February is National Pet Dental Health Month

Poor oral health has serious repercussions, AVMA reminds owners
The AVMA designated February as National Pet Dental Health Month to highlight the importance of oral care for overall animal health. The majority of adult cats and dogs have dental disease, and if left untreated, the condition can have serious consequences. “Dental problems are extremely common, and many are very painful and can lead to serious systemic conditions,” said AVMA President Dr. Douglas Aspros. “An untreated dental infection can spread to the heart, kidneys and other organs and suddenly become life-threatening.”

Sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association, (AVMA) the month of February has been set aside as National Pet Dental Health Month. And while I’ll wager almost anything that the majority of humans don’t consider a trip to the dentist to be one of their top 10 most favorite things to do, it’s no secret that regular dental checkups are essential to maintain overall good health. It’s equally just as important for pet parents to provide regular dental care for their pets.

According to studies made by the American Animal Hospital Association, (AHHA) sadly, 85 percent of dogs and cats over the age of 3 years have already suffered dental or gum disease. Without regular dental care and cleaning, pets can develop gingivitis, (an often painful inflammation of the gums) from the bacterial laden plaque which, if not taken care of on a regular basis, develops into tarter or calculus.

The AAHA studies also found that two-thirds of pet guardians do not provide the regular dental care recommended by veterinarians.  Kate Knutson, co-owner of the Pet Crossing Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic, located in Bloomington, Minnesota, said, “We believe that one of the most important parts of pets’ health care is attention to dental disease.”

Board president of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry and certified veterinary dentist, Dr. Brook A. Niemiec said, “Unfortunately, only about one percent of pet owners brush their pet’s teeth. Not only do more pet owners need to brush their pet’s teeth, they should also use chew toys, treats and rawhides to help keep their pet’s teeth clean.”

Dr. Douglas Aspros, President of the AVMA said, “Dental problems are extremely common, and many are very painful and can lead to serious systemic conditions”. He reminds pet guardians that, “an untreated dental infection can spread to the heart, kidneys and other organs, and suddenly become life threatening.”

Although the AVMA is promoting Pet Dental Health Month in February, at the same time the organization is reminding dog and cat owners that in addition to making an appointment with their veterinarian for a complete dental checkup and cleaning, that learning how to brush their pet’s teeth and do so on a regular basis that their veterinarian recommends is equally essential.

Learn the symptoms of pet dental disease which many are hard to ignore. One of the first signs of gum disease is unrelenting bad breath. Additionally, pets may exhibit: difficulty in eating, pawing at their mouth, gums that are sore and red gums, and tooth discoloration caused by tarter.

In order to celebrate Pet Dental Health Month, many veterinary practices are offering a special discount for their pet’s oral care.

4 Responses to “February is National Pet Dental Health Month”

  1. i have a chihuahua, female, four years old. She has her two upper large front teeth with an orange substance near her gums. I use a toothbrush for sensitive teeth and dogs toothpaste. But, to no avail. I notice an ad tropiclean fresh breath gel. Can I use this gel? Is it harmful? Please Help!!!!!!!!!!! Thank You So So Much!!

  2. Renata Millet-Rigali says:

    I have two 7 yr old boxers, they are sisters. Never have they been sick, except for Piperlime’s 2 teeth are severly decayed, and Crush’s anus has hemorrhoids. I Need medical attention asap for them. I tried to care for Crush’s anus for 2 yrs and its not showing promise of healing. Piper’s teeth was discovered back about 5 months ago. I tried to care for her teeth. Again im unable to see any improvements. I m on a fixed income. My rent takes the lion’s share of very small income, leaving me only 5 percent to buy Dog Feed that I purchase up to 40 dollars a month to feed two of them. I dont buy cheap dog feed. Hence its been keeping them healthy. Then I pay for one of the 3 bills, the other 2 bills I alternate every other month. As for my own feed, leaving me no funds to fend for myself. So I get some donations from friends to feed. So I make sure they eat first before i do. Thats how much I love them. In the meantime i ve been battling with the source of my fixed income to increase with my fathers death benefits. Im on the phone with them right now trying to get an appt. AS for Voc Rehab, I m waiting on them to help me establish a job. I ve had severe back injury thats limited me from working. So this is a very bad financial situtation. Is there any resources that i could get support from? Perhaps start making payments as soon as i get increased income from Voc Rehab and Fixed income, maybe within 3 months. HELP!! Id sooner be homeless and pay for their teeth and anus before anything else. But if I become homeless, I wont be able to provide them security as far as warmth and bed. I dont want to put them through that. They come first,.. I need help asap. 760-820-4691.

Leave a Reply