Dental Health and Your Pet
As pet owners ourselves, we at Staten Island Veterinary Group want your pets to be as healthy as possible. Their wellbeing is what helps them bring us joy and companionship. Making certain that every aspect of their health is taken care of is vital for their longevity and comfort.
Dental care is exceptionally important to the health and longevity of your pet. Improper care can lead to rotting teeth and diseased gums that may turn into an infection that can spread to the major organs through the blood and cause serious kidney, heart, liver and lung damage over time. Proper brushing at home and early cleanings (before things are REALLY bad) can help keep your pet healthy and your costs at the vet to a minimum.
Cats and Dogs
The diet of cats and dogs in the wild is much different than what they eat in the safety and comfort of our homes. While being a house pet has advantages around safety and guaranteed nutrition, the one thing pre-made diets don’t provide for our pets is dental care.
In the wild, cats and dogs will chew on raw bones, which will actually scrape their teeth clean, keeping them healthy and sharp for hunting. At home, whether an animal is eating wet or dry food, that same natural tooth cleaning isn’t anywhere to be found. In addition, many of the popular short-nosed and toy breeds have serious crowding of their teeth. This all leads to plaque and tartar build up on their teeth, which can lead to infection, jaw bone loss, pain, lost teeth, and organ damage over time.
Smaller mammals such as rabbits and rodents don’t generally require tooth care outside of having things to chew on. Because of their proclivity to chewing, their teeth are constantly growing and need to be ground down by having things to chew on. In some cases, a small mammal may have what’s called malocclusion, which means their teeth aren’t set correctly and can grow out of control. The treatments for malocclusion are either regular trimmings of the teeth themselves, or surgical removal of the teeth by a specialist.
If an animal such as a rabbit isn’t born with malocclusion, it can develop it if it has poor nutrition as a young rabbit, or through an injury that changes the shape of the jaw.
Please remember to take good care of your animal’s teeth. If you notice your pet not eating, avoiding dry food, or drooling more than normal, please have it checked out by booking an appointment with your vet.