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…

Why Vaccinate Your Pet?

In our last discussion about wellness care for your pets, we discussed the wellness examination. When your pets come to see the veterinarian for their wellness exam, they will be assessed for the risk of exposure to infectious diseases. Many of these diseases can be prevented through vaccination. Puppies and kittens go through a series of vaccinations against common, preventable diseases. These vaccinations need to be boostered at appropriate intervals to provide continued immunity. Continue…

Why Wellness?

You see the doctor for routine exams, but does your pet? Regular wellness exams are an integral part of your pet’s preventive health care program. In the coming weeks we will be sharing information with you on wellness and preventative care subjects.

“Why wellness?” you may ask.  Wellness care can save, prolong, and improve our pets’ lives through disease prevention and early illness detection. The most important aspect of keeping your pet healthy is bringing them in for wellness exams. This is a thorough examination of your pet. Based on your pet’s age and risk assessment, these exams should be done at least once or twice a year. Because pets age more quickly than we do, doing exams more frequently gives us the opportunity to detect subtle changes in your pet’s condition and catch problems earlier, before they turn into more serious problems. Continue…