Sunday, February 1, 2009

Happy "Pet Dental Health Month"

That's right, in addition to black history month, February is dedicated to increasing awareness of pet dental health. (Doing some quick research I discovered there are over 10 things for which February is known, and found it ironic that this website claims it is both "Children's Dental Health Month" and "National Snack Food Month." Nice.)

Here are some quick "Pet Dental Health" fun facts:
  • Over 85% of dogs and cats over 4 years old have periodontal concerns.
  • You should brush your pets teeth daily, but not with people toothpaste. Ask your veterinarian for special animal toothpaste.
  • Plaque will first show up as yellow or brown staining where the teeth meet the gums. If you notice this, it's time for a visit to the vet.
  • If you notice this in your own mouth, definitely go see the dentist - but please see someone other than me.
  • Hard food in your pet's diet can help remove plaque, but is no replacement for regular brushing.
  • In most animals, flossing is not necessary because of the open spaces between the teeth.
  • Sharks actually have "wimpy" bites, and are only dangerous because their teeth are so sharp. More on that here.

More resources:
Dental Health Should be a High Priority for your Pet
Periodontal Disease in Pets
FAQ about Toothbrushing and Cleanings in Dogs and Cats
Your local veterinarian

Lastly, here's a couple of doggie dental stories I found amusing:

1. This account of a British dog who spent the day with his teeth glued together from biting into a fast-food menu that came with the mail. The dog, who had been trained to retrieve the mail, apparently couldn't open his mouth, which necessitated a trip to the vet.

2. This blog-post about "MacKenzie Boy," a Boston Terrier located in the state of Washington, who in 1938 was given a full set of dentures. He is believed to be the first dog to ever wear dentures. The little snippet of an aritcle shows the dog being fitted for the dentures, but doesn't go into a lot of detail. Call me a skeptic, but I have my doubts as to whether the dog was indeed able to succesfully masticate using the prostheses. It's hard enough to get people accustomed to new dentures, working with a dog would seem downright impossible!

1 comment:

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