Have you examined your pet’s teeth lately? Could the reason for their lack of appetite or bad breath actually be periodontinitis?
As part of National Pet Dental Month, Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital is offering free dental exams for pets from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Feb. 23. Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling the dental receptionist at the small animal desk at (970) 221-4535.
Examinations are open to all animals, regardless of age, and they need not have been previously treated by the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. This free service is an examination only, and will include a written evaluation for use by the family veterinarian. It does not include teeth cleaning or treatment for disease.
"Dental health is a serious issue for animals. If not cleaned regularly, plaque can build up and lead to some real problems," said Dr. Lynne Kesel, veterinarian and specialist in pet dental health. "Periodontal disease can lead to more than just loss of teeth. Kidney disease, respiratory diseases and other infections are related to poor dental hygiene."
After a full oral exam, each animal will receive a written evaluation of the mouth for use by the family veterinarian. Kesel also will offer instruction on how to properly clean a pet’s teeth.
Kesel recommends that owners brush their pets’ teeth regularly, at least twice a week, and advises that there are several good commercial tooth-cleaning products available. Never use human toothpaste, Kesel warns, since it contains a detergent that should not be swallowed by animals.
"It’s not as difficult as people think and, if properly rewarded afterward, some pets respond positively to the ritual," Kesel said.