The Benefits of Oravet Chews

Dental care is very important in our four legged-friends. The best way to keep your pet’s teeth white and sparkling clean is to brush their teeth daily (or several times a week if possible). The brushing action allows breakup of dental tartar on the teeth and many enzymatic veterinary approved toothpastes aid in tartar breakup as well. The problem is that maintaining a routine of oral hygiene for some dogs and cats can be a difficult or nearly impossible task.

To better understand the benefit of these chews, let me first explain the fundamentals of dental disease. Dental disease or periodontal disease refers to the health of the teeth (above and below the gum line), gums, and bone surrounding the teeth. When dogs eat, bacteria attach to the teeth and form plaque. Saliva and food supply nutrients for the bacteria to proliferate. This in turn causes bad breath and can cause a white/yellow biofilm on the teeth. Over time (within 72 hours), this plaque mineralizes and forms a yellow or brown hard substance on the teeth called calculus or tartar. Tartar won’t come off with brushing; it needs to be removed manually by a veterinarian. Both plaque and calculus formation can lead to bad breath and disease of the gums.

 

Oravet dental chews are moderately firm and help to break down plaque and clean the teeth as your dog chews. The leading ingredient, delmopinol, creates a barrier to protect against plaque, calculus build up, and bad breath. These chews do contain grain and soy, so they may not be appropriate for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Also, if your dog has any loose teeth, these chews should not be used because they could cause trauma to the loose teeth. Some dogs have been reported to have green stools due to the alfalfa in the chews. However, besides the shocking color, this has not caused any problems. Ask your veterinarian today if Oravet Dental Chews are right for your dog!

Why Get Your Pet in for a Dental?

By: Dr. Groenewg, DVM

Pet Dental Procedure - Fairgrounds Animal HospitalMost pets have some degree of dental disease as early as age 2. Dental disease is the number 1 disease in dogs and cats, as it is so common in our pets. However, dental disease is often overlooked by owners, especially when it is at its mild stage.

How does dental disease occur? Disease starts by bacteria attaching to the edge of the enamel and forming a biofilm, or a microscopic meshwork of bacteria, within a day. This is called plaque. The tartar that you see on your pet’s teeth, is the secondary step of that plaque becoming calcified. Disease starts when that plaque gets up under the gums and creates an infection; seen as a slightly more red line along the edge of the gums where they meet the teeth. Left alone, this is a chronic infection in your pets mouth and will overtime cause worsening signs like bone and gum recession. This causes the roots of the tooth to be exposed. The roots are very sensitive and when exposed to disease, hot or cold temperatures, etc. It can be very painful for your pet.

This isn’t all. Studies have shown that even a mild chronic infection has influences on the rest of the body. Dental disease left alone can lead to other diseases such as liver disease, bone infections, heart disease, and arthritis, and has been shown to have a connection with Diabetes. Providing dental care to your pet can improve overall function of other organs and create an overall healthier animal.

It is important to note that small breeds are not the same as large breeds. Genetically, they are more predisposed to dental disease. At 1 year of age, many small breeds already have some bone loss from dental disease. It is important to get them in yearly for dental cleanings. Cats are also different than dogs and can have different disease processes in their mouths, so it is important not to forget about your cat’s mouth.

When you take your pet in to get their dental done, a deep cleaning is performed with an ultrasonic cleaner. This removes calculus and the plaque both above and below the gum line. It is important to get under the gum line to the tartar that we cannot see, as this is where dental disease starts.
You can learn what to expect for your pets dental consultation here and  what a dental procedure looks like from start to finish here.

 

 

Your Pet’s Dental Consultation: What to Expect

Your Pet’s Consultation: What to Expect

Maybe you’ve noticed your dog or cat has some killer breath lately, seen brown tartar on their teeth, or have been enlightened on the great importance of your pet’s dental health and you want to know where to start. Next, you find out we offer complimentary dental consultations and you schedule one to get your pet on the path to a beautiful smile! You may wonder, what will happen during this visit? First, you should plan to spend about 15-30 minutes from checking in at the reception desk to completing the consult in the exam room. After check in, a technician will greet you in the room, examine your pet’s teeth and gums to assess the level of dental disease already present (if any), and ask you some questions to get an idea of your lifestyle and needs. She may ask about your pet’s dental homecare regimen, what you feed them, and if you’ve noticed any behaviors that might indicate oral discomfort.

If your pet just has mild tartar, your technician will recommend a dental scaling and polishing to remove the hardened build up that won’t come off with brushing. Unfortunately, pets won’t tolerate a scaling and cleaning while awake, so general anesthesia will be needed! Your technician can give you an estimate for the whole procedure after she assesses your pet’s teeth, and she can walk you through the process so you can feel at ease knowing your furry family member will be given the best care to ensure they are safe and comfortable. If your technician notices any teeth that are suspicious and may be dead or abscessed, it can be confirmed with radiographs during the cleaning. Also, some teeth that appear normal during the consult can be revealed by pocket probing and radiographs to be dead or infected at the root! Any bad teeth that need to be extracted can be done painlessly by aid of a local nerve block while your pet is under general anesthesia for their cleaning. Your technician can include in your cleaning estimate an approximate range of the additional time and cost expected for extractions.

Your Pet’s Dental Procedure: What to Expect

Even if there are teeth that need to be extracted, never fear! Your pet can emerge from a dental cleaning and extractions with a clean bill of oral health and a fresh start. Dogs and cats can still live normal happy lives and even eat hard food with missing teeth—in fact, they will be far more comfortable eating without those painful dead or abscessed teeth in the way! Good oral health can drastically improve quality of life and extend your pet’s lifespan, so don’t hesitate to call us for your complimentary dental consult today!