bad breath is one of the most common signs of dental problems in our canine pals. Read on as a local Hendersonville, NC vet discusses doggy dental care.

Common Dental Problems

Dogs can develop many of the same dental problems as people, including cracked or broken teeth; infections; misalignments; and abscesses. Gum disease is also a major problem among our canine friends. By some estimates, over 80 percent of adult dogs are afflicted. Although gum disease is painless and asymptomatic in its early stages, it is a major concern, because the infection can travel through Fido’s bloodstream to his vital organs, and can contribute to serious health issues, such as heart disease.

Symptoms

As noted above, bad breath is one of the most common signs of dental trouble in dogs. While Fido may never have winter-fresh breath, his kisses shouldn’t make you cringe. Some other symptoms include bleeding gums; ropy, bloody, or excessive drool; lack of interest in playing and/or chewing; reduced appetite; and crankiness. If Fido’s teeth hurt, he may shy away from having his mouth touched, and could also take longer eating. Contact your vet immediately if your canine buddy has any of these symptoms.

Veterinary Care

Fido’s teeth should be checked by a vet at least once a year. If your pooch has unsightly brown or yellow buildup on his teeth, he may need a good deep cleaning. This will remove that icky tartar, and help fight bacteria and inflammation. Other issues, such as broken teeth, are handled individually. Keep in mind that cosmetic issues really aren’t a concern when treating doggy dental woes. The focus is on problems that can cause pain or create health issues. Fido will still be super cute with a crooked smile!

Home Care

Brushing your pup’s teeth is the best thing you can do at home to keep those choppers healthy. Be sure to use only products made for pets. If Fido isn’t having it, ask your vet for recommendations on using dental formula treats, kibble, or chews. It’s also important to make sure your dog always has fresh water and suitable chew toys.

Do you know or suspect that your dog needs dental care? Call us, your Hendersonville, NC animal hospital, today! We are here to help.

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