Dental Health for Your Pet

pet dental healthAt Academy Animal Hospital, we take your pet’s dental health seriously. Like humans, pets need oral care on a regular basis to maintain healthy teeth. While a dog’s smile might not be quite as important to him, proper dental care is essential to your pet’s health.

But many people don’t realize that a pet’s oral health also impacts it’s overall fitness, potentially leading to serious illness. In studies, scientists have pinpointed a connection between dental health and overall physical health in both humans and their pets. Added to your interest in your pet’s own oral health are the following incentives to get regular dental cleanings for your pet.

  • Heart Disease—A study conducted at Purdue University pinpointed a clear connection between periodontal disease in dogs and heart problems. In the study, dogs with gum disease had great instance of inflammation of the heart valves.
  • Kidney Disease—The ASPCA names dental disease as a leading cause of kidney problems in dogs. Cats and other pets can also suffer from periodontal-related kidney issues throughout their lives. The damage caused by bacteria that infects the kidneys is irreversible, leading to illness and possible death.
  • Sepsis—An oral infection in a pet can eventually lead to sepsis, a condition that can be life threatening. Sepsis occurs when the body releases chemicals to battle an infection spreading through the bloodstream, possibly leading to multiple organ failure.

While the exact reason for the connection has not been found, many experts believe bacteria is the culprit. When gum disease is present, bacteria builds up and that bacteria can leak into the bloodstream, making its way to the rest of the body. Over time, an animal’s immune system may not be able to fight off all of this bacteria, leading it to cause infections in internal organs.

Regular vet visits can help protect your pet from dental disease, along with providing your dog with veterinarian approved dental chews. The chewing activity gently abrades the surface of the teeth, encourages saliva production, and reduces tartar buildup, which can help keep teeth and gums healthy. Set your pet up on a vet-recommended cleaning schedule to help keep your pet’s oral hygiene in check. Toothbrush kits are also available for owners who would like to clean their pets’ teeth between professional cleanings.

Always use toothpaste formulated for pets, as human toothpaste is toxic to animals.

At Academy Animal Hospital, we use state-of-the-art techniques to diagnose and treat oral problems in pets. Using a specialized dental radiography machine, we can detect any abnormal lesions or abscesses that need treatment, as well as tooth fractures that might not be detectable by the naked eye. The unit is tableside, so it can be done as part of a normal outpatient visit.

For more information, contact us today to set up an appointment.

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Academy Animal
510 S. State Rd. 135
Greenwood, IN 46142

Phone: 317-881-3125

Hours of operation:
Monday to Friday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.


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