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    Has your Dog or Cat been checked for Dental Disease?


    by Dominika Anna Steakley DVM of Riverview Animal Clinic, P.C.

    We all want to make sure our four-legged friends stay healthy.  This includes checking out the mouth for dental disease, which is an area commonly over looked.  Sure we like to rub Fido’s belly or give Fluffy a scratch behind the ear, but who wants to crank open their kitty’s mouth routinely?  Even as a vet this is not something I do in between stepping over the cat, jumping over the dogs, and explaining to the three year old “It is not a good idea to tight rope across the back of the couch!”  Dogs and cats can show dental pain and disease in many different ways. One easy sign is foul smelling breath.  Sometimes they may only chew food on one side of the mouth or un-chewed food will drop from their mouth.  They can also get tooth root abscesses which will typically appear as a bump under one of their eyes.  Untreated dental disease can lead to bacteria entering the blood stream affecting function of the heart, liver, and kidneys.  It can also cause the ligament holding the tooth in place to loosen and lead to tooth loss.  Diseased teeth, fractured teeth, and gum disease can also limit your pet’s appetite because it is too painful to eat.

    Signs of Dental Disease you can look for at home are:
    1. Bad breath
    2. Excess drooling
    3. Tartar present on the exterior of the teeth and in severe cases the gums close to the tartar will appear red and swollen (gingivitis).
    4. Receding gum line (periodontal disease)
    5. Decreased appetite
    6. Loose teeth
    7. Bump underneath the eye

    Dominika Anna Steakley, DVM
    Riverview Animal Clinic, P.C.
    4640 Highway 280 South
    Birmingham, AL 35242
    (205) 991-9580 ext. 112

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