Dental disease Sometimes it’s easy to forget that our four legged friends suffer dental problems just like we do, but it remains one of the biggest problems in our pet’s health. Cats and dogs rarely have the freshest of breath, however, bad breath could be a sign of more serious problems. Gum disease is one of the most common problems we encounter in domestic animals, and although it takes a lot to stop them eating, many of our pets live with a degree of oral discomfort without us realising. If left untreated it can commonly lead to pain and mouth infections, but in more serious cases dental disease can lead to weight loss, liver, kidney and heart disease. We see on average 4-5 dental or oral infections every month that could have been avoided with treatment at an earlier stage. There is much we can do at home to improve our pets dental hygiene and keep teeth as clean as possible for as long as possible. Regular brushing, a couple of times a week, is probably the best method, but ensure you use a dog or cat specific toothpaste as they cannot tolerate the fluoride in human toothpaste. Alternatively, encouraging chewing with safe dental aids such as kongs or antler chews will help with the physical removal of tartar and plaque. Unfortunately, once plaque and gingivitis levels reach a certain stage then scaling and polishing with tooth extractions as necessary are the only way to maintain good oral health. For more advice book in for a dental check with one of our highly experienced nurses.