Dental and oral hygiene is a huge part of keeping your pet healthy, no matter what size or species. We’ve put together some information for dogs, cats and rabbits which you can read over the next few weeks. This week we focus on dogs.
Dogs have 4 different types of teeth which develop and may be lost over their lifetime. Have a look at the types of teeth and their purpose below;
As a puppy your dog will normally have the following deciduous teeth (28 in total);
As your dog grows up they will lose their puppy teeth and the following adult teeth will appear (42 in total );
An adult dog’s teeth
(diagram courtesy of the Merck Vet Manual)
Teeth are made up of many different layers starting from the inner pulp to the outer enamel. Problems normally arise when there has been damage to the enamel and other layers or when there has been detachment of the gum to the tooth.
Signs of a problem with your pet’s teeth or mouth might include the following;
If you notice a problem with your pet and suspect it may be their teeth, then a vet consultation is always a good idea and should be your first step. They may suggest a dental under a general anaesthetic which could range from a Scale and Polish (removal of tartar build up) to extractions of teeth or may suggest some preventative dental care treatment.
Common dental issues seen when we examine dogs include; broken teeth, gum disease, tartar build up, rotten teeth and masses within the mouth.
Broken or rotten teeth normally require removal and you will find your pet’s breath should smell much better after this.
Masses within the mouth can be there for a number of reasons. It is always worth discussing removal with your vet as it is impossible to diagnose just by looking at the abnormal area.
It’s worth remembering that extra tartar and bacteria in the mouth, means more bacteria in the body generally which can lead to systemic infections and your pet becoming ill.
We hope you have learned more about your dog and their dental health.
Next week the focus is on the felines!