Keoki's Corner

Pet Dental Health

In following the discussion of last week’s post we are going to discuss some important points of pet dental disease. Nearly 85% of pets over three years of age have some form of dental disease, though most will show little sign of it.  While this number is staggering, we have to think of it in relation to humans; on average, we get two dental exams and cleanings per year and brush our teeth every day.  How often are we brushing our pets’ teeth?  Probably not as much as you brush your own.  

What are the signs of dental disease?

The most common sign pet owners notice is bad breath.  Bad breath is often caused by bacteria and decaying food that stick to the tartar on teeth.

Another sign of dental disease is tartar.  Tartar begins as plaque (bacterial biofilm) that coats the surface of the teeth.  If plaque is not removed from the teeth, it will harden (called mineralization) and form tartar and calculus.  Tartar appears as a tan or brown coating on the teeth, particularly on the molars and premolars.  Tartar buildup above and below the gumline can lead to gum recession and infection resulting in tooth loss if untreated. 

Other signs of dental disease could include discomfort while chewing, drooling, or reluctance to eat. Continue…

Holiday Hazards and Your Pets

kirbyWe hope that the upcoming holidays fill you with cheer.  While you are making plans to celebrate during the winter holidays, keep in mind that while your pets may like to celebrate too, there are some things you shouldn’t share with them.  A little precaution and prevention will make the holidays a much happier time for all.  Here are some common holiday hazards to keep in mind:

Bones:  Roasting a turkey, chicken, or even a rib roast will leave you with lots of tasty bones; however, these cooked bones become brittle and can shatter and lodge in the throat, stomach, or intestinal tract.


Fat:  Gravy, poultry skin, and butter can cause severe gastrointestinal upset including diarrhea and vomiting.  Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) due to high fat foods, is the most common gastrointestinal emergency around the holidays.

Sweets:  Chocolate is one of the most common causes of toxic reaction in pets.  The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is.  Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, used in sugar-free gum/candy, baked goods, and other products is highly poisonous to dogs and can cause low blood sugar and liver damage resulting in vomiting, seizures, and collapse.  Did you also know that raisins, grapes, and macadamia nuts are also toxic to your pet? Continue…

tags:     |    |    |  
posted in:  Cat Care  |  Dog Care  |  Illness & Disease

Mental Illness in Pets

Did you know that pets can suffer from mental illness like humans?  Pets can suffer from a multitude of mental illnesses that include anxiety, phobias, dementia, and obsessive compulsions.   Have you ever watched those videos of cats and dogs doing silly things like continually walking in circles, biting at invisible flies, or obsessive grooming?  These are just some of the manifestations of mental illness in animals.  Some owners use laser pointers to play with their dogs.  In some cases this has caused dogs to become afraid of light reflections or shadows.  Many owners don’t realize that many behaviors they think are “normal” for their pets are actually signs of mental illness. Continue…

tags:     |    |    |  
posted in:  Medical Problems