Essential Oral Hygiene Tips for your pets
Dental disease is one of the most common conditions seen by vets in cats and dogs today. Surveys show that after the age of three years, about seven out of ten pets have some kind of dental disorders. If left unattended these may cause irreversible damage to their teeth, gums or even the jawbones. Stopping the build-up of plaque can help prevent dental disease.
Plaque harbours bacteria, which can infect gum tissue and the roots of teeth, causing disease and tooth loss. The bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and may cause damage to other organs. Recent studies have shown that heart, liver and kidney disease can be associated with these bacteria.
What are the signs of poor oral health?
- Persistent bad breath
- Sensitivity around mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty eating and chewing food
- Pawing at mouth
- Losing or missing teeth
- Bleeding, inflamed or receding gums
- Tartar (creamy-brown hard material on teeth)
Neutering – When should I get my pet neutered?
We recommended neutering both male and female cats from about 5-6 months of age. Female cats who are not neutered could become pregnant (assuming they go outdoors!) and potentially produce unwanted kittens. Male cats who are left un-neutered are more likely to roam, get into fights and go missing.
If you are not planning to breed, we advise female dogs are neutered three months after their first season, but this can be breed dependent. This prevents, potentially fatal womb infections, future season, phantom pregnancies and more. Male dogs should be considered on a case by case basis – we do not recommend blanket neutering or performing the procedure before 12 months of age. If you are thinking of having your dog castrated, please speak to the vet for more specific advice.
Routine neutering of rabbits is recommended. We can normally do this from 4 months of age.