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Clean teeth make for a healthier kitty

It is important for cat parents to keep their furry friend's teeth clean.
It is important for cat parents to keep their furry friend's teeth clean.
Pet News and Views

Before animals were domesticated, who knows all of the ways that they kept their teeth healthy? The usual suspects are ordinarily the reason for good oral health; chewing on bones, bark, and other suck items that tend to keep an animal’s teeth free from debris and keep gums healthy, too.

Veterinarians recommend that pet parents brush their dog’s teeth, but who would think that the same would go for the feline members of the family? It only goes to show that it makes a great deal of sense!

Some people are as adamant about oral health with their pets as they are with themselves; brushing the animal’s teeth regularly during the week – two or three times, but some people even go through the ritual daily. What great pet parents they are!

If you introduce teeth brushing to your pet at an early age, they simply come to expect it and actually seem to miss it as they feel it is a symbol of love; a bonding time of sorts. Not only is it good physically for kitty, but mentally, too.

Just as with humans or canines, felines can have dental issues. One sure sign that something is amiss is if a foul odor emanates from their mouth. Another is if the kitty seems to drip saliva on a regular basis. If kitty won’t eat, you know there is a problem!

Cats may develop cavities. If the cavities get too bad, their teeth may actually begin to rot and have to be pulled. But there may be hidden issues in the rest of the body that may stem from the poor hygiene. The same symptoms, without tooth decay, can mean that an issue has arisen somewhere else in your animal’s body.

In a cat, kidney disease may stem from poor hygiene or be the result of it. The same goes for feline leukemia, respiratory issues, liver disease or even diabetes. The best of the worst is simply periodontal disease, although it can be extremely painful for your furry friend.

Ordinarily, a healthy cat’s breath should not be offensive, per expert Eric Davis, DVM, a fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry and the Director of the Dental Referral Service at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Brushing your pet’s teeth should be a ritual you follow through with regularly.

If you do follow through with regular periodontal practices but still see blood, inflammation or witness pain or discomfort from your kitty, it is time to get him or her to their veterinarian right away to see why kitty does not want you brushing their teeth.

Pet parents, although taking your pet to the vet each year for a checkup adds up, the results could be much worse. Teeth may have to be extracted, or on the negative flipside, kitty could become extremely ill – and we all know what that can lead to. It is so much better to act proactively than react to a terrible situation that could have been avoided in the first place!

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