February is Pet Dental Health Month! Fido and Fluffy may never have minty-fresh breath, but that doesn’t mean that dental care isn’t important for them. In fact, dogs and cats can suffer from a variety of painful dental issues. Toothaches are no more fun for pets than they are for people! A Fort Collins, CO vet lists some warning signs to look for in this article.
If Fido’s affectionate smooches can kill house plants, it’s probably time to have his choppers examined. Bad breath is one of the most common signs of dental troubles. (Note: This can also be indicative of many different health issues.)
Bleeding gums are another indication that something is going on. You may also notice smears of blood on Fido’s dishes or toys.
That unsightly buildup on Fido’s teeth is often a sign that there is something more insidious going on beneath his gums. Tartar buildup has been linked to gum disease, which is unfortunately very common in our canine pals. Gum disease is very concerning, because it has been associated with some very serious health conditions, such as heart disease and liver trouble.
While some pups are naturally, well, a bit slobbery, excessive drool is often a sign that something is wrong. Ropy, stringy, or bloody saliva is also a red flag.
If your canine friend’s teeth are bothering him, he may not eat as much or as quickly as he used to. You may also notice Fido chewing on one side of his mouth, taking longer eating, or dribbling food out of his mouth. Some dogs will also lose interest in harder foods.
Dogs use their mouths to play, so it’s really no surprise that dental issues can put a damper on their spirits. If Fido’s teeth hurt, you may notice that his favorite toys are gathering dust.
As you probably know, toothaches aren’t much of a mood booster. This is true for dogs, too! Your four-legged friend may act a bit cranky and/or withdrawn. Fido may also shy away if you try to touch his face. Or, he may just seem uncharacteristically sad and mopey.
As your Fort Collins, CO veterinary clinic, we’re happy to answer any questions about your pet’s health or care. Please feel free to contact us anytime!