Blog

Oral Care For Your Furry Friend

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Fri, Jan 26, 2018 @ 11:48 AM

Dental_Care_banner.jpgIf you have a veterinarian and they have told you that your pet needed teeth cleaning, you might be wondering if this is actually necessary. I mean, they’re just animals, right? Wrong! Chances are like many other people that have pets, yours isn’t just some animal, its an extension of the family. This might be an animal that you spend time with every day, it might be a pet that you have had since it was a baby. You want them to not only be loved and taken care of but healthy, happy and alive for as long as possible too. This can only be done if you take care of their health from day 1. One of the best ways to go about that is to visit a veterinarian for dental care.

Dental Cleanings For Pets

Pets like cats and dogs will often need to get their teeth cleaned. It works the same way human cleanings work. The cleanings not only help and prevent conditions such as gum disease, periodontal disease, and other oral issues but it, in turn, helps keep your dog happy and healthy. Diseases like gum disease can actually hurt your pets internal organs and lead to more serious issues down the line.

Periodontal Diseases

Periodontal diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis revolve around plaque on the animals gum lining. If the plaque is not removed it can actually enter the pet's bloodstream and create all sorts of health issues from kidney diseases to heart and lung issues. Its important to remember how alike animals are to humans. Even humans can get sick from tooth decay and oral issues and its rare, but they can die from toxins going into the bloodstream. There’s no reason to doubt that pets aren’t equally as fragile.

Brushing At Home

Beyond just making sure your furry friend is taken to a veterinarian for tooth care and preventative care, you should also make sure you clean their teeth at home. You can use a regular dog toothbrush or a finger toothbrush – whatever works best for you and the animal. You should also only be using pet toothpaste. Fluoride which is an ingredient in many human kinds of toothpaste is poisonous for your pets.

Signs You Need To See A Veterinarian

The signs that might be present are pretty easy to notice. Again, animals really aren’t that much different from humans. They will definitely let you know when they are in pain or uncomfortable. But, some specific signs to look out for:

- Bloody Saliva
- Head Shyness – If they usually like getting their head or ears rubbed and suddenly they don’t want you to, this could be a sign they are in pain.
- Red or bloody gums, red or bloody chew toys, treats, bones, etc.
- Bad breath
- Crying, whining or any vocalization when they are eating, drinking or chewing on treats or toys.
- Sneezing. This might seem like a normal thing. Animals and humans sneeze all the time. But, if you notice a definite influx in sneezing or rapid sneezing it also could be a sign that they're having tooth issues or that advanced gum disease is underway.

Your pet should be getting frequent check-ups at the dentist. If you love your animal and you want your pet to be with you for years to come, the best place to start is their mouth. By visiting the dentist every few months you can significantly lower the chance of oral issues and in turn, allow your animal to live a long and happy life with you by their side.


Schedule a free oral health assessment now:

schedule-now

Topics: dental care, Halifax vet, vet halifax, pet oral care

11 Simple Hacks that’ll Make Any Dog Owner’s Life Easier

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Wed, Feb 01, 2017 @ 07:36 AM

dog-with-rope.jpg

We all love our furry friends. But between walks, feeding, bathing, and play time, things can get a little chaotic. Here are some of the best simple hacks we have found that can make any dog owner's life easier.

1. Squeakers and Crinkles

If your pooch loves those crinkle and squeaker toys, here is a great tip to keep your fur baby happy while saving a few bucks. Put an empty plastic bottle in an old sock and tie the end. Instant crinkle toy for hours of fun!

If your dog craves the squeaker and demolishes toys to get to them, simply stuff these squeaky delights into old socks and, voila! Instant squeaky tug toys your dog will love.

2. Get Organized

If you have a hard time keeping all of your pet supplies organized, an inexpensive shower caddy will do the trick. You can hang it on the inside of a cabinet, in a closet, or anywhere else you'd like to hold plenty of treats, grooming supplies and more.

3. Calm Before the Storm

There are plenty of pets that get a little freaked out by storms. Chances are, the static electricity is getting to them more than the actual storm. Try rubbing a dryer sheet over your dog's fur when a storm is approaching. This can rid the static electricity that can build up in their fur, offering a more calming effect.

4. Squeegee the Hair Away

Sometimes there just isn't time to vacuum your pet's favorite spot on the sofa before company arrives. Grab a squeegee to remove those troublesome areas where your pet's hair seems to gravitate to. This also works great on carpets, stairs, draperies, and more!

5. Beat the Heat with Cool Summer Treats

Keep your furry friend happy and cool in the summer with some homemade treats. Put some low sodium chicken broth and cut apples into an ice cube tray and freeze. Your pooch will love this cool treat on a hot day!

6. Freshen Fido's Breath

It's not uncommon to experience a bit of bad breath with your pooch. Sprinkling a bit of fresh parsley on their food is a quick and inexpensive way to freshen your pup's breath.

7. Take Your Time with Meal Time

If your dog is notorious for scarfing down their meals, there is an inexpensive solution. You can place a tennis ball in the food bowl to curb binge-eating. You can also try using an old muffin tin for feedings to encourage your pooch to savor the flavor.

Partner with A Professional

Nothing is more important than your pet's health and well-being. That's why it's so important to partner with a professional for all your veterinary needs. From quality care to tips and preventative maintenance, a partnership with a professional is key.

Schedule a Tour

Topics: dog care, dog toys, dental care

Dental Care -- why it matters, what you need to know

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Mon, Apr 04, 2016 @ 07:37 PM

Parents know to get their children's teeth checked twice a year, and passionate pet parents care just as much about the well-being of their "fur babies"-- yet many people don't realize

prior_to_cleaning
Shown above -- prior to a cleaning
IMG_1334
Shown above - post cleaning

that their dogs and cats need proper dental care just as much as humans do! Just like humans, animals run the risk of tooth decay and gum disease if they don't receive adequate oral healthcare. 

Dental and oral health affects an animal's overall health. Periodontal disease, which includes gingivitis, can lead

to severe infections and heart disease in dogs and cats. According to the American Veterinary Dental College, the possible effects of periodontal disease include:

  • loss of gum tissue and bone
  • development of a hole... from the oral cavity into the nasal passages
  • fractures of the jaw
  • bone infection ('osteomyelititis').
  • Bacterial infections can also affect the blood as well as causing
  • changes in the heart, liver and kidneys.

The majority of cats and dogs will have some form of oral disease by the age of three. Because of the possible life-threatening effects of these illnesses, poor oral health can shorten your pet's potentially ten- to twenty-year lifespan significantly. 

Even without causing complications like heart disease, tooth decay has a serious negative effect on an animal's quality of life. Cavities and decaying teeth are painful, potentially making a dog or cat unwilling to eat. No one wants to see her pet in pain, but many pet owners may not be aware that their dogs and cats are suffering from dental problems. 

Brushing your pet's teeth at home and feeding him or her dental treats or foods such as Feline and Canine CET Chews, or veterinary dental diets can help maintain your pet's oral health, but it is important to get your furry friend's teeth examined and cleaned by a professional on a regular basis. Veterinarians recommend that you take a good look at your pet's teeth once a month or so, and take your dog or cat for a professional cleaning any time you notice a plaque or tartar buildup. 

If your pet had an ear infection or a hurt paw, you would take him or her to the vet and get it treated immediately. Unfortunately, dental disease-- while just as serious as other illnesses and injuries-- often gets overlooked. Because dental problems in pets can begin long before the animal shows any obvious signs of distress, it is important to clean and examine your pet's teeth at home, pick healthy pet food and treats, and take your pet to the veterinarian for a cleaning whenever you notice tartar or plaque. 

Your pet is part of your family and has the same needs as other family members: healthy food, exercise, love, and dental care. Remember to take care of all your pet's needs, and you'll have a longer, happier life together.

Contact us to discuss the care of your pet, dental or otherwise.   

Contact Us

Topics: dog care, cat care, dental care

Tasty Ways to Protect Your Pet’s Teeth

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 @ 08:27 AM

You love your pet from his nose to his toes, but it is important not to forget about his teeth!IMG_1767.jpg

Pet dental care is often neglected, but just like humans, having a clean mouth has a big impact on your pet’s health. As a pet owner, it is important to take a good look inside your pet’s mouth and help them protect their teeth and gums. Having a sore mouth can make your pet feel irritable and can even result in sickness.

Protecting Your Pet’s Mouth

Prevention is the ultimate key to keeping your pet’s oral hygiene in great shape.
One of the best places to start is with their food. Royal Canin and Hill’s Prescription Diet make food for dogs and cats that help keep teeth clean and gums healthy. They offer prescription-only formulas that can help support a wide range of other pet health problems as well.These diets are complete and balanced nutrition for your pet and provide all of the good things your pet needs to be healthy.

Tasty Treats for Their Teeth

Teeth cleaning treats are a great way to help encourage oral hygiene in your pets.
Greenies make dental chews for dogs and cats that support their oral health by fighting plaque and freshening their breath.

FullSizeRender-1.jpgIMG_1770-849594-edited.jpg

Virbac’s C.E.T. Veggiedent chews are another great product. When eaten once a day, these vegetable chews will freshen your pet’s breath and prevent tartar build up.

If your pet doesn’t take kindly to these treats, you can sneak some freshness into their water bowl, too. Oxyfresh Pet Oral Hygiene Solution can be poured into your pet’s water. It is a tasteless and odorless way to help your pets protect their gums. Perfect for picky pets!

Brushing Their Teeth

Many pet owners don't think about brushing their pet's teeth, but it is just as important for them as it is for you. Fortunately, you can buy them a toothbrush and toothpaste. Enzadent makes a toothbrush and toothpaste that help to remove plaque from your pet’s mouth.

If your pet has active taste buds, you can try CET toothpaste. This toothpaste comes in five different flavors that pets love.

IMG_1774.jpg

For best results, you should brush their teeth three to four times per week. You can continue this schedule unless your vet tells you differently.

If brushing doesn’t agree with the two of you, you can also try LEBA III, a dental hygiene spray. It is almost tasteless and requires no brushing. It also contains ingredients you would find in human products. All you need to do is spray it in your pet’s mouth twice a day to help your pet use their own body chemistry to remove plaque and tartar.

Humans and their pets both need great oral hygiene to remain happy and healthy. For more information about keeping your pet’s smile squeaky clean, schedule an appointment, today!

Contact Us

Topics: dog care, cat care, dental care

What you need to know about your pet's oral health

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Mon, Oct 07, 2013 @ 09:25 AM

pet_dental_month.jpgWhile you keep up with playdates, vaccinations, and grooming for your furry friend, don't forget to pay attention to her teeth. Pet oral health is an important part of overall wellness care for your animal, and unlike humans, pets can't tell us when they have a toothache. Here are a few ways to make sure your companion gets the oral healthcare and dentistry she needs. 

 

At Home

  • Brush her teeth. To combat plaque and tartar buildup, both dogs and cats should have their teeth brushed on a regular basis, as often as once a week if your pet will tolerate it. Use a toothpaste formulated for dogs or cats--the fluoride in human toothpaste is poisonous to them! Try to build up a routine when you brush your pet's teeth that's linked to a treat or a pleasurable experience, so she gets used the process and cooperates. 
  • Use chew toys. Toys with a strong chewing component help remove bits of food stuck to your pet's teeth and reduce tartar. 
  • Regularly look in your pet's mouth, and keep an eye on her eating habits. Do the gums look inflamed or swollen, or do you see a lot of tartar buildup (it will look like the tartar you see on your teeth, but darker)? Has your pet recently started refusing dry food? These are all signs that require a trip to the vet for a checkup.

At the Vet

  • Schedule regular checkups. Even if you haven't noticed any major problems with your pet's teeth, she should go in for a professional dental cleaning at least once a year. You may want to make this a separate appointment from her annual physical exam to minimize stress on your pet. 
  • Ask the right questions. Your vet can recommend the tooth-cleaning products she prefers and may have techniques to help you with teeth cleaning. 
  • Make sure your vet is cleaning, as well as examining, your pet's teeth. Call ahead to determine the level of dentistry services your vet provides.

Your Goals for Pet Oral Health

Your ultimate goal in caring for your pet's teeth is preventing periodontitis, a dangerous state of tooth decay that can lead to the loss of your pet's teeth. Periodontitis generally presents through the following four stages:

  • Gingivitis. You'll be tipped off to gingivitis when you see redness along the gum line and smell a foul odor on your pet's breath.
  • Advanced gingivitis. Your pet's gums will be severely inflamed, you may see thick black deposits called calculus on the gum line. If you can catch your pet's dental problems at this stage, they should be reversible, but periodontitis is irreversible. Early detection is important.
  • Early periodontitis. The teeth may seem "loose" in the sockets, and you will note tartar, calculus, and bright, swollen gums.
  • Advanced periodontitis. At this stage, teeth begin to deteriorate, crack, and fall out, while gums recede. Tooth loss is critical to your pet's overall well-being and leads to problems like malnourishment and ultimately death.

Lack of attention to pet oral health is one of the worst ways you can accidentally hurt your canine or feline companion. Schedule a dental appointment today to discuss the state of your pet's teeth and how you can keep your pet's mouth smiling.

Contact Us

 

Topics: dog care, cat care, dental care