In this episode of The Woof Meow Show on April 22nd, 2017 Don interviews Dr. Katie Carter, the owner of River Road Veterinary Hospital in Orrington, Maine. Dr. Carter talks about how and why she became interested in veterinary medicine, her preparations for college and veterinary school, and about her experiences at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in Auburn, AL. Then they discuss Dr. Carter’s first experiences as a practicing veterinarian in a mixed-animal practice in Pennsylvania, her return to Maine, where she worked at the Eastern Maine Emergency Veterinary Clinic, and then Dr. Carter’s purchase of River Road Veterinary Hospital in Orrington. Dr. Carter primarily sees dogs and cats, but she also sees a wide variety of exotic pets, everything from small, furry mammals, to amphibians, reptiles, and birds.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed health concern in dogs and cats. This disease of the gums can lead to infections of the mouth. Left unchecked, the bacteria causing these infections can spread through the bloodstream and cause life-threatening conditions. Infections from periodontal disease have been linked to:
and other life-threatening disorders
Some common signs of dental disease in pets are;
Reluctance to eat or chew,
Crying out when eating or chewing,
Red and puffy gums,
A buildup of tartar/calculus on the teeth,
and missing or loose teeth.
The AVMA estimates that by age two, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of periodontal disease, which is one reason a thorough annual exam is so important for every pet.
Your veterinarian will typically examine your pet’s mouth and teeth during a routine physical exam. If necessary, the veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning. This procedure requires general anesthesia. During the process, the pet’s teeth and gums will be thoroughly examined, scaled and polished. If a problem tooth is found, it may need to be extracted.
The best way to minimize professional cleanings at your veterinarian is to keep your pet’s teeth clean with home dental care. While 80% of people brush their own teeth every day, most do not do the same for their pets. Brushing your pet’s teeth can help keep teeth clean. If you have a new puppy or kitten, one of the best things that you can do is to get them used to regular home dental care while they are still young. If you do brush your pet’s teeth, the general rule seems to be that you must do so every 48 hours to be effective.
You can also keep your pet’s teeth clean with supplements such as TropiClean Fresh Breath which is a brushing gel or my personal favorite ProDen PlaqueOff®. PlaqueOff is available as a powder you can sprinkle on your pet’s food or as a treat. It can be used with both dogs and cats. PlaqueOff® Dental Bites and Powder have been accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)
Special treats, like GREENIES™ and Whimzees™, can also help keep your
pet’s teeth clean. We carry both of these products in our store but especially like Whimzees because of their simple ingredient list and the fact that they are always free of wheat, corn, soy, gluten, and GMO ingredients. Whimzees are made to human grade food standards and contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and dogs love them! Compare them to the ingredients in similar products, and we are confident that you will also become a fan of Whimzees.
Dogs do need to chew and it is possible providing them with chew toys such as those made by BeneBone and Nylabone may help keep their teeth clean, to a certain extent. Alone they are not a substitute for brushing, PlaqueOff, or dental procedures by your veterinarian.
Many who feed a raw diet that includes raw bones, or regularly supplement their dog’s diet with raw bones, find the chewing of these bones keeps their dogs teeth white and sparkly clean. The smoked marrow bones from Chasing Our Tails have been very popular with our clients as a way to keep their dog busy and to help keep their teeth clean.
There is an urban myth that feeding only dry food will keep your pet’s teeth clean, and it is just that – a myth unless it is a prescription diet, and while these foods can help keep your dog free of periodontal disease, they may not provide the best nutrition. The same holds true for most dry biscuit products. Cat’s teeth may benefit greatly from having canned (wet) food in their diet.
Make sure that you discuss your pet’s dental care the next time you take them to the veterinarian. Taking care of your pet’s teeth now is very likely to keep your pet healthier and happier, and may also save you a great deal of money down the road.
At least 80% of dogs and 60% of cats have gingivitis, periodontitis, or tooth decay. Wysong’s DentaTreat™ can assist you in maintaining your pet’s oral health, so they avoid these diseases while preventing you from having to pay to have your pet’s teeth cleaned by your veterinarian.
Researchers have found that cooked starches, a significant component of processed, dry pet foods like kibble, are a major contributor to oral health problems in our pets. Cooked starches remain in the mouth longer, creating a sticky mouth residue which bacteria feed upon, and can cause tartar and plaque buildup.
Wysong DentaTreat uses the beneficial properties of cheeses, probiotics, minerals and other natural ingredients to maintain your pet’s oral health. The cheeses used in DentaTreat have unique properties which help prevent tooth decay and help neutralize the tooth destroying acids found in plaque. Made entirely of safe, natural foods, DentaTreat has no artificial colorings or flavors. DentaTreat can be fed on a daily basis by sprinkling it atop your pet’s food.
Paula and I have been using DentaTreat™ with our pets for several years. We will be the first to admit that we are not very diligent about brushing our pets’ teeth. It is a difficult habitat to establish and so easy to break. That is what makes DentaTreat perfect for people like us – you just sprinkle it on your pet’s food at every meal and, voila! The dental-active natural cheeses, minerals, and apple polyphenols in DentaTreat go to work, keeping your pet’s mouth clean and healthy. Yes, we know, that sounds way too good to be true, but the fact is when we use DentaTreat with the fur kids it has significantly reduced our need for cleanings at the veterinarians.
We started using DentaTreat way back in December of 2000 when our Golden Tikken was three. At most, Tikken only required three dental cleanings by her veterinarian during her sixteen years of life. Our current dog Muppy is five and a half and has had DentaTreat since the day we brought her home. She has never required a dental at the vets. DentaTreat works which is why we continue to use it seventeen years later. If you find brushing your pet’s teeth a challenge you should consider using Wysong DentaTreat™ as an economical and easy alternative.