Pantops Pet Salon
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Pantops Pet Salon & Spa
Charlottesville's Professional Dog Grooming

It's what we do -- it's all we do.

(434) 293-2424
Fax: (434) 293-8231
504 Pantops Center
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Oral Health

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007 by Jenna

We don’t usually think about our pets needing a visit to the dentist, but maybe we should. By age 3 about 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of dental disease. It is more common in older pets and small dogs who have overcrowded or misaligned teeth which are more difficult to keep clean. The symptoms of dental disease include bad breath, sore mouth, dribbling, yellow or brown tartar, bleeding gums, pawing the mouth, loose teeth, tooth loss, and difficulty eating.

Usually the cause of these symptoms is a buildup of hardened plaque which can lead to gingivitis (inflamed gums) and further progress to periodontal disease. Oral health is not just about teeth—poor oral health actually can affect organs in the body. The toxins are transferred through the blood stream to cause infections in the liver, kidneys and brain.

Talk to your veterinarian about preventive care for your pet’s teeth. Care may include specially designed toys, large kibble (wet foods build plaque more rapidly), and even tooth brushing!  Some grooming shops are now offering some sort of dental care as part of the grooming visit, but cleaning every 6 to 8 weeks really isn’t the answer. ….can you imagine brushing your teeth at that frequency? Doubt most dogs would put up with it. Oral hygiene should be done several times a week by the owner starting as a puppy so they can learn to accept this just as they would a grooming session. We carry tooth brushes and paste, in addition to dental wipes, here at the salon.

Click here for more details about oral health for dogs as well as a chart including pictures of dog teeth with varying degrees of dental disease.

Also keep an eye out for the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of acceptance for products that have met their standards.

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