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June is Dental Care Month

Amy Holloway

Wilf having his teeth brushed

During June we at Clent Hills are taking part in Dental Care month. This is Wilf the Border Terrier who belongs to Vet and partner Alun Edwards. Here he is having his teeth brushed. I am delighted by this as Wilf and I do not get on!! He likes to chase me whilst barking at me and forces me to make the most undignified exits!!

Dental Care month is run by Pedigree and we are doing free dental checks throughout June with our lovely nurses in green who have some doggy DentaStix to give away free ! They can provide you with lots of information and help and advice about dental health for your dog. Just call the receptionists in blue for an appointment- I may even answer the phone myself!

There is also some advice on the dental care month website www.pedigree.com/dentalcaremonth

Here is some information on Dental disease, symptoms and preventative treatment from our lovely Vets and nurses.

Dental disease is one of the most common infectious illnesses suffered by our pets. The effects of dental disease can damage other areas of the body. The obvious infection around the teeth may be carried via the blood stream and lodge on the heart valves, in the kidneys or elsewhere.

This is why it is important to start a preventative dental care programme with your vet as soon as possible.

Signs and symptoms of poor oral health

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Sensitivity around the mouth
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Plaque (not always visible unless stained)
  • Bleeding, inflamed or receded gums
  • Tartar (creamy-brown, hard material)
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Difficulty eating and chewing food

Preventative care

Brushing your pet’s teeth is easy and does not take much time. The first step is to select a convenient time when you and your pet are both relaxed. For the first few days simply hold your pet as you normally do when you are petting him/her.

Gently stroke the outside of our pet’s cheeks with your finger for a minute or two. After each session reward your pet with an appropriate treat and lots of praise.

For the next few days after your pet has become comfortable with this activity- place a small amount of animal toothpaste on your finger and let your pet sample the flavour. Pets like the taste of toothpaste and will soon consider it a treat.

Next introduce your pet to an animal toothbrush or finger brush. Place a small amount of toothpaste on the brush. Gently raise your pet’s upper lip and place the brush against an upper tooth. With a slow circular motion gently brush only that tooth and the adjoining gum line. Each day gradually increase the number of teeth brushed, but go slowly, do not continue beyond your pet’s point of comfort. Build up to approximately 30 seconds of brushing per side. And remember after each session reward your pet with a treat and lots of praise!!!

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