Dental care of the dog

Jorge S. Muñoz
Homeopath and Surgeon Veterinarian.

The diseases of the buccal mucosa are grouped in a syndrome, well-known between veterinarians as gingivitis-periodontitis-plate-tartar. It is specially important in dogs of miniature, small and medium breeds, and less in great breeds. Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature and Toy Poodles, Dachshunds, Pinschers, Chihuahua and Cockers are the most affected breeds and also those of indefinite breed, so it is not possible to speak of breed predisposition of the "tartar disease", but an individual predisposition and causes to favor: a permissive attitude from its owners with respect to the food, an incorrect soft diet and a total lack of prophylactic dental hygiene. Rarely, we diagnose tartar between hunting dogs in whose diet appears hard bread and great bones, and between guard and defense dogs, that exercise their teeth often. It means that the foods of the dog must be abrasive, while simultaneously it nourish them, also it allows them to maintain a set of teeth healthy, so we advised to our clients that they accustom to its dogs to dry balanced food, instead of humid food, and that they try to eliminate the whims in appetizer form that favor the organic obesity and other diseases. Really, we prefer to make a periodic control with a superficial cleaning of the mouth through calming, that to have to subject the patient to a cleaning of deep mouth under general anesthesia with extraction of infected and nonfunctional dental pieces. Unfortunately, the owner usually asks for our clinical veterinary services when the smell of the mouth of its dog is unbearable, when the slackening of the teeth causes pain to it and impedes to eat with normality, or when it changes the character of his companion, who becomes sad and apathetic or aggressive.
In other times, we must advice him the evident in the course of a previous recognition to the vaccination, since the first sign of alarm, the inflammation and reddening of the gum, instead of the normal pink color, usually happens unnoticed for the owner.
Bacteria, fungi, rest of meals, detritus, minerals of the saliva, are accumulated on the dental surface producing tartar, with inflammatory reaction of the gum (gingivitis) and their successive deposit forms the plates, that destroy the adhesions of the gum to the bone, with which originate bags in the gum, and the inflammation reach the deepest layers, with destruction of periodontio (periodontitis) with relaxation and loss of the dental pieces. Microscopically, the color of the tartar can be yellow, brown, green or blackish brown and very disagreeable aspect; the halitosis must be an alarm signal, because sometimes the tartar is not visible without aid of special colorings or simply with hidden location or sub gingival location. The teeth more affected by the tartar are the canines, premolars 3 and 4 and molar 1. Secondary complications are buccal ulcers, stomatitis, arthritis, nephritis and bacterial endocarditis, reason why the elected treatment is the surgical elimination of the tartar.
The preferred odontological treatment is the elimination of the tartar by means of ultrasounds, with extraction of nonfunctional dental pieces and simultaneous accomplishment of gingivectomy.
Logically the ideal would be not to have to arrive at this end. The objective of this divulging article is that the owners become aware of that the maintenance of the buccal health is of extreme importance, since with it, it improves the general well-being, avoids the halitosis and other systemic diseases and the teething is conserved during all the life.

The dental care of the dog leans in four basic prophylactic points:

1. Help to the natural auto cleaners mechanisms of the buccal cavity, as the saliva, the lingual movements and the ingestion of meals, by means of hard diets with dry balanced food, to facilitate a great bone (that cannot break) or "bones" of strong leather. The idea is that the dog must to chew, to use its set of teeth.

2. Cleaning of teeth with bicarbonate paste of special dentifrice paste for dogs, applied with small and soft toothbrush of smooth bristles. This requires training and patience, but it is important that the puppy is accustomed between the 8 months and 1 year of age, being sufficient a regular brushing 3 times to the week as prevention.

3. To go to the veterinarian for a periodic control, that includes the physical exploration of the buccal cavity. Usually, an annual visit is sufficient in young dogs and in the adults two annual recognitions are necessary.

4. Elimination of the tartar under calming or anesthesia, when his veterinarian advises it.

In conclusion, the collaboration of the owner of the dog with the veterinarian will make the prevention more effective of the buccal and general hygiene of the dog, which of direct and indirect form improved the quality of life in our society, as much from the sanitary aspect, like socio cultural aspect.

Health and Joy.
Until the next one.



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