(Clue: it’s the number 1 infection we treat)
Believe it or not, it is gum disease – or basically an infection or the gums and the bones surrounding the teeth of your dog or cat. Also called periodontal disease.
Why is it the silent killer? The infection around the gums is picked up easily in the blood stream since this area of the body has a great blood supply. Once the infection gets in the blood stream, it “silently” causes major organ damage…slowly. The kidneys, heart, and liver are commonly affected.
How can I tell? Your pet may be completely without any symptoms…aside from bad breath. But if you look closely, maybe you think he is just “getting old” or “slowing down”. The infection causes a sort of “up and down lack of energy”. This often goes unnoticed but becomes obvious when the infection is cleared up by treatment. It is very common to hear an increased energy and vitality when we treat dental infections.
How common is this? It has been reported that many pets over the age of 3 or 4 have periodontal disease. As much as 78% of dogs and 68% of cats over the age of 3 have it. This can be in varying degrees of infection. That’s why we grade the level of infection when we examine your pet.
How can it be treated? By getting your pet in for a full dental exam and professional dental cleaning procedure. This is done under a safe anesthesia. We use advanced dental equipment to remove the tartar and infection from around the teeth and under the gum line. We sometimes need to treat deeper pockets around the teeth with a special “filler”. Extracting any teeth that cannot be saved to remove the source of infection may also be needed. Antibiotics are given for the infection.
Can I do anything to prevent gum infections? Yes! There are many options for home care if there is no gum disease present. Our nursing staff is proficient at educating clients on these options and products available.
If your pet has bad breath, there may be a gum infection started. Give us a call at 704-824-9876 to schedule a checkup and we can recommend the correct treatment or preventative measures!