Four falsehoods about the teeth of our animals
When it comes to fake news, I have to tell you that veterinarians hear some pretty good stuff about pet teething. In this month of dental health, I highlight four myths that still persist, fake news which deserve to be denied. Here are four sentences that we still hear and which are only fiction to my veterinarian ears.
Falseness no 1 :
< strong>“Dental problems only happen in old animals.”
On the contrary ! The American Veterinary Dental Society reports that over 85% of cats and dogs show signs of periodontal disease (gingivitis, tartar, bad breath, tooth loss, etc.) by the age of four . It's not nothing ! All because we don't really take care of their teeth. Indeed, very few people take the trouble to brush their pet's teeth daily, as recommended by veterinarians, or feed them specialized foods against dental tartar, which would certainly slow the progression of dental problems. Also, it must be said, genetics is at work in some dental problems. Brachycephalic dog breeds, with flattened muzzles, will tend to have abnormal dentition and misaligned teeth, which will impact their dental health.
Falseness no 2 :< /strong>
“ The dental cleaning without anesthesia that the grooming salon offers me is just as effective as the scaling under anesthesia done at the veterinarian and it will save me money. »
Fake ! In addition to being a risky, possibly painful and above all illegal practice, it must be understood that it is not an effective method. You have to imagine the teeth like icebergs floating on the water: you only see a small part of the tooth emerged on the surface and the rest, at least two thirds of the tooth, is located under the gumline. During a “cold” cleaning, without anesthesia, it is simply impossible to scale the teeth below the level of the gum. We therefore obtain a visually attractive result, but the problem persists under the gum where the majority of the teeth and the tissues that surround it continue to deteriorate. A scaling under anesthesia at the veterinarian is the only way to guarantee that the tartar located under the gumline will be removed.
False no 3 :
“My pet can live without problems with bad teeth. The only thing that will happen is that he will have bad breath! ”
Very wrong ! Your pet's bad breath is the least of their worries. It should be seen as a symptom indicating the presence of periodontal disease and therefore that the tissues surrounding the teeth are in poor condition. Studies have shown that the infection present in periodontal disease can spread elsewhere in the body. Bacteria can travel via the blood to other organs such as the heart and kidneys, creating other health problems. Good general health therefore requires good dental health.
Falseness no 4 :
“ No need to brush your teeth of my dog. Chew toys and tartar treats will naturally clean my dog's teeth. »
Well no! Nothing beats the effectiveness of a daily toothbrush combined with the action of a specialized veterinary food against dental tartar. There are great products (treats, gels, strips, etc.) on the market bearing the VOHC1 (Veterinary Oral Health Council) seal, but these products alone will not be enough. You also have to be careful what you buy, because some products (very hard rawhide bones, beef bones, deer antlers, etc.) can fracture teeth and cause other health problems. To this end, I refer you to my column Dangerous toys for dogs: https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2014/02/01/jouets-dangereux-pour-les-chiens.