Top Animal Health
Concerns For
Veterinary Professionals

Top Animal Health
Concerns For Pet Owners

Support For Your
Animals
For Animal Owners
Dental Disease
(Dogs and Cats)
(Canine and Feline)

 

Poor dental health in both cats and dogs is usually a result of inadequate --- or lack of – maintenance and a nutrient-rich diet. Both cats and dogs are very prone to tooth and gum diseases due to:

 

» Soft/canned food diets;

» Genetics; and

» An extended life expectancy.

 

Dental disease can include any or all of the following:

 

» Plaque: a film or soft coating made of bacteria which reside on the surface of the teeth. Also called dental biofilm.

» Tartar:  (also called dental calculus)

 

1.Mild tartar is a hard crust which presents as a filmy, yellowish or brownish build-up at the base and sides of the teeth caused from the mineral salts in the animal’s saliva.

 

2.Heavy tartar is thick and rock-hard and breaks off in chunks; brown, yellow or greenish in color.

 

» Gingivitis: inflammation of the gums causing mild periodontal disease, most commonly caused by the presence of plaque. If not properly treated and brought under control, will lead to periodontitis.

 

» Periodontal disease: gum disease which can range from mild inflammation (gingivitis) to more severe inflammation causing periodontitis (inflammation of all tissues around the teeth) and loss of the ligaments that tie the teeth to the gums. May also lead to bone recession and loose teeth.

 

» Stomatitis: Inflammation of the mouth which can lead to ulceration. All soft tissue in the mouth can be affected, including cheeks, gums, tongue, lips, and hard and soft palate. This can be a painful and life-threatening condition as swallowing and eating becomes very difficult for your dog or cat. In dogs, this condition is commonly seen in Maltese, Scottie and Cocker Spaniels (toy and smaller breed dogs); in cats, it is most commonly seen in Himalayans, Persians and Somalis (purebreds).

 

» Bad Breath (halitosis).

» Mouth Sores.

» Tooth decay.

It’s been estimated that almost half of the feline population (over the age of 3) has some kind of dental disorder; and 85% alone of that same population may suffer from bad gums. For canines aged 1 to 3 years, it’s estimated that as many as 80% suffer from periodontal disease that requires treatment. 

 

Dental health is also considered an indication of possible immune disorders and an overall health imbalance (potentially even heart disease). Some experts believe proper dental care can prolong your pet’s life up to 20%!

 

 

The wild ancestors of our domesticated cats and dogs benefited from eating all of their prey including fur, hair, hide, bone, and tough elastic tissue which had a natural brushing effect on their teeth. However, today’s soft, canned food doesn’t offer the necessary abrasiveness for removing plaque and encouraging good dental health.

 

Proper dental treatment will not only concentrate on any dental issues, but will also focus on supporting good health and a strong immune system. A strong immune system is critical in supporting your cat or dog in the fight against gingivitis and stomatitis. Furthermore, any bacteria swallowed from a chronic oral infection -- if left unchallenged by the immune system -- can potentially lead to liver, kidney, lung, gastrointestinal disease and/or organ failure.

 

Careful attention to your cat or dog’s oral hygiene will help your pet live a longer, healthier and more energetic life!

 

SYMPTOMS: Normal or healthy teeth are white or very light yellow and healthy gums should be light pink and smooth (except for breeds with pigmented gums like Chows).

 

Red, swollen, lumpy or bleeding gums are all reasons for immediate concern. While most animals have slightly bad breath, foul odors from your pet’s mouth also may indicate dental problems being caused by bacteria and their toxins.

 

Both felines and canines suffering from chronic dental problems may also drool. Once their teeth are cleaned, this usually resolves itself.

 

For both dogs and cats, untreated dental issues can lead to lose, broken or even the loss of teeth.

 

Prevention: To effectively ward off dental disease (and unnecessary pain) in your beloved feline or canine, it is important to implement and follow effective preventive measures. Daily brushing of your pet’s teeth (use a toothbrush made especially for pets), will go a long way towards maintaining healthy dental hygiene and fewer dental issues and periodontal disease. Teeth brushing can often be a challenge for both pet and owner; so it’s important to start brushing your puppies’ or kitten’s teeth at an early age. Flavored toothpastes are also available and may help make the process easier and more enticing for your dog or cat. If you are unsure of how to brush you pet’s teeth, ask your veterinarian to give you a hands-on demonstration and advice on the best technique and products for your own pet.  

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS/SUPPLEMENTATION

 

The options below will help maintain good dental health in your dog or cat:

 

 

» The type of food you feed your canine or feline can help support healthy dental hygiene. Hard food diets (such as pellets and kibbles) are mildly abrasive and are often sufficient to scrape away or prevent much of the plaque build-up that leads to the formation of destructive tartar. Tartar build-up can lead to the breakdown and destruction of the tissues that bind the teeth to the gums; tartar can also cause infection and inflammation.

 

» Your canine will benefit from eating tough, raw meat once or twice a week. Stew beef is good for this purpose, as long as it is not swallowed whole. The fibers in tough meat act much like dental floss in helping to clean between your dog’s teeth. A quick blanching in boiling water will kill surface bacteria on the meat and make it safe for your dog to consume.

 

» Give your dog and cat real, raw bones to chew on; but not chicken bones because they can splinter easily or be swallowed whole and can cause a tremendous amount of internal damage. Only give bones that can stand up to your pet’s chewing; larger dogs will need heavy shin or shank bones that will not break or splinter. Do not cook any bones before giving to your pet as this will dry the bones out and lead to possible splintering or fracturing.

 

» Hard rubber toys, especially those with ridges, etc. can also be helpful for dogs who will chew on them.

 

» A Duke University study found that feeding cow tracheas (windpipes) with a little meat attached helps keep a dog’s teeth healthy. Other research into dog colonies found that feeding oxtails once a week prevented serious periodontal disease as well.

 

» Many cat and dog treats are also specifically intended to remove plaque and help prevent tartar. Consider getting these treats in wheat-free and corn-free varieties especially if your canine or feline has allergies or sensitivities. These treats may also incorporate enzymes to help dissolve and/or minimize plaque. An added benefit: they massage the gums leading to healthy gums.

 

» There are also mouth sprays mouthwashes, and products to add to your pet’s water containing enzymes that help dissolve plaque and reduce bacteria. They are not as effective as brushing your pet’s teeth; however, if you are not able to brush your pet’s teeth, it can be an effective alternative between regular veterinarian dental care treatments.

 

Just like in humans, effective and regular preventative dental care for your dog or cat is always preferable to dealing with dental infections or pulling infected or damaged teeth. Annual cleanings by your veterinarian, which includes scraping and removing tartar and plaque, both visible and below the gum line, should be part of your animal’s regular medical care. Dental care for your cat or dog is painless and is always done under sedation.

 

Integrative Medicine

 

Not all animals can use all natural remedies; allergic reactions to oils
and/or herbs and digestive problems are possible.
A natural remedy is not a substitute for veterinary care.

 

The following nutraceuticals or natural/herbal formulas can also provide effective treatment for your canines and felines in preventing or living with dental disease. Holistic approaches to dental health are also intended to help maintain the overall health of your pet.

 

» Foods and supplements high in antioxidants like vitamins A, B complex, C and E, as well as manganese and zinc, will strengthen gum tissue and reduce the size of pockets in the gums where food can lodge. 

 

» Other powerful antioxidants available as supplements or as ingredients in holistic pet food include: carotenoids, grape seed extract, lipoic acid and silymarin.

» Vitamin E can also be applied directly to small abrasions and sores in your pet’s mouth, including the gums.

 

» Calcium Fluoride: applied directly on the teeth can strengthen the surface. Do not allow your pet to swallow it.

 

» Coenzyme Q10: an antioxidant credited for fighting against the damage of free radicals; also shown to help with gingivitis, and also in decreasing inflammation, redness, bleeding and pain in the gums.

 

» Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes: shown to help canines with chronic mouth problems (it may take a month or two to see improvements).

 

Dental Disease: Periodontal Disease
– Canine and Feline Products –

(Reference: Veterinarians’ Desk Reference)


(Live Link)

 

FORMULAS

DOSAGE

MECHANISM/PURPOSE

Berbercap12

Cats: ½ capsule sid
Dogs: 1 capsule/25 lb sid

Antimicrobial.

Canine Geriatric Basics12

Dogs: 1 capsule/25 lb sid

General source of nutrients for older dogs.

CoQ30VET12

Cats: 1 capsule sid
Dogs < 25 lb: 1 capsule sid

Present in mitochondria; essential factor in ATP production. Greatest need in metabolically active cells such as the heart, gingiva, immune system, lacrimal glands and gastric mucosa. Antioxidant and helps recycle vitamin E.

CoQ100VET12

Dogs: 1 capsule/25 lb sid

Present in mitochondria; essential factor in ATP production. Greatest need in metabolically active cells such as the heart, gingiva, immune system, lacrimal glands and gastric mucosa. Antioxidant and helps recycle vitamin E.

CoQ-10 ST26

Cats and small dogs: 10-30 mg bid
Medium dogs: 30-60 mg bid
Large dogs: 60-90 mg bid

Present in mitochondria; essential factor in ATP production. Greatest need in metabolically active cells such as the heart, gingiva, immune system, lacrimal glands and gastric mucosa. Antioxidant and helps recycle vitamin E.

Perio-Support8

1 tsp per meal

This product is designed to help control plaque formation and support gum health.               

Small Animal Antioxidant12

Cats: 1 capsule sid
Dogs: 2 capsules/25 lb sid

Broad-spectrum antioxidants.

Supportive Care12

Cats: 1 capsule bid
Dogs: 1 capsule/25 lb bid

Antioxidants.

 

Dental Disease: Gingivitis/Stomatitis
– Canine and Feline Products –

(Reference: Veterinarians’ Desk Reference)


(Live Link)

 

FORMULAS

DOSAGE

MECHANISM/PURPOSE

Buffered C Powder12

Cats: 125 mg bid
Dogs: 10 mg/lb bid

Stimulates phagocytic effect of leukocytes, nitrate scavenger, aids in synthesis of collagen and carnitine.

CoQ30VET12

Cats: 1 capsule sid
Dogs < 25 lb: 1 capsule sid

Present in mitochondria; essential factor in ATP production. Greatest need in metabolically active cells such as the heart, gingiva, immune system, lacrimal glands and gastric mucosa. Antioxidant and helps recycle vitamin E. Helps resolve periodontal disease.

CoQ100VET12

Dogs: 1 capsule/25 lb sid

Present in mitochondria; essential factor in ATP production. Greatest need in metabolically active cells such as the heart, gingiva, immune system, lacrimal glands and gastric mucosa. Antioxidant and helps recycle vitamin E. Helps resolve periodontal disease.

CoQ-10 ST26

Cats and small dogs: 10-30 mg bid
Medium dogs: 30-60 mg bid
Large dogs: 60-90 mg bid

Present in mitochondria; essential factor in ATP production. Greatest need in metabolically active cells such as the heart, gingiva, immune system, lacrimal glands and gastric mucosa. Antioxidant and helps recycle vitamin E. Helps resolve periodontal disease.

Immugen12

Cats: ½ capsule sid
Dogs: 1 capsule/25 lb sid

Optimizes immune functions.

Perio-Support8

1 tsp per meal

This product is designed to help control plaque formation and support gum health.               

Small Animal Antioxidant12

Cats: 1 capsule sid
Dogs: 2 capsules/25 lb sid

Antioxidants.

Supportive Care12

Cats: 1 capsule bid
Dogs: 1 capsule/25 lb bid

Antioxidants.

 

To help you quickly find the right Integrative Medicine formulas and manufacturers to help treat your dogs, cats and horses, please refer to the Veterinarians’ Desk Reference
(Click Here)

 

(Always consult with your veterinarian to properly diagnose any health problems. Misdiagnosis and/or mistreatment -- including OTC and/or homeopathic products -- can lead to dangerous complications.)

 

 

 

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