130 – 12011, 2nd Avenue Richmond, B.C. V7E 3L6 Canada
604-241-PETS (7387) littlepawsvet@yahoo.ca

Cats, Dogs, Bunnies and Brushing Teeth

80% of dogs and cats over the age of three whose teeth haven’t been brushed regularly have periodontal disease.

Rabbits have very particular needs – mainly the need for a high fiber diet, ideally of different types of hay. As such, I’ll do a blog later that’s dedicated specifically to their care.  In the meantime, let’s talk teeth, and your dog or cat. Though I’ve just opened my first holistic veterinary clinic in Richmond, I’ve been a veterinarian for over 25 years. In that time, I’ve seen countless cases of dogs and cats living with rotten teeth, bleeding gums, or worse – a root abscess that’s slowly devouring facial bones and creating excruciating pain.  What I find truly sad is that pets can’t even express the amount of pain they’re in.

In addition, periodontal disease can cause all kinds of life-threatening complications such as heart, lung and kidney disease. It could even cut short the life of your cat and dog by as much as 7 years.

As you can imagine, as a vet and animal lover, I take dental care for pets of all sizes very seriously. Thankfully there are ways to prevent periodontal disease from happening.

Bring your pet in to see me every 3 to 4 months. Doing so will help detect problems early. It will also give me (or my dental hygienist) a chance to do a light scaling of plaque and tartar from your dog or cat’s teeth. My dental hygienist also does dental cleaning on dogs – without anesthesia – which is far safer and less stressful both physically and mentally on the pet.

A proper diet can help keep teeth and gums healthy. You can buy pet foods – that is, specific dental diets – to help prevent tartar formation. Certain foods are especially important for healthy teeth and gums in bunnies, hamsters, rats and other small pocket pets, and I’d be happy to discuss this with you personally if you want to give us a call.

Give your dog or cat a daily 2-minute tooth brushing. Starting this routine with kittens and pups is ideal. I admit; suddenly trying to brush the teeth of an adult pet can be daunting. It could take a week, even a month, before it becomes comfortable for you and your pet.  But, trust me, it’s possible!

Besides, it’s important. Feel free to arrange a visit so that I can show you how it’s done. Now that I have a full service veterinary practice right in Richmond and Steveston Village (I was previously spending most of my time as a vet who did house calls), I’m right in your neighbourhood.

While you’re here, you can pick up toothpaste and gel, as well as an oral solution that can be sprayed into your cat or dog’s mouth. In fact, the oral solution can be poured into your pet’s water should you miss a daily brushing.

Finally, don’t forget to praise your little pet and give it a treat at the end of each daily session.  Be sure to treat yourself too!

By the way, if you have bunnies, hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, chinchillas, rats, mice, gerbils, sugar gliders, and other small pets that need care, rest assured that I’m a veterinarian right here in Richmond and Steveston Village who has experience with even the tiniest pocket pets.

In addition, I take a holistic approach to healthcare – a true holistic approach. That means I consider both conventional and alternative treatments so that your bunny, cat, dog, pocket pet or other four-legged loved one has access to all the very best options.

Feel free to call our Little Paws Animal Clinic for more information or to arrange an appointment.

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