Periodontal disease is a common condition in dogs, caused by a bacterial infection in the gums and other structures that support the teeth. Naturally, you want your canine friend to enjoy good health, and that includes oral health. Here's what you need to know about canine periodontal disease.
How to Detect Periodontal Disease in Dogs
Early detection and treatment can help prevent more serious complications and improve your dog's overall health. Although periodontal disease is very likely to be as painful for dogs as it is for humans, your dog can't tell you when it's suffering from pain — so you'll have to be mindful of the following symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Swollen and/or red gums
- Bleeding gums
- Difficulty chewing/eating
- Reluctance to eat
- Pawing at the general mouth area
How You Can Help Prevent Your Dog From Getting Periodontal Disease
Along with being aware of common symptoms of periodontal disease in dogs, the following preventive measures will help promote good oral health for your pet:
- Brush your dog's teeth regularly with a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs.
- Provide your dog with dental chews, toys, and treats that help remove plaque and tartar.
- Regularly have your dog's teeth professionally cleaned by a veterinarian.
- Feed your dog a healthy diet and limit table scraps and treats.
- Provide plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink.
How Veterinarians Treat Canine Periodontal Disease
- Professional dental cleaning —this procedure involves scaling, polishing, and cleaning the teeth under anesthesia. The veterinarian will remove plaque and tartar buildup, as well as any damaged or infected tissue.
- Tooth extraction — if the teeth are severely damaged or infected, the veterinarian may need to extract them.
- Antibiotics — If there is an infection present, the veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics such as ampicillin trihydrate to clear it up.
- Oral rinses and gels — to help reduce plaque and tartar buildup, the veterinarian may recommend using oral rinses or gels.
- Pain management — if the dog is in pain, the veterinarian may prescribe medication to help manage it.
- Follow-up care — after the initial treatment, the veterinarian will likely recommend follow-up care such as regular dental cleanings, at-home dental care, and dietary changes to help prevent the disease from recurring.
In severe cases, your veterinarian may prescribe a long-term care plan involving daily low doses of ampicillin trihydrate to provide an extra layer of protection in case the condition flares up again.
For more info, contact a company like US Vet.