Pet Dental Health Month is Save You Money Month too!

One of the best ways to save money on veterinary bills is to have good dental health. Your pet’s teeth are the gateway to their overall health and life longevity. Healthy teeth often means a healthy pet.

As a pet owner, you are careful to keep vaccinations up to date, provide a good diet, and smother them in love, but forgetting the importance of basic oral health can not only be a big mistake, it can also prove to be a costly one. Caring for your pets teeth goes beyond just a great smile and fresh breath, good dental care at home can reduce the need for expensive professional teeth cleanings, and help avoid the sometimes heartbreaking and often costly veterinary visits caused by complications due to poor oral health..

Brush Their Teeth

Periodontal disease is one of the most common health problems veterinarians encounter in adult cats and dogs, by the age of three most cats and dogs are already starting to show some signs of gum disease.  Daily brushing of your pet’s teeth will help remove the plaque and tartar build up, which if left untreated, can lead to gum disease, oral abscesses, and tooth loss. If bacteria are allowed to gain entry into the bloodstream through diseased gums, it can lead to damage of the liver, kidney and heart.

Chew Toys

In between brushings, a quality chew toy can further help prevent tartar buildup. Chew toys can help slow the progression of periodontal disease through their abrasive action, as the dog chews, the toy helps to scrape and scrub away soft tartar build up and massage the gums, so a dog who is encouraged to actively chew will have less tartar build up on their teeth. Look for things such as hard toys, rawhide chews, and specially made dental chews, bones, and treats.

Dental Diets

Dental specific diets can also be provided to your dog or cat, as part of their daily meal or as a treat. Dental diets work by employing either a chemical anti-tartar ingredient or a specific kibble design that, much like the chew toys, scrape away tartar build up as it’s eaten.

So clearly, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.  Spending a little time and money up front on establishing a healthy routine for your pet’s teeth can not only lead to savings on costly intensive medical care in the future, but also helps provide a longer, happier life for your pet.

You can also save money by going to our promotions page a grabbing a coupon for savings on a pet dental cleaning.

Why Chocolate is Bad for Dogs

Tomorrow is Valentines day and you may not know what gifts you are getting but if chocolate is one of them do not be tempted to share it with your dog. Most people know that chocolate is bad for pets but we hear it so much that it can become something we ignore. Let’s have a little reminder of why this delicious treat is only a treat for humans.

Dogs are the most susceptible to chocolate poisoning because of their habit of rapid consumption. They have an inability to process theobromine properly and this is the main chemical in chocolate that is toxic to your dog. Once your dog has eaten it, it can stay in their blood stream for up to 24 hours.

Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning In Animals

  1. Vomiting and diarrhea occur 3 to 5 hours after consumption, and chocolate in the throw-up may perhaps be obvious.
  2. Central nervous system stimulation triggers tremors, hyperactivity and seizures.
  3. Heart-rate becomes rapid and abnormal.
  4. Excessive urination
  5. Firmness, excitement, seizures, and excessive response to light and noise.
  6. Urine may contain blood
  7. Gums of the pet may turn into bluish hue after few hours of chocolate intake.
  8. Heart failure, coma, and death can also happen.

How To Treat Chocolate Poisoning

There is only a little you can do for your pet, especially in the home, to treat chocolate poisoning. Once the theobromine is in the blood stream it becomes much harder. Therefore, the general treatments are usually ways to stop the ingested theobromine from getting in to the blood stream.

Treatment options- Under Veterinary Supervision

1. Induce vomiting instantly, which will help remove most of the chocolate. (never try inducing vomiting at home unless you are under the guidance of your Albuquerque Veterinarian)

2. After that, make your pet to eat a small quantity of activated charcoal, which can bind completely to the theobromine and retain it from getting into the circulatory system.

3. Try to get your pet to drink as much water as it can to keep hydrated.

4. At the veterinarian, specific drugs may be used to help the pet make it through, like anti-convulsants, which can help if the pet has seizures.

Make sure to call your vet if your dog shows signs of chocolate poisoning.

While a very little amount of chocolate would possibly not harm some pets, it is safest to avoid feeding it to them in any way. Remember to keep your chocolate, sweets, chocolate coated goodies and cakes safely far away from your pets.

It’s Pet Dental Health Month!

albuquerque pet dental health

February is Pet Dental Health Month. Do you have a dog or cat whose breath smells like they eat garbage all day long?  Likely it is time to get their teeth cleaned. The great thing is that cleaning their teeth can do more than just give them good breath and nice teeth. There are some pretty serious health risks for not cleaning your pets teeth.

Start of Dental Health Month by taking care of your pets teeth, and maybe make a dentist appointment for yourself while you are at it.

Dental Health Problems

  • Periodontal disease is a painful infection between the tooth and the gum that can result in tooth loss and spread infection to the rest of the body. Signs are loose teeth, bad breath, tooth pain, sneezing and nasal discharge.
  • Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused mainly by accumulation of plaque, tartar and disease-producing bacteria above and below the gum line. Signs include bleeding, red, swollen gums and bad breath. It is reversible with regular teeth cleanings.
  • Halitosis—or bad breath—can be the first sign of a mouth problem and is caused by bacteria growing from food particles caught between the teeth or by gum infection. Regular tooth-brushings are a great solution.
  • Swollen gums develop when tartar builds up and food gets stuck between the teeth. Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth at home and getting annual cleanings at the vet can prevent tartar and gingivitis.
  • Proliferating gum disease occurs when the gum grows over the teeth and must be treated to avoid gum infection. An inherited condition common to boxers and bull terriers, it can be treated with antibiotics.
  • Mouth tumors appear as lumps in the gums. Some are malignant and must be surgically removed.
  • Salivary cysts look like large, fluid-filled blisters under the tongue, but can also develop near the corners of the jaw. They require drainage, and the damaged saliva gland must be removed.
  • Canine distemper teeth can occur if a dog had distemper as a puppy. Adult teeth can appear looking eroded and can often decay. As damage is permanent, decayed teeth should be removed by a vet.

*List courtesy of the ASPCA

Make sure you pet does not get any of these painful dental diseases. Bring them into Albuquerque Vetco to get your pets annual dental cleaning. While you are here you can also get your annual vaccinations, your microchip, and your annual checkup. Make February you veterinary health tune up month!