Did you know that your pet, whether it is a dog, a cat, a rabbit or a rodent, requires dental care regular? While there is not yet a dentist specializing in animal care, many practices allow preserve teeth animals domestic workers. Just like the man, a good oral hygiene is essential for the health of our companions.
Dental health in dogs, cats or rodents: how important is it?
Long left aside, oral-dental care are now at the heart of the recommendations of animal health professionals. The inspection of the oral cavity is today just as important as all the other usual maintenance care such as brushing, inspection of the eyes and ears, clipping of the nails, or even antiparasitic treatments.
Indeed, regularly maintaining the teeth of our domestic animal is essential for fight against bad breath (halitosis) due to the deposit of tartar responsible for the formation of dental plaque. It also allows keep ailments away and aggravating pathologies such as periodontal disease.
What are the consequences of poor oral hygiene?
An animal with poor oral hygiene can experience intense suffering, and be greatly disturbed by it on a daily basis, especially when it seeks to eat. As we get older, his dental problems tend to be generalized: appearance of dental fractures, inflammation of the gums, constant bad breath and weakening of tooth enamel. These very common conditions manifest themselves in different forms:
Saliva, food scraps and certain bacteria present in the animal’s oral cavity are responsible for the plaque formation dental.
Tartar results from plate mineralization dental. This layer clumps to the surface of the teeth and provides bacteria with an adhesion surface allowing them to then migrate over and under the gums. It can cause gingivitis, but also periodontal diseases that can lead to the complete destruction of the tooth. It is easily recognized by its yellow or brownish color visible on the inner and outer surfaces of the teeth.
If your pet has red gums and swollen, even bloody, he probably has gingivitis. This disorder is a frequent reason for consultation, especially in cats in which gingivitis causes anorexic behavior. Diet, tartar build-up or even certain viral agents can be at the origin of this disease which must absolutely be taken seriously. An animal that suffers from gingivitis and tartar should undergo scaling under general anesthesia and polishing at the vet.
This infectious disease is very common in pets, and more commonly affects small pets. Unlike gingivitis, this condition is irreversible: it causes inflammation non-gingival tissue and results in progressive loosening of teeth. If left untreated, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and settle in our animal’s body.
The complications of periodontal disease are numerous: dental abscesses, septicemia, infection of the heart valves, etc. It causes weight loss and digestive disorders, as well as a weakening of the animal’s immune system. The latter will probably have his teeth extracted if he suffers from periodontics.
Rabbits and rodents particularly suffer from this pathology, generally caused by a diet too rich in calcium. Deformities called spicules or deaf teeth can occur as a result of bad molar wear or uneven growth of the dentition. To remedy this condition, a veterinarian’s intervention is then mandatory.
Ensure the good oral hygiene of his animal is essential. To do this, various preventive treatments can be performed at home. With the help of the right equipment and a good dose of patience, you will ensure lasting dental health for your faithful companion!
Better to admit it right away: brush your pet’s teeth companionship is not always fun! It is however the most effective method to fight against the formation of dental plaque. It is therefore recommended to get your animal used to it from an early age. To be carried out at least 3 times a week using a toothbrush and a suitable toothpaste. It is totally prohibited to use fluoride toothpaste for humans, which is harmful to the animal’s digestive system.
If you’re not sure which brushing method to use, don’t panic! Your veterinarian will be able to advise you and provide you with the most suitable equipment. If the handling of the animal toothbrush is not your forte, note that it is also possible to use a finger cot. This rubber cap with small bumps slips directly onto the finger and is a good alternative to the toothbrush.
Alternatives to brushing teeth
For owners in a hurry or recalcitrant animals, there is a whole range of products intended for animal oral hygiene. The sweets and the croquettes specially formulated to prevent tartar formation or loosen existing dental plaque. For dogs and cats, there are even toys specially designed for this purpose on the market! Dental sticks, sticks, chewing and gnawing bones offer healthy and effective solutions for your pet. You can also purchase spray toothpaste or a powder containing enzymes to be mixed with food or in water.
Close-up on oral hygiene of rodents
Rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, mice, rats, gerbils, guinea pigs and chinchillas experience continuous teething throughout their lives. You can take advantage of their need to gnaw permanent to offer them accessories that will naturally wear their incisors. Your little rodents will appreciate having at their disposal a small wooden toy, or a gnawing stone containing minerals, vegetable and cereal sticks, natural treats, and sometimes spirulina.
You understand, oral hygiene of your pet is essential for its health. Certain gestures of prevention are easy to make and will allow him to keep healthy teeth for a long time. In addition, it is recommended to make an annual visit to the veterinarian in order to achieve a complete dental cleaning.
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