little rock dog dentist

The Importance of Pet Dental Care

How healthy are your pet’s teeth and gums? They should be inspected at least once a year by a veterinarian. Dental care is a vital part of caring for your beloved pup or kitty.

Here are some facts that show the importance of taking your pet to the vet for regular dental checkups.

Over Age 3 = Increased Risk for Disease

Pets don’t have to be old to show signs of dental disease. Fully 70% of cats and 80% of dogs over age 3 show early signs of oral disease.

Dental plaque buildup is a major contributor to the problem. This is why regular checkups and cleanings are so helpful in preventing more serious issues down the road.

Dental Disease Can Lead to Organ Disease

The impact of dental health extends far beyond the mouth. Dental disease can lead to system-wide problems in your pet’s body.

Heart problems are sometimes related to a pet’s poor oral hygiene. Periodontal disease is associated with microscopic changes in the heart, liver, and kidneys that contribute to organ disease.

This means if your pet has diabetes, it can be worsened by a lack of dental care. The same goes for breathing and lung problems, like asthma.

Bad Breath Can Come From Bad Dental Health

Does your pet’s breath stink? It’s normal for dogs and cats to have breath that smells a little stinky, but a strong odor isn’t normal.

Breath that smells fishy or rotten, or much stronger than usual, should be checked by a vet. Your pet may have a throat infection or something stuck below the gumline, breeding bacteria. It’s important to rule out causes of bad breath and get to the root of the problem.

Tooth Problems are Painful for Your Pet

Tooth and mouth issues are one of the most common sources of day-to-day pain in pets. Yet pets are good at hiding pain, and may not show outward signs that something hurts.

Losing teeth – even baby teeth – can be painful for your pet. When a baby tooth doesn’t fall out completely or becomes impacted, it can cause swelling, infection, and persistent pain.

Often, you can’t see what exactly is causing them pain. It could be deep within the gum, or at the back of their mouth. The only sign of their pain could be panting, sleeping more than usual, or being skittish about being touched.

Vets Notice Little Things You Don’t

Regular checkups and cleanings give your vet an opportunity to examine your pet’s mouth thoroughly. During these appointments, they might spot something unexpected.

For example, your pet could have a cyst or tumor that formed over a period of months since your last appointment. Quick treatment could save your pet from disease and pain.

At Shackleford Veterinary Clinic, we believe in the importance of routine dental care. That’s why we’re offering you 10% off dental treatments and products during the month of February that support pet health.

Stop by and see us at 11601 Kanis Rd in Little Rock, or give us a call at 501-224-6998. We’ll treat your pet to a gentle, thorough dental exam and help preserve their dental health for a long and happy lifetime.

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