Species affected: Cats, Dogs
Background: Leading cause of tooth loss in domesticated animals. Secondary infections complicate the dental status, worsen the disease and may seed other organs. Concurrent illnesses such as kidney disease often contribute.
Symptoms: Bad breath, inability to chew food, inflamed gums, and tooth loss.
Diagnostics: Physical exam.
Special Notes: The causes are primarily man-made, due to over-use of processed, cooked commercial foods; this is commonly seen with certain breeds, including the brachycephalic breeds or flat-faced breeds of cat. Domestic animals lack proper chewing exercise, and rarely get meaty bones that properly abrade the teeth.
Principles for Supplementation: Correction of diet, using high-quality, whole foods if possible, with bones or hard material for chewing. Vitamins (especially Vitamin C), antioxidants, minerals and herbs may be helpful in strengthening periodontal tissue and preventing calculus and infection.