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Gingivitis and Your Dog, Not Just For People Who Don’t Floss

albuquerque pet dental health

albuquerque pet dental healthGum disease in dogs is not only uncomfortable but also painful. Gum Disease, also known as Periodontal Disease, is an inflammation of the support structures around the teeth. It is caused by food particles building up along your dog’s gum line and forming plaque. This plaque forms a calculus which causes irritation and inflammation of the come and causes gingivitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease. Over time the gingivitis can cause bone loss, tissue destruction, pus formations, and cavities. Periodontal disease can happen in both cats and dogs and can affect animals of all ages, it is more common in older animals.


  • Inflammation of one or more teeth.
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Gum line receding
  • Roots of teeth exposed
  • Pus pockets
  • Sensitivity in their mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Most treatments surrounding gingivitis, gum disease, and periodontal disease, involve teeth cleaning. In more advanced cases where an extensive bone loss is involved, you may need to do periodontal splinting or guided tissue regeneration.

A quick story about dental cleanings…

We had a patient at the clinic that had never had his teeth cleaned. The dog was brought in because his breath was terrible and he wasn’t eating well. It was decided that the dog needed to have his teeth professionally cleaned. During the cleaning, a bone fragment was found sticking out of the dog’s gum. When removed, it was discovered that it wasn’t a bone fragment, but an entire mouse leg bone. The bone was covered in years worth of calculus and had fused itself to the palette of the dog’s mouth. Becuase of the lack of dental health care, the dog had been suffering from significant bone loss. When the mouse bone was removed, the dog’s palette collapsed and had to be splinted back together. This sounds painful and horrible, but it was a huge relief for the dog. About a week after the dog went home, the owner called and said their dog was acting like a puppy again. His appetite was back, he was happy and energetic, and his breath didn’t smell.

Regular dental health maintenance can help prevent many issues with your dog from mild bad breath to periodontal disease. Make sure to brush your dog’s teeth weekly and bring them into Vetco for their annual dental cleaning.


Do Dogs Get Cavities?

albuquerque pet dental health

albuquerque pet dental healthDo dogs get cavities? YES! Dental health is just as important for your dog as it is for you. Did you know that good dental health can help your dog live a longer and healthier life? We don’t think about tooth and gum issues as something that could cause a larger health issue, but they are. It is important to brush your dog’s teeth at least weekly and make sure they get an annual dental cleaning to remove all the tartar and plaque buildup.

Brushing and annual cleanings will help decrease the appearance of cavities in dogs.

Like humans, dogs can get cavities filled. There are pet dentists who specialize in your dog’s dental health. For most pet owner, instead of filling the cavities, they opt to extract the teeth when the cavities become too vast or the tooth starts to decay. This extraction is done during their annual dental cleaning and causes little to no discomfort to your dog.  Extracting teeth is not the problem, it is not extracting them that is the problem. Leaving a bad tooth in your dog’s mouth can lead to swelling and infection, which are both very painful.

Most of the time you will not know if your dog has a cavity. Sometimes you can see them when you look in your dog’s mouth. They often look like dark dots or lines in their teeth. Most of the time you won’t know that there is an evolving dental issue until it has become a serious issue that is causing pain and discomfort for your pet. This is where getting your dog’s annual dental cleaning is so important. The vet will look at your dog’s overall health and address any issues they find. Plus the cleaning will help decrease the appearance of cavities.

Bring your dog into Vetco to get their annual dental cleaning. Save $15 off the procedure with our coupon.

My Dogs Breath Smells Like He Ate A Zombie

albuquerque pet dental

albuquerque pet dentalDo you love puppy breath but hate dog breath? Most of us do. There are many reasons why your dog may have bad breath that can be something simple like their diet all the way up to a serious health issue. So their bad breath is nothing to overlook.

Most bad breath is caused by dental issues or gum disease. The build-up of plaque and tartar on their teeth will cause bad breath that seems to never go away. Did you know that smaller dogs are typically more prone to plaque and tartar? Ever meet a Chi Hua Hua that could knock over an elephant with his breath? I have and it is terrible!  But sometimes bad breath is being caused by gastrointestinal issues, respiratory problems, or other diseases.

If you brush your dog (How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth) or cat’s teeth (How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth) and she still has breath that would knock out an army, it is time to visit your Albuquerque Vetco Vet and get their dental health, and overall health, evaluated. The vet will ask you about their diet, exercise, and overall health. They might smell their breath because the way their breath smells can indicate if it is just a dental issue or a larger health issue.

Sweet or Fruity Breath – can indicate diabetes.

Urine or ammonia smell – can indicate kidney disease.

Foul Odor – when accompanied by vomiting, yellow-tinged corneas and/or gums, and a lack of appetite, can indicate liver problems.


Many dental issues can be fixed with an annual professional dental cleaning. The cleaning will remove all plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth. During the cleaning, if there are any teeth that need to be removed due to cavities and rot, will be removed.  After the procedure, most animals tend to smell and feel much better. It is not uncommon to see an increase in appetite and energy because bad dental health, even if it is not causing huge health issues, can still lead to your pet feeling run down or having a sensitive mouth.

Depending on the reason for your pet’s bad breath, the Vetco veterinarian will recommend a cleaning, diet change, or will need to perform further tests to determine if there is a larger health issue present.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

The best way to prevent bad breath in your cat or dog is to be proactive in preventing it.

  • Brush their teeth regularly- You should do this at least weekly, if not more frequently.
  • Feed them high-quality pet food – low quality food is hard to digest and can lead to bad breath as well as gastrointestinal issues.
  • Hard chew toys – give you pet hard nubbly chew toys that are designed to help remove plaque. The toys help clean their teeth and massage their gums which can prevent gum disease.
  • Good treats – There are treats that are designed to help with their gastrointestinal health and with their breath.
  • Annual Dental Cleaning – Just like you, your pet needs an annual dental cleaning. This will prevent tartar buildup and gum disease.

For Dental Health Month, Vetco is offering a special discount on our dental cleaning. Go to our Promotions page to claim your discount and get your pet’s teeth cleaned!


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2510 Main St. NE #1
Los Lunas, NM
Phone: (505) 865-0662

Veterinarian Clinic Website: www.loslunasvetco.com


The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.