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Getting rid of bad pet breath easier than you think



An animal’s dental health is much more than a cosmetic issue. Poor oral hygiene may lead to serious and costly disease in your pet. With February being National Veterinary Dental Health Month, Pyramid Veterinary Hospital is working to educate the community on how to improve your pets dental health and avoid costly future vet bills.

“Most of us brush our teeth on a regular basis, but most pets, if their lucky, may only get their teeth brushed once a year. In fact, 85% of all adult pets over 4 years of age have some form of periodontal disease.” Says Dr. Cal Williams, owner of Pyramid Veterinary Hospital.

Periodontal Disease is an infection between the tooth and the gum. Symptoms include discolored teeth, increased pawing at the mouth, and bad breath. The tartar that builds on the teeth can cause gingivitis, infections, and bacteria to enter into the bloodstream impacting major organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver. Typical treatment includes x-rays and if necessary a tooth extraction, which requires anesthesia.

The good news is, all of this is easily preventable!

“Ideally it is best to introduce teeth brushing to your pet when they young, however you can still introduce brushing at any age.” Says Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams gives pet owners some easy at home tips to start:

Start by gently holding your pets head and lifting his/her lips. This will get them used to you just being in their mouth. This can take a few hours to a few weeks depending on your pets temperament.

Start by putting a pet approved toothpaste on your fingers and using it as a treat. (Pyramid Veterinary Hospital recommends CET Dentifice – available at most veterinary hospitals)

Once they are use to the taste and texture (which most pets love) start rubbing your fingers on the outside of their teeth.

After a couple weeks you can add a finger brush. A finger brush slides over your index finger and has little bristles that help brush your pets teeth.

REMEMBER: Be careful, go slow, and use caution to make sure your pet does not bite you. This should be enjoyable for both you and your pet.

“Even thought brushing your pets teeth will help with tartar control, it does not replace professional cleanings, but it can avoid hefty veterinary bills in the future.” Says Dr. Williams.

The veterinary doctors at Pyramid Veterinary Hospital stress to never use human tooth paste as it can irritate your animal’s stomach, never use fluoride on pets six months or younger, and chew toys can always help reduce soft tarter and strengthen teeth.

Pyramid Veterinary Hospital has 7 doctors on staff and is starting monthly blogs to answer frequently asked questions that pet owners may have, from “How do I Brush my dogs teeth?” to “Can I give my dogs steak bones?”. If you have the same questions, or questions of your own you can visit their website at www.PVHCares.com.

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