One of the most prevalent health care problems in dogs and cats is entirely preventable: periodontal disease. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have signs of periodontal disease by age three.
Many people are unaware of the potential consequences of this insidious problem – not only can periodontal disease (and other dental diseases) cause pain, tooth and bone loss, the resulting bacterial infections can enter the bloodstream, then spread throughout the body and cause permanent damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver.
Some of the symptoms of dental problems in dogs and cats include:
- bad breath
- yellow teeth and/or a yellowish crust along the gum line
- red or bleeding gums
- decreased appetite or difficulty eating, resulting in weight loss
Don’t wait until symptoms occur! An annual cleaning by your veterinarian, along with regular home care, is the best way to prevent periodontal disease in your pet.