Dog dentists could save lives

Posted on October 7, 2009 under Pet Health & Safety

Dog dentists could save livesExperts in the veterinary field have cautioned dog owners that poor dental health in their pets could case life-threatening diseases.

A veterinary columnist for the Irish Independent recently published warnings and advice to dog owners that indicate the benefits of canine dental checkups far exceed a sparkling smile for the pup.

The writer indicates that complications such as abscesses in organs, kidney failure and endocarditis could begin with infections of the gums or oral cavity and ultimately deteriorate the pet’s health and shorten its life.

Doctors Foster & Smith, a Wisconsin based operator of animal hospitals and pet supply cataloger, warns that the buildup of tartar under a dog’s gums may result in the accumulation of bacteria and eventually periodontal disease. According to their Pet Education website, "As bacterial growth continues to increase, the bacteria may enter the bloodstream. This can cause infection of the heart valves, liver kidneys."

The pet experts say that treatment by veterinarians can stop the disease from developing further, and daily oral care at home with a regular human toothbrush can prevent the affliction at the start.

Doctors Foster & Smith says dog owners should watch for bad breath, red or swollen gums, discolored teeth, or strange bumps as indications to visit a veterinarian.