The Importance of Pet Dental Health

 

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Bad breath…tartar buildup…pawing at the mouth. Sound like YOUR pet? Dental health is one of the most important components of a pet’s health, but it’s also one of the most neglected. Over time, this neglect can lead to various other oral problems, including gum disease, which can eventually affect the liver, heart, and kidneys. Kindness Animal Hospital in Cape Coral wants to help change that. February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and we want to stress the importance of maintaining your pet’s dental health with professional dental exams and cleanings and at-home care.

Common Signs of Dental Problems

While some signs of dental problems can be easily detected, like the ones above, there are others that are subtler. Below is a list of some of the most common signs to look out for. If you’ve noticed any of these signs in your dog or cat, it’s time to schedule a dental appointment.

  • Loose teeth
  • Abnormal chewing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Bad breath
  • Refusal to eat
  • White or brown film (tartar) buildup
  • Mouth swelling

How to Prevent Pet Gum Disease

Gum disease develops the same way in pets as it does in people, and it starts with tartar buildup. The good news is that there are many ways to prevent it. The easiest way is to bring your pet in for a professional veterinary wellness exam at least once a year. During these exams, we’ll evaluate your pet’s teeth and gums to determine if a more extensive dental exam and/or dental cleaning is needed. Some pets typically require a cleaning every year while others may need one less frequently. Another way to prevent gum disease is with at-home dental care, so you can keep your pet’s mouth healthy between appointments. We can recommend various dental products to meet your pet’s needs, including toothbrushes, dental chews, and water additives.

About Our Dental Services

Kindness Animal Hospital in Cape Coral, FL, offers several comprehensive dental services for dogs and cats to both treat and prevent gum disease and other oral problems. These include:

  • Ultrasonic scaling
  • Polishing
  • Gum disease treatment
  • Extractions
  • Digital dental radiography (to view below the gum line)

Be proactive about your pet’s dental health, and schedule your pet’s dental appointment at Kindness Animal Hospital in Cape Coral today!

3 Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

 

Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

Are you getting ready for a road trip in 2016? If you’re bringing your best friend with you, it’s important to be prepared! Some pets travel well, but others may experience anxiety or motion sickness, in addition to the general discomfort that is often associated with a new experience of any kind.

At Kindness Animal Hospital, we make your pet’s needs our priority and we have a few tips to help you keep your pet safe and happy while road tripping.

  1. If your pet is experiencing motion sickness or anxiety (which is often the cause of car sickness) in the car, talk with us about how to handle it before your trip. This way, you can practice using medications or other anxiety intervention options and make sure that your pet is comfortable and happy for their trip!
  2. Give your pet their own space in the vehicle. Generally, a travel crate is the preferred option for most traveling pets as they get to have their own familiar space. Pet owners often prefer crates too because then their pet can’t wander all over the vehicle. Just make sure they are secured in the event of an accident!
  3. Pack for your pet’s needs. Be sure to have enough food, medication, water, etc. for the duration of your trip. If your pet needs preventive medicines during the trip, make sure you bring those with you also. It can be helpful to have a copy of your pet’s medical records and their microchip identification number available in the event of any emergencies on the trip.

Is your road trip coming up? Be sure to think about your pet as you plan your vacation. Talk with the team at Kindness Animal Hospital if you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s safety and enjoyment. We want your whole family to have a great—and safe—time!

How to Protect Your Pet from Leptospirosis

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Before you take your four-legged friend for a nice afternoon walk, or let them play outside for a few hours, there’s something you should know. There may be danger lurking beneath the waters or living in any moist areas of your yard. That danger is leptospirosis, and without treatment, it can be deadly.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that’s spread through the urine of wildlife. Of course, wild animals can urinate anywhere, whether it’s in a pond or just on the grass, and yes, this includes your backyard. So if your pet decided to drink that same stagnant pond water or eat that same grass with the contaminated urine in it, they can become infected with leptospirosis. And unlike other conditions that affect animals, leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be transferred to humans. Children are especially at risk.

Kindness Animal Hospital in Cape Coral, FL, recommends that you protect your pet from leptospirosis by vaccinating them against this potentially fatal disease. There are many pet vaccines that are important for your companion’s health, and the leptospirosis vaccine is one of them.

Common Symptoms of Leptospirosis

When an animal becomes infected with leptospirosis, the infection can spread throughout the body, including the liver and kidneys, and various symptoms ensue. If treatment isn’t sought, leptospirosis can be fatal in extreme cases. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Sore muscles
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid dehydration
  • Irregular pulse
  • Shivering

If you live in or around the Cape Coral, Fort Myers, or Pine Island area, give us a call to have your pet vaccinated against leptospirosis.

Pet Dentistry in Cape Coral

Pet Dentistry in Cape Coral, FL

Bad breath, brownish-yellow tartar buildup, swollen gums. If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms in your pet, it’s time for a dental cleaning. Since pets obviously can’t brush their own teeth, and some owners don’t know how to effectively brush their pets’ teeth, dental health is one of the most overlooked aspects of pets’ health. However, it should actually be one of the most important aspects, since untreated oral problems can cause gum disease and other health problems. To keep your pet’s mouth healthy and prevent gum disease, Kindness Animal Hospital in Cape Coral, FL recommends that they have a dental exam at least once a year and dental cleanings as needed.

 

Why Does My Pet Need Dental Care?

 

This is a question that many pet owners ask themselves because some think that the worst thing that can happen to a pet that DOESN’T have regular dental care is bad breath. But the truth is, poor oral hygiene can lead to far worse conditions than just bad breath. Tartar buildup can progress to gum disease, which can eventually affect the heart, livers, or kidneys, putting your furry friend’s life at risk.

 

According to the American Veterinary Dental College, more than half of all dogs and cats have some form of gum disease by just 3 years of age. Also keep in mind that many oral problems are accompanied with pain and may result in the need for teeth extractions. This is why it’s so critical to bring your pet to Kindness Animal Hospital at least once a year for a dental exam so we can determine if a comprehensive cleaning is necessary.

 

What Does a Pet Dental Cleaning Include?

 

For your pet’s safety, we perform all of our dental services under general anesthesia. We begin by first examining your pet and performing pre-anesthetic blood work to be sure that your pet is healthy enough for the procedure. The cleaning procedure itself begins with a thorough oral examination, followed by ultrasonic scaling and polishing. We also use digital dental X-rays to view below the gum line, since this is where many dental problems are found. We then document our findings to determine if advanced treatment is necessary.

 

How Can I Care for My Pet’s Teeth from Home?

 

It’s best to start brushing your dog’s or cat’s teeth from home during puppyhood/kittenhood, but it’s never too late to start. Always use a gentle, gradual approach when brushing your pet’s teeth. For the best results, we advise brushing your pet’s teeth several times a week. We can give you our recommendations on the best tooth brushes, pastes, chew toys, and other oral products to maintain your pet’s dental health from home. With regular at-home dental care, you can reduce or eliminate the risk of gum disease for your pet.

 

Schedule your pet’s dental exam at Kindness Animal Hospital in Cape Coral today and be proactive about their oral health.