“You can detect cardiac problems or kidney problems,” Dr. Laura Tonetti Hall of East Hill Animal Hospital.
She recommends daily brushing as well as dental check-ups, which can be done with a yearly exam. An antibiotic may even be prescribed.
“Any product with C.E.T. is recommended,” Dr. Hall said. “C.E.T. is an enzyme that breaks down tartar.”
Large dog breeds may not need dental cleanings until nine or 10 years old, like a German shepherd. While smaller dogs like terriers, Chihuahuas or dachshunds may need earlier intervention.
Bottom line: no matter how old or young or what breed your cat or dog is, keep those chompers clean to promote a long, happy life.
“Pets with chronic dental disease have a short life expectancy,” Dr. Hall said.
Signs of Oral Disease
The following are signs that your dog may have a problem in his mouth or gastrointestinal system and should be checked by a veterinarian:
• Bad breath
• Excessive drooling
• Inflamed gums
• Tumors in the gums
• Cysts under the tongue
• Loose teeth
How to Brushy:
1. Place a toothbrush or your gauze-wrapped finger at a 45-degree angle to the teeth and clean in small, circular motions.
2. Work on one area of your dog’s mouth at a time, lifting their lip as necessary. The side of the tooth that touches the cheek usually has the most tartar, and giving a final downward stroke can help to remove it.
3. If your dog resists having the inner surfaces of her teeth cleaned, don’t fight it—only a small amount of tartar accumulates there. Once you get the technique down, go for a brushing two or three times a week.