Special breeds have special needs!

There’s a lot to love about welcoming a particular breed of dog or cat into your family. Whilst there is always variation between individual animals, many owners like the predictability of knowing the likely temperament, grooming requirements, activity levels, full-grown size, and appearance of their future pet. 

Additionally, given that some breeds can be predisposed to certain common genetic issues, owners can actually get some peace of mind in knowing what health problems their pet is more likely to develop, so they can be prepared for any potential care requirements.

It’s best to research a breed thoroughly before obtaining your pet. Be realistic about your lifestyle, and the amount of time you have to care for your pet each day (e.g. for exercise, grooming, training, etc) and the type of environment you can provide. There are many “breed selector” tools available online to help guide you towards an animal suited to your lifestyle.

Thorough research prior to selecting your pet will make you aware of any potential genetic issues your breed of choice may be predisposed to. In some cases, there may be preventative measures you can take to help screen or manage your pet for these issues. In other cases, it just helps to be aware so you can monitor your pet for symptoms and seek help from our veterinary team if you have any concerns.

Examples of potential issues in popular pet breeds can include:

  • Greater exercise and mental stimulation requirements in high-energy/working dog breeds such as border collies, kelpies, German shepherds and beagles
  • Airway/respiratory issues in brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds such as pugs, French bulldogs, English bulldogs, and Persian cats
  • Spinal issues (intervertebral disc disease) in short-legged dog breeds such as dachshunds, corgis, or basset hounds
  • Heart disease in cavalier King Charles spaniels, dobermanns, and maine coon cats
  • Eyelid issues (entropian) in shar-pei dogs
  • Skin or ear allergy issues in poodle crosses, lagottos, French bulldogs and staffies
  • Elbow or hip disease (dysplasia) in labradors, German shepherds and golden retrievers
  • Increased skin and coat care requirements in sphynx cats, or long-haired cats such as ragdolls or birmans

It’s also a great idea to speak with our veterinary team if you are thinking of purchasing a new purebred pet (or have recently purchased one), as we can discuss any common health issues seen in that breed, and explain the potential management and treatment options available.

Once you’ve made the decision on your chosen breed, ensure you source your pet from a reputable breeder. Our veterinarians will sometimes work with breeders, so feel free to ask us for recommendations. Otherwise, there are trusted resources online such as  rightpaw.com.au and dogzonline.com.au.

Chat to at least a couple of breeders, and make sure to ask about any health testing they perform on their animals. It’s also strongly recommended visiting their premises, to ensure that animals are being kept in good conditions with lots of human contact, and both parents appear to be healthy and friendly. The temperament of the parents has a direct correlation to the temperament and personality of your new family member.

These measures should help set you and your new companion up for many years of happy, healthy fun and snuggles! 

Protecting your pet with vaccinations and flea/tick prevention

Vaccinations are vital

Regularly vaccinating your pet is important to protect them against various potentially fatal or debilitating infectious diseases. During a consultation, we can discuss with you the most appropriate vaccination protocol for your pet to keep them healthy.

Our vets will advise the type of vaccination which will be best for your pet, taking into account your pet’s age and lifestyle – such as whether they are mainly indoors or outdoors, and any risk factors that they might be exposed to.

We follow current world guidelines on vaccine types and frequency of use to ensure your pet is best protected from disease. If your pet has any health problems of concern, or a history of autoimmune disease, we may recommend titre testing to check the pets level of immunity which can then guide the vaccination protocol.

Similar to when us humans get our vaccinations, when your pet has a vaccination there is sometimes some mild pain or discomfort at the site of the vaccination injection. However, pets have a lot looser skin than people, and the vaccination injections are given subcutaneously to pets instead of into the muscle like with us. Some pet vaccinations, such as for canine cough, can also be given orally or sprayed into the nose.

We will be able to explain any common things to be aware of after your pet has had their vaccination, and what to do if you have any concerns. Your pet’s health and wellbeing are of paramount importance to us, so make sure to book in for your pet’s regular vaccinations today.

Flea and tick prevention is essential

By using flea and tick prevention products on your pet, you can help keep your pet healthy and prevent illness and discomfort.

With so many combination flea and tick prevention products now available, we frequently field questions from pet owners about what products to use for their pets.

Fleas are present all over Australia, and can cause severe skin irritation and infection in flea-allergic pets. Fleas can also transmit human diseases, such as cat flea typhus.

Paralysis ticks can be active on the east coast of Australia all year round. Affected animals can suffer paralysis and breathing difficulties, requiring intensive emergency care. This condition can even be fatal for pets.

Other species of tick, such as the brown dog tick and bush ticks, are mostly found in bushland areas near to waterways or the coast, and can cause local skin irritation and also transmit diseases. In northern areas of Australia, ticks can transmit dangerous diseases such as ehrlichiosis in dogs. 

A regular program of parasite prevention is recommended for all dogs and cats who go outdoors. In areas where tick-borne diseases are known to occur, it is recommended to use dual prevention with a tick repellent product plus an oral flea/tick prevention product to best protect your pet. 

Veterinary studies of flea and tick prevention products have shown these drugs to be safe and effective for pets. Please ask us about the best flea and tick protection options for your pet.

The Routines: Keeping your pet healthy

Keeping our pets happy and healthy is a top priority, so having a good handle on routine preventative health care is a great start!

Vaccination

It is recommended that all dogs and cats who go for walks outdoors or otherwise come into contact with other animals (e.g. in boarding) should be kept up-to-date with their vaccinations. This generally involves a series of three puppy/kitten vaccines, and then vaccinations every one to three years thereafter.

The vaccination regime your pet requires depends on their age and species, the environment they live in, and whether they travel or go to boarding, grooming or doggy-daycare.

Once adults, dogs should have the C3 vaccination every three years to protect them against Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvo, and then an annual booster against Kennel Cough.

Cats should have the F3 vaccination annually as a minimum, and if they venture outside they should ideally be vaccinated against FIV as well.

If you own a rabbit, it is recommended to have them vaccinated every 6 months against Calicivirus, even if they do not come into contact with other bunnies, as this virus is spread via mosquitoes.

Desexing

Unless you are confident that you have the time, resources, knowledge and finances to responsibly breed your pet, it is generally best to desex them at an appropriate age.

Entire male dogs and cats are more likely to show problem urine marking behaviour and territorial or competitive aggression. Female cats and dogs need to be protected from accidental mating whilst “on heat”, and can suffer from false pregnancy afterwards.

Desexing your pet will also prevent testicular tumours in males, and uterine cancers or infections (pyometra) in female animals.

Cats are best desexed around 4-6 months old. Small-to-medium dogs may be desexed around 6-10 months old, but it is generally recommended to delay the procedure in larger breed dogs to 12-18 months old to allow optimal joint development.

Parasite Control

There are many parasites that can not only cause uncomfortable irritations to our pets but also cause ill health and disease. It is important to protect your pet against these internal and external parasites with regular treatments and preventatives. Depending on your pet’s breed and size, there are a wide range of products available and we recommend speaking to one of our team members about which product would best suit you and your pet.

Diet

It’s important to ensure your pet is on a complete, balanced diet that is appropriate for their species and age (and any special health requirements they may have).

Whilst dogs are considered omnivores, cats are obligate carnivores and require a meat-based diet with taurine supplementation to maintain proper health.

Puppies and kittens should be on a diet designed for growth, with higher levels of protein and fat, and increased levels of balanced calcium and phosphate for bone growth. Most animals can then be transferred to an adult maintenance diet around 12 months old (or 18-24 months for large to giant breed dogs), to prevent unhealthy weight gain.

Most vets recommend the “veterinary brands” of food, as they are confident about the long-standing nutritional research that has gone into their development. These diets also come in “prescription” formulas to support animals with certain health issues, such as kidney disease, joint disease or food allergies. 

However, if you would prefer to offer your pet a home-cooked or raw diet, it’s best to ask your vet for a recommendation for a qualified veterinary nutritionist, to ensure the diet you are offering is balanced and complete. Many meats available for purchase via the supermarket or butcher do not meet the nutritional requirements for our pets and, if fed raw, can contain bacteria that can cause gastritis.

Covering these basics of routine health care will help to set your pet up for a lifetime of good health!

Tips for Medicating Your Pet

Many common veterinary treatments, such as worming products and antibiotics, require owners to regularly administer oral medications to their pet. Whilst some pets will obligingly allow tablets to be popped down their throat, or at least eat them in food, other pets can prove more difficult. Here are some vet techniques for successfully medicating those trickier pets, with less stress!

How to “hide” a tablet

Try masking the flavour and smell of tablets with a tasty coating. For cats, coat the tablet with a thin layer of cream cheese or semi-melted butter, and briefly refrigerate it to set the tablet inside. For dogs, cream cheese, peanut butter or vegemite can be good options, or try embedding the tablet in a small tasty meat treat.

It helps to get some decoy treats ready too, so you can feed your pet a few treats to set a rhythm, and then administer the medicated treat closely followed by another treat. This distracts your pet from the fact that a tablet is being administered, and gives some positive reinforcement for cooperative behaviour.

If your pet learns how to eat the tasty coating and spit out the tablet, you will need to learn how to “pill” them instead (i.e. administer the tablet directly into their throat).

How to restrain your pet for “pilling”

Learning how to perform effective, gentle restraint of your pet is very important – it allows you to quickly administer medications with less stress to your pet and reduced risk to yourself should your pet become uncooperative.

For wriggly cats or small dogs, consider any of the following techniques:

  • Wrapping them firmly in a thick blanket with their head popping out the top – often called a “purrito” for cats!
  • Kneeling on the ground with them gently trapped between your thighs.
  • Sitting them on a table, pressed back against your chest, whilst you hold around their shoulders.

For larger dogs, it’s generally best if someone gives them a firm “hug-hold” around their chest (whilst your dog stands or sits on the ground). Alternatively, try backing your dog into a corner, and get them to sit – this way they can’t back up when you start to administer the tablet.

How to administer a pill

A great starting point is to watch the Dechra Veterinary Products video, “How to pill a cat” on YouTube. If you don’t feel confident putting your fingers near your pet’s mouth, consider usage of a “Pill Popper” – check out the iCatCare video “Giving a cat a tablet – using a pill popper” on YouTube to learn more.

It also helps to have 2-3ml of water in a syringe close to hand, so you can quickly give your pet a drink as soon as you’ve “pilled” them. This will help them to swallow the tablet. Make sure to give them a tasty treat afterwards as compensation!

If you’re having trouble medicating your pet, have a chat with your friendly veterinary team! We can help you administer medications to your pet, or suggest an alternative treatment instead.

Warm weather hazards

We all love spending time outdoors on these long summer days, and our pets are no exception! The increased activity is great for their mental and physical health. To prevent some common warm-weather hazards from raining on your pet’s parade, follow these summer safety tips!

Heat stress
In hot weather, cats and dogs can be at risk of dangerous overheating. This can lead to heatstroke, a potentially fatal condition where your pet goes into a cardiovascular shock state, putting them at risk of brain, kidney, liver or heart damage.

Certain pets may be at more risk of overheating, due to reduced ability to cool themselves naturally. These include snub-nosed pets, pets with thick coats, overweight animals and animals with pre-existing respiratory issues. 

To protect your pet from overheating in hot weather:

  • Ensure they always have access to shade and cool water.
  • Only exercise your pet in the cooler early morning and evening, and keep exercise light.
  • Stop exercising your pet if they are panting heavily.
  • Never leave your pet in a car unless the air-conditioning is running and they have adult supervision.
  • On hot (over 28°C) or very humid days, keep your pet indoors with a fan or air-conditioning (especially important for at-risk pets).

Water safety
If you’re bringing your dog along for some fun water activities, it’s important to follow basic water safety guidelines as you would for a young child. Make sure your pet can only access pools under adult supervision. Not every dog is automatically a competent swimmer, so if your dog doesn’t have prior water experience, fit them with a dog life jacket, and introduce them to the water slowly. And remember, swimming is hard work! Help your dog out of the water promptly for a rest if they seem tired or are panting heavily.

Sun safety
Pets can get sunburnt just like us, particularly those with areas of pink skin on their noses, ears or bellies. Repeated sun damage can lead to nasty skin cancers, so regular protection against sunburn is best. In summer, prevent at-risk pets from sunbathing between 9:30 am – 4:00 pm. If they’re going to be outside during these hours, regularly apply a pet-safe sunscreen.

Grass seeds
From spring to summer, the grasslands in suburban and rural areas produce copious amounts of grass seeds. Some of these seeds are very sharp with backwards-facing barbs, which can get caught in your pet’s fur and embed painfully into their eyes, ears, paws or skin. From there, the seeds can migrate surprisingly deeply and cause infection. Pets may require surgical removal of seeds under anaesthetic, and sometimes  in rare occasions with specialist CT or MRI to ascertain the location of particularly deep seeds. (including ones that migrate into the abdomen and brain!)

Help prevent issues by keeping your pet well-groomed during spring and summer, with weekly brushing to remove excess undercoat, and trimmed fur around their face, ears and paws.

Provided your pet safely avoids these warm weather hazards, we’re sure they’re going to love joining their favourite person (you!) for some fun summertime activities.

Holidaying with your pet

Holidaying with your pet

Is your pet joining you for a Christmas holiday trip? Here are some basic pet travel guidelines to keep everyone merry!

Making a list and checking it twice

  • Pets away from home can easily get disoriented and lost. Before you travel, check that your pet’s microchip registration details are up-to-date. If you are unsure, use petaddress.com.au to find which registry your pet is registered with and then visit the website. Click on the owner link and type in your friends microchip number. It’s safest to make sure your pet is also wearing an ID tag or collar marked with your best contact number. 
  • Think about everything your pet will need for the trip. This often includes a secure carrier or collar/harness and lead, plus bowls, your pet’s regular food, some familiar comfortable bedding and a few “keep busy” toys or treats. If you’re bringing your cat, don’t forget to pack cat litter and a tray. For dogs, bring a decent supply of poo bags.
  • If you know your pet gets sick or stressed on car journeys, please contact us to discuss the safest options for relief medications. Mildly anxious pets may benefit from starting on a calming natural supplement like Zylkene several days prior to travel.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient supply of any regular medication your pet takes and that they’re up-to-date with parasite prevention and vaccinations.
  • If you’re travelling up the east coast of Australia make sure your pet is on a tick preventative. Ticks have travelled as far down as the coast of Victoria and are easily picked up by pets in grass and around water sources.

For the sleigh ride

  • Encourage your pet to go to the toilet before starting your journey, so they’re more likely to rest comfortably. It’s best to avoid giving your cat or dog a large meal for several hours prior to travel to reduce the potential for car-sickness.
  • 15 minutes prior to travel, apply a calming pheromone spray onto your pet’s travel bedding. For pheromone sprays, use: Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats. This can help them to feel secure during the upheaval of their normal environment and routine. Collars of these products are also available and last for one month once applied.
  • For everyone’s safety, ensure your pet is properly secured in the car. For most dogs, the safest option is usually restraint on the back seat using a safety-tested car harness and seatbelt attachment system. For cats or small dogs, it’s best to use a properly-secured travel crate. Check that the crate is large enough for your pet to stand up and lie down in comfortably, and has good airflow to prevent overheating.
  • Every two hours, stop to offer your pet some water and take dogs for a toileting walk. For long trips with a cat, it’s best to plan in advance for toileting stops at least every four hours, somewhere that you can set up a litter tray for them in a safe, confined area. Cats in unfamiliar environments may be too worried to pass urine for up to twelve hours, but it’s best to offer opportunities all the same.

If you have any concerns about taking your pet on holiday, please don’t hesitate to phone our friendly team for advice.

Keeping your pet up-to-date with parasite prevention

With increasing day length and warmer weather, most of us, including our pets, will be enjoying more time spent outdoors. It’s always important to ensure your four-legged friend is up-to-date with routine disease and parasite prevention, but especially so at a time of year when insects are more prevalent and more animals are out and about.

What vaccinations should my pet be getting?

We recommend vaccinating your K9 companions with the C5 vaccination.

This protects against deadly Parvovirus, Distemper and Hepatitis, as well as the two types of Canine Cough.

All cats are recommended to be kept up-to-date with the F3 vaccination – this helps protect them against the two types of Cat flu and Feline Panleukopenia (Feline Parvovirus). If your kitty’s lifestyle includes roaming time outside, they may also need to be vaccinated against FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) and FeLV (Feline Leukaemia Virus).

Every pup and kitten should receive a primary course of vaccines (usually three separate vaccines done four-to-six weeks apart), followed by their first adult vaccination one year later. From this point, they generally receive annual vaccines with alternating components (as not every component needs to be boosted every year).

If you are boarding your pets they are required to be up to date with their C5 or F3 vaccinations.

What parasite prevention should I give my pet?

There are lots of product options for parasite control in dogs and cats, and generally at least two products need to be used per pet for a thorough parasite prevention routine.

Any cat or dog going outdoors should regularly receive products to protect against ticks, fleas and intestinal worms. Dogs should also be on routine heartworm prevention, but this is optional in cats, as they are not the preferred host for heartworm, so are less susceptible.

For puppies and kittens, we recommend an intestinal all-wormer every two weeks up until 12 weeks old, and then continuing worming monthly until six months old. From this point, your pet should be wormed every three months. In rural areas where pets have access to livestock or if your pet is on a raw meat diet,  it is recommended to give your pet a tapeworm treatment every month in-between quarterly all-wormer doses. 

Flea and tick treatments can be covered by combination products. For dogs, there are a range of effective preventative products, including a variety of chews that last between one and three months, veterinary-strength medicated collars or topical products that last up to six months. For cats, there are topical products that last one- three months.

For heartworm prevention in dogs, you may consider an annual injection administered by one of our vets (which can be synced up with your pet’s annual check and vaccination) or a monthly chew or tablet.

As a general rule, pets should be seen for a vet check every 6 months, where we can assess your cat or dog’s general health and discuss which vaccines are required each year to maintain their protection. At this time, we can also discuss the best options for thorough parasite prevention based on your pet’s requirements.

Parasite control can be confusing with all of the different products out there so if you need help please seek advice from our friendly team!

Ditch the itch

20% off Hill’s skin and food sensitive diets! For the months of October and November 2020, we are offering 20% off Hill’s skin and food sensitive diet range for dogs and cats. Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians developed the Derm Defense, z/d and d/d food ranges especially to support pets with skin and food sensitivities. Offer ends November 30. If you think your pet is suffering from itchy skin, call us or make a booking online. If your pet does require a special diet for a skin allergy, we will be able to recommend the best Hill’s product for your pet’s particular condition. 

Itchy skin can cause absolute chaos and really affect your pet’s quality of life. One of the most common and frustrating ‘itchy skin’ conditions we see in pets is atopic dermatitis. This inflammatory condition is caused by a reaction to allergens in the environment (a bit like the common triggers of asthma and hay fever in humans). It is particularly troublesome in spring and summer but can occur all year round. 

These irritants can cause dogs to bite, lick or scratch themselves with their legs, and cats to over-groom (constantly lick) certain areas, causing hair loss. This itchiness can be excruciatingly annoying for your pet, and if left untreated can quickly lead to trauma of the skin and secondary skin infections. 

Allergens that might cause a problem include: grasses, trees, plant pollen, dust mites, insects, and moulds. The signs associated with itchy skin generally consist of itching, scratching, rubbing, biting, and licking. 

Diagnosis and management of itchy skin relies on a good history of your pet’s symptoms and a thorough physical examination. It is essential that all potential parasitic causes and food allergies are ruled out. Your pet may also undergo further allergy testing and these results can be used to formulate a unique desensitising allergy vaccine.

The good news is that there are some exciting new immunotherapy drugs available that have minimal side effects, and can greatly improve your dog’s comfort and quality of life. 

Our top skin care tips for your pet

When it comes to managing the itchy pet, there is no magic pill. It’s all about prevention of parasites and taking action before things get out of control. Here are our top tips for healthy skin:

  1. Be vigilant with flea treatment all year round for all pets in your family. Fleas are the major cause of an itchy pet and regular use of a flea treatment is easier and cheaper than trying to get rid of the itch. Ask us for the best flea treatment available for your pet, including those that provide protection for a few months at a time.
  1. A premium diet balanced is essential to keep your pet’s skin and coat in top shape. This will provide a good barrier against potential allergens – ask us for a recommendation.
  1. Always wash your dog in pet-approved shampoo and conditioner. A product containing ceramides can help rebuild the epidermal barrier and reduce allergen exposure – ask us for more information.
  1. Medication to help reduce the immune system’s response to the allergen can greatly reduce an itch and these can be used during flare-ups and for ongoing management – we can provide you with more information so chat with us about what’s suitable for your pet.
  1. And finally, if you notice your pet is itching, licking, biting, or rubbing, you should arrange a check up with us ASAP. The sooner we settle the itch, the less likely your pet is to cause self trauma and secondary skin infections.

If you have an itchy pet at your house it is best arrange an appointment with us. We will help keep your pet happy, healthy and comfortable.

A little bit of wee goes a long way

A urine test is a simple and effective method for us to check the health of your pet’s urinary system. A urine test provides a large amount of information on the health of your pet and can be helpful in identifying conditions such as bladder stones and obstructions, kidney disease, diabetes, urinary tract infections, and other metabolic conditions. In this blog, we look at two conditions which can be detected with testing a urine sample and how you can collect a sample from your pet at home.  

Kidney disease

Just like humans, our pets have kidneys too. The role of the kidneys is to:

  • Filter out waste from the blood to produce urine.
  • Maintain the balance of fluids and electrolytes within the body.
  • Produce hormones and enzymes that help regulate various metabolic functions throughout the body. 

When there is a problem with any aspect of the kidneys’ function, this is referred to as kidney disease or renal failure. 

A urine test, combined with a blood test, can measure different enzymes and substances in the urine and blood to determine if the kidneys are functioning normally. Further diagnostic tests may often also be indicated, including imaging (x-rays or ultrasound), blood pressure measurement and further blood tests. 

Bladder stones and obstructions 

Bladder stones are rock-like accumulations of minerals which can form in the bladder. The bladder stones can occur as a few larger stones or multiple smaller stones. The smaller stones can sometimes block the urethra, which is the outflow tube from the bladder, causing pain or difficulty with urination. 

If the bladder cannot empty urine, not only is this painful for the pet, but the toxic products that are normally excreted out of the body in urine build up in the bloodstream and can result in kidney damage and other problems. A blocked bladder is also at risk of rupturing, which is painful and results in urine leaking into the abdominal cavity causing disease.

Depending on their size, number and location, bladder stones can often be diagnosed via a combination of urine tests, physical examination and imaging (x-rays). 

How to collect a urine sample

If you notice a change in your pet’s urination, such as discoloured urine or increased frequency of urination, then we recommend booking them in for a health check and a urinalysis.

You can even collect a urine sample on the day of the appointment to help save time.

With dogs, collecting a urine sample is usually a matter of waiting until they go to urinate, and then catching a sample of the urine into a clean and dry container such as a plastic bowl or jar. Once the sample is collected, you can bring it into the vet hospital along with your pet for testing.

For cats, collecting a urine sample can be a bit trickier. If your cat uses a plastic litter tray, you can remove the cat litter and replace it with a non-absorbent crystal litter (available from the clinic), and then when the cat urinates you can tip a small amount of urine from the tray into a clean plastic container. 

If you collect the sample prior to your appointment please refrigerate it until your visit to help preserve the sample.

If you’re unable to collect a urine sample from your cat at home one of our vets will be able to collect it during the consult, provided your feline friend hasn’t visited the tray just prior. We can sometimes palpate and express a cat’s bladder to collect a urine sample. If this is not possible, we may consider using a technique called cystocentesis, which involves collecting a urine sample from the bladder by passing a needle through the abdomen – we can explain this procedure in more detail if it is recommended. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly veterinary team.

Taking care of teeth at home

The development of dental disease in pets can be affected by the animal’s breed, oral anatomy, diet and age. Dental disease is one of the most common problems we see in veterinary practice and it needs to be managed with a multi-targeted approach. Regular check-ups with the vet will help to identify any dental issues your pet might be hiding, and there are several important things you can do at home to help your pet’s teeth stay healthy.

What causes dental disease?

When particles of food and bacteria accumulate along the gum line, they combine with saliva to form plaque. If this plaque builds up, then tartar and bacteria accumulate too. The presence of this tartar and bacteria leads to inflammation around the gum line, a condition known as gingivitis.

As dental disease progresses, teeth can become eroded and the gum tissue infected. Once this happens, your pet can suffer from bone and tissue damage, and wobbly, rotten teeth. These changes can be severely painful and can significantly affect your pet’s quality of life.

Sometimes, even with all the best dental prevention measures in place, your pet may still need a dental procedure at some point. An excellent example of this is a dog who fractures a tooth chewing on something! The fractured tooth needs to be assessed by the vet and is usually extracted, as exposure of the tooth nerves can be painful and also lead to infection.

Brushing is best!

Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is considered gold standard in-home care. Keep in mind that it may take some time for your pet to get used to the idea, however even if you only manage to do this occasionally, it is better than no brushing at all. If you are using a dental toothpaste, make sure it is pet-friendly (human toothpaste is toxic to pets). Ask us for a tooth brushing demonstration!

Make every mouthful count

We have excellent dental diets available designed to help clean your pet’s teeth as they chew. Speak to our friendly team for more information about the best diet to feed your pet.

Signs of dental disease in dogs and cats:

  • Bad breath
  • Yellow or brown staining on the teeth
  • Redness of the gums around the teeth
  • Bleeding gums or excessive drooling
  • A loss of appetite or weight loss

What to do if you think your pet has dental disease

Dental disease is painful and can impact the overall health of your pet as the bacteria enter the bloodstream and make their way around your pet’s body.

If we diagnose the dental disease early enough, we can implement a treatment plan and slow the progression of this condition. Correct management of dental disease means your pet will lead a happier and healthier life and, in most cases, be less likely to need major dental procedures during their life, so it’s vitally important to keep an eye out for dental disease in your pet. 

We strongly recommend getting your pet in for a dental check-up if you haven’t done so in the past 12 months. Ask us for further advice on dental disease prevention for your pet.