Periodontal disease is a common pet health concern that involves inflammation of your pet's gums and the loss of vital structures of the teeth. This disease can affect both dogs and cats and is typically due to poor oral hygiene. While most pet owners make sure that their pets receive their vaccinations regularly, it is unfortunate that they often neglect their oral health.
How Periodontal Disease Affects Your Pet
Periodontal disease can begin to develop when bacteria collects on your pet's gums forming plaque. If you do not have this plaque removed, minerals in your pet's saliva will combine with the plaque and form tartar. Tartar can cause gingivitis and bad breath. If left untreated, bacteria continues to grow resulting in periodontal disease. This disease can be very painful to your pet and can lead to abscesses, tooth loss, bone loss and infections. It is even thought that periodontal disease may have a direct relationship to such conditions as heart disease, kidney problems and liver disease.
Common Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Common Symptoms of Periodontal Disease in Pets: Bleeding and/or Inflamed Gums, Buildup of Plaque or Tarter on the Teeth, Difficulty Chewing or Eating, Pain While Chewing or Eating, Tooth Loss, Bad Breath, Pawing at the Mouth, Loss of Appetite, Upset Stomachs, Mood Swings , Excessive Drooling and Sneezing and/or Nasal Discharge. These are the most common signs of periodontal disease in dogs and cats; however, your pet may not necessarily display all of them. Some pets only experience a few of these symptoms. If you notice any of these warning signs though, you need to have your pet's teeth checked by a veterinarian right away.
Treatments for Periodontal Disease
Treatment for periodontal disease depends on how far the condition has progressed. In some cases, all that is required is for your veterinarian to clean your pet's teeth and remove any plaque or tarter. If necessary, a special gel may need to be applied to the gums to help reattach them to the teeth. In severe cases, your vet may need to clean out any diseased tissue around the teeth and/or perform extractions. Additionally, if there are any infections present, antibiotics will need to be prescribed. Finally, a special diet may be required to promote strong teeth and bones.
Animals that are most vulnerable to periodontal disease: middle-aged and senior animals, animals that do not receive proper oral care, animals that have a weak immune system, animals that are on a poor diet, animals that are sick and toy breed dogs. Any breed of dog or cat can experience periodontal disease if their oral health is ignored. However, some animals are more vulnerable than others. Furthermore, middle-aged and senior animals experience this condition more often than younger animals.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.