to our February Dental Health Month competition WINNERS Claire Louise Drew with Alfie cat, Sianne Brown with Ginger and Misty cats, Jackie Froom with dog Cookie & June Durham with her dog Susie.
You have all WON a free tub of Plaque Off!
THEY MADE USE OF OUR DENTAL HEALTH SCHEME IN FEBRUARY
Where we offered:
Cat Scale and polish £190 | Dog Scale and Polish £275
What causes painful gums?
Bacteria cause gum disease. Straight after your dog eats, bacteria – along with food, saliva, and other particles – forms a sticky layer called ‘plaque’ over tooth surfaces.
Gum disease is five times more common in dogs than humans, as dogs have a more alkaline mouth, promoting plaque formation. Also, most dogs don’t have their teeth brushed everyday (some do!), giving plaque-forming bacteria the chance they need to multiply.
Bacteria in plaque instruct your dog’s immune system to recognise them as foreign, quickly organising white blood cells to attack.
Plaque bacteria then instruct white blood cells to release enzymes to break down gum tissue. This skirmish leads to inflamed gums, destroyed tissue, and loss of teeth, bone, and even possible jaw fracture in small dogs. This is all caused by untreated gum disease.
What if I leave my dog’s teeth?
Plaque causes reddening of the gums called gingivitis, which can initially be very subtle, making them more likely to bleed.
Plaque not removed over time hardens, mineralising into tartar. This is the browny yellow hard substance on your dog’s teeth, and the perfect surface for even more plaque to stick to, speeding up the whole process. Gingivitis is reversible but, if left untreated, it progresses to periodontitis.
Periodontitis is irreversible and is characterised by a loss of attachment for the tooth in the socket, which may lead to tooth mobility, loss of tooth, and severe infections.
Bacteria may potentially enter the bloodstream every time your dog chews, causing infections much further afield in the heart, lungs and kidneys so you end up with a very ill pet.
Effects of severe gum disease can include abnormal bad breath (halitosis) caused by periodontal disease.
Never ignore this early warning sign of disease. There are many other causes of bad breath too, so it’s important to get it checked by us as soon as possible, rather than assume it’s normal or an inevitable sign of old age
Dental disease can be painful, but most animals are extremely good at covering up the signs and will rarely stop eating. So look out for difficulty in picking up food; bleeding or red gums; loose teeth; blood in saliva, water bowl or on chew toys; strange noises when eating; pawing at the mouth/face; and dribbling.
If in any doubt, ask one of our vets or nurses, and book your dog or cat in now for a dental!
Keep your dogs away from acorns & conkers
The most consistent signs of dermatitis are scratching and reddening of the skin
Now that spring is here, it might be a good time to go over a few items on our spring safety check list for your pets