Dental Care For Your Pet-February 2018

Dental Care For Your Pet

Have you noticed your pet’s pearly whites are covered by tartar and plaque?  Has their breath been smelly when they give you kisses?  Caring for your pet’s teeth is a critical part of their wellness. Plaque and tartar carry bacteria that can enter your pet’s bloodstream and cause heart, lung, and kidney disease.  Everyday we brush our own teeth, but what about our pets?  They could really use our help to keep those pearly whites pearly.  Developing regular tooth brushing routines and preventative care will help to prevent periodontal issues in the future, saving you money as well the stress of major periodontal problems your pet could encounter.

Image result for brushing your pets teethBrushing Your Pet’s Teeth

We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth daily as the best way to prevent the buildup of tartar, as well as inflammation of the gums.  However, any teeth brushing that you are able to do at all will make a difference.  The physical motion of the bristles over your pet’s teeth helps disturb bacterial film that forms on the teeth.  When you brush your pet’s teeth, concentrate on the surface of the the teeth that contact the cheek.  If you finish the surfaces that touch the cheek, you can then try to cover the other three surfaces of the tooth.  Don’t worry if you’re not able to clean all four surfaces of the tooth as the majority of tartar builds up on the cheek (buccal) surface.  

You need to be sure to use a dog or cat specific toothpaste.  Never use a human toothpaste as swallowing this can harm your pet.  There are a variety of toothbrush options, including a finger brush or a soft bristle human toothbrush.  Image result for brushing teeth cat teeth

Don’t worry if you’ve never brushed your pets teeth before. It’s never too late to start!  It is most helpful to get a young animal used to having his/her mouth and teeth handled with frequent short sessions and positive reinforcement.  If your pet is not a puppy or kitten, then the same principles can be used especially with the help of a fun reward that follows.  Keeping a tooth brushing session short and sweet with an activity afterwards that your pet enjoys such as a walk or a healthy treat is very helpful to the learning process.  We are always happy to over the tooth brushing process with you, or refer you to helpful videos such as this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB3GIAgrTPE

While you are brushing your pet’s teeth, please keep an eye out for teeth that are loose, broken, or painful.  Take a look also at your pet’s gums to see if there is any swelling, bleeding, or masses.  Note if your pet may also have any appetite loss, dropping of food from his/her mouth, and unusual chewing or drooling.  Pay attention to any attitude changes your pet may have, as irritability can be a sign of oral discomfort.  Any of the above observations mean that your pet needs to have an oral exam by your veterinarian.  It is important to address these issues early so that they can be nipped in the bud.

Professional Dental Cleanings

The American Animal Hospital Association recommends that your pet’s teeth be professionally cleaned annually beginning at one year old for cats and small dogs and starting at two years for large breed Image result for veterinary dog teeth cleaningdogs.  In preparation for a professional cleaning, your pet will have pre-anesthetic bloodwork performed to be sure that he/she is a safe candidate for anesthesia.  Your pet will be sedated, intubated, and carefully monitored under anesthesia for the procedure.  During this time, your veterinarian is able to do a complete oral exam looking for periodontal disease and oral tumors.  Since we are only able to do a brief oral exam in most awake patients, this is the best time for your pets whole mouth to be examined. Scaling is performed to remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline, which is very important to the health of your pets’ teeth. Scaling is followed by polishing with paste that smooths over the enamel surfaces.  Fluoride or another type of barrier sealant is then applied to all surfaces of the teeth that act to repel plaque.  

Image result for oravet chewsDental Chews, Treats, and Toys

While frequent tooth brushing is the best way to prevent and remove the buildup of plaque and tartar, dental specific treats and toys can be a helpful adjunct to regular tooth brushing.  One thing to keep in mind is that a dental chew will not clean all four surfaces of the teeth due to the way pets chew.  This means that just the incisal surface of a tooth is cleaned, rather than the part of the tooth nearest the gums where plaque and tartar are most likely to accumulate.  Treats that have the Veterinary Oral Health Council have met quality standards for removal of plaque and reducing tartar. Monitor your pet to ensure that they are actually chewing the dental chew or treat in order to receive the most benefit. As always, please use caution when giving your pets treats and chews to ensure that they do not choke or swallow these chews whole.  Never give your pets bones, cow hooves, pig ears, plastic bottles, antlers, or rawhides.  

Image result for oratene water additiveWater Additives, Rinses, and Sprays

Water additives, rinses, and sprays help to reduce the bacterial load in a pet’s mouth.  Oratene and AquaDent are examples of water additive products that act as safe to swallow mouth washes.  Oral rinses like DentaHex can sprayed over your pet’s teeth daily to also help keep bacterial numbers down.  We also offer Leba-III spray that can help the healthy bacterial balance in the mouth.  

Foods to Promote Dental CareImage result for hill's t/d feline

Dry foods have more abrasive activity on the teeth than canned food to help remove tartar and plaque.  Dry foods are also less likely to get packed in between the teeth and in the gingival (gum) crevices.  Plaque and tartar will still accumulate on teeth in spite of feeding your pet a dry diet even a dental diet.  Always keep in mind that a dental diet does not replace regular teeth brushing.  Some dental diets include Canine and Feline t/d and Science Diet Oral Care and Eukanuba Dental Defense Diet.Here is a link that provides a list of dental diets:

http://www.vohc.org/VOHCAcceptedProductsTable_Dogs.pdf

 

Sources:

-AVMA Pet Dental Care

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Pet-Dental-Care.aspx

-AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats

https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/about_aaha/why_accreditation_matters/guidelines_position_statements/aaha_dental_care_guidelines_for_dogs_and_cats.aspx

-American Veterinary Dental College

https://www.avdc.org/ownersinfo.html

Health Theme Months for 2018

Health Theme Months for 2018

January: Weight Loss and Healthy Joints
February: Dental Health Month
March: Lyme Awareness
April: Parasite Prevention Month
May: Alleviating Allergies Month
June: Addressing Anxiety Month
July and August: No theme
September: Senior Pet Month (10% Wellness Bloodwork)
October: Dental Health Month
Novemeber: 10% off Microchipping Month
December: Discount on Healthy Treats

Microchip-10% off for the month of November


During the month of November, Catlett Animal Hospital is offerring 10% off Microchipping all dogs and cats!!

Read below for more information..

 

Microchipping your pets

Hundreds of dogs and cats go missing every year. Eventually, they are found and brought to the local animal shelter where volunteers desperately search for the animal’s owner often with little to no success. Along the same lines, owners of lost animals will contact local shelters, put up flyers, and use technology (such as facebook and shelter pages) in hopes that they will find their lost pet. Even with all of this, most pets are never returned to their homes.

You might think that collars and/or identification tags would aid in helping return pets home. This is a false hope however. Sometimes during their time astray, collars and/or tags often slip off. Thankfully, there is a small device that will help aid in identification for lost pets handed into the local shelters: a microhip.

Microchipping is an important element of pet identification. This is a small glass cylinder about the size of a grain of rice that contains a radio transmitter and an electronic device containing the animal’s ID number. This number links to your contact information in an online registry that allows shelters, clinics, veterinarians, and humane organizations to contact you if your lost pet is found. This microchip is not a tracking device that can be used to pinpoint a pet’s exact location. It simply holds a code that is linked to your contact information. This device is injected just under the skin between the shoulder blades similar to any standard injection procedure. However, to accommodate the microchip, it does require a slightly larger needle. This chip will last over 25 years, which is well beyond the lifespan of most pets. According to a 2009 study, it was found that cats with microchips were 20 times more likely to be returned home than cats without, while dogs were 2.5 times more likely to be returned home than those without.

It is important to know that in order for a microchip to work, you will need to register the microchip and keep your contact information up-to-date. These devices are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they depend on the information you provide. Ensure that you continue to update your information and provide multiple emergency contacts. Here at Catlett Animal Hospital we will microchip your pet for a one time 10% discounted fee. Ask any of our receptionists, technicians, and veterinarians for more information: 540-788-6094

Arthritis and Degenerative joint disease treatments

Dasuquin Advanced (joint supplement)

Dasuquin Advanced is an amazing joint supplement. It works by giving your dog or cat’s body what it needs to heal the cartilage in his or her joints. It comes in two formulations: tablets and chews. There is no difference in quality or efficacy between the two forms. There is no generic equivalent to this product.

Dasuquin Advanced contains ASU which scientifically proven to reverse cartilage damage and increase joint health. This type of break through with a holistic oral joint supplement has never happened in veterinary medicine before. This makes Dasuquin Advanced the most effective supplement on the market for dog with early arthritis (DJD).

Some of the other ingredients in Dasuquin Advanced, hyaluronic acid, MSM, and glucosamine, have a long history of improving joint health in patients. Evidence of this was seen with the efficacy of Dasuquin and Dasuquin with MSM increasing joint mobility, decreasing joint inflammation and lessening joint pain in many canine and feline patients treated with these products.

Find more information: http://www.dasuquin.com/en/dasuquin-advanced-soft-chews/

 

Dasuquin for Cats

For more information: http://www.dasuquin.com/en/products/#cat

Movoflex

Moviflex is a new joint supplement made specifically for dogs. It is made from egg shell membrane. It also contains Hyaluronic, vitamin D, and Boswellia serrata extract. This joint supplement works very well for patients with early joint disease. It is also great for dogs with food allergies. It contains no gluten, sugar, salt, or shellfish.

Find more information:  https://us.virbac.com/product/supplements/movoflex-soft-chews

 

NSAIDs and other pain medications for achy joints

Pain and inflammation are major factors in feline and canine arthritis. This pain becomes crippling in older patients. Running, stairs, and sometimes walking are painful. Patients become obese and this extra weight leads to further strain on the joints resulting in pain and inflammation. Keeping these patients strong and a good weight is a very important part of managing their arthritis.

NSAIDs are pain and fever reducing medications that decrease the inflammation in the joints. As a result, pain decreases, and patients are able to move more freely.

NSAIDs can have side effects such as liver disease and kidney disease in cats and dogs. In cats, these risks are too high. NSAIDs are used very, very rarely in them and only in extreme cases. NSAID use in dogs is relatively safe. We do have to monitor their kidney and liver values closely though. We do bloodwork before starting the NSAID. Then, we do it once every six months. This helps get the dog the pain relief it needs to be happy and healthy, and it maintains the health and safety of the patient.

 

Cold laser therapy (to decrease pain, reduce inflammation, and speed healing)

 

For more information: http://ivcjournal.com/laser-therapy-veterinary-medicine/

Adequan (to strengthen and rebuild the cartilage in the joint)

 

For more information on this therapy: https://www.adequancanine.us/

Joint/Mobility foods

 

Purina J/M: https://www.proplanveterinarydiets.com/products/jm-joint-mobility-dog/

Hill’s J/D: http://www.hillspet.com/en/us/products/pd-canine-jd-dry

Joint injections (Hyaluronic Acid)

For more information: http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/surgery-stat-intra-articular-therapies-elbow-dogs

Anti-Anxiety Medications for Cats

Solliquin for cats: Solliquin is a natural remedy for anxiety. It contains: L-theanine, Magnolia/Phellodendron, and Whey Protein Concentrate. L- theanine is naturally found in green tea. It’s role in controlling anxiety is to boost the production of brain waves that create relaxation.

For more information please visit: http://www.solliquin.com/

Feliway®: FELIWAY® Spray mimics feline facial pheromone, which every cat will recognize as comforting and calming. FELIWAY® is effective in reducing (or possibly eliminating) inappropriate urination and scratching. We see improvement in 7 days most of the time. FELIWAY® spray lasts 4-5 hours. Spray where the cat is marking using 8-10 sprays twice daily for 30 days. FELIWAY® is not a sedative, and it does not go systemic. It has no known contraindications or warnings. It is perfectly safe. Cats don’t want to scratch or spray where they detect the feline facial pheromone.

FELIWAY® MultiCat: FELIWAY® MultiCat is similar to the pheromone that appeases and encourages social bonding. It also comforts and calms. It’s main function is helping with cat conflicts and introducing new cats. It calms cats during social interactions. According to the makers of Feliway, “After using FELIWAY® MultiCat, 84% of cat owners saw their cats getting along significantly better.”. Improvement is seen within 21 days of use. FELIWAY® MultiCat is non-sedating and non-systemic. It has no known contraindications with any other treatment.

Prozac/Fluoxetine HCl:

This medication is the same as what is used in other species (humans, horses, etc). It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and acts as an antidepressant. Serotonin is a “feel good” hormone. It changes the brain chemistry in our patients to help them feel a strong sense of happiness and well-being.

Often, our veterinarians try to use these kinds of medications (Prozac and Alprazolam) after all other treatments have not worked. Before we can put your pet on this medication, it is recommended that we check bloodwork to make sure that your pet is systemically normal. Prozac is processed by the liver. So, any patients with liver compromise will not be allowed to use this medication. After beginning this medication, we recheck bloodwork every six months to make sure that the liver values and other blood work values remain normal.

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