THE power of ‘dog breath’ as an insult is greater than ever, with more than 80 per cent of dogs and cats presenting with dental disease at a Ballarat veterinary clinic.
Greencross Vets’ Dr Rebecca Jennings said dental disease could have grave consequences for a pet if not treated.
“It can cause chronic pain and is linked to heart disease and liver disease, appetite changes and an overall reduction of quality of life,” she said.
Greencross Vets is offering free dental checks for pets until the end of August.
Dr Jennings said owners should ideally brush their pets’ teeth, but chews could also help dental health.
“There are some great dog-toothpaste flavours, like chicken, beef and liver,” she said.
Human toothpaste contains too much fluoride for dogs.
Lilley, a 14-year-old papillon, had been struggling with some teeth issues, but Dr Jennings said there were a few remedies.
“If we have to, we can pull the teeth, but that means a recovery period for the dog, and sometimes issues with the opposite tooth if it’s a key tooth, as well as the expense,” she said.
Lilley was not sold on the toothpaste, so a pulling might be the only way to get her smile back.
Brushing time: Dr Rebecca Jennings gives Lilley, 14, a teeth check-up. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE