Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Protecting Your Pet: Bad Breath
Does your pet's bad breath knock you over? It's a common complaint among owners. While there's usually a simple solution, left untreated it can indicate life-threatening problems. Here's health specialist Marilyn Mitzel with today's "Protecting your Pet."
WSVN -- We love our pets -- but not always up close and personal.
Max's mom, Amy Zito: "He has stinky breath."
Chad's dad, Carmen Tettinel: "It smelled like a bad fish smell."
Dr. Jan Bellows from Hometown Animal Hospital: "Bad Breath or halitosis is the leading reason people bring pets to the vet."
Remi's mom, Amy Benaderet: "It kept getting progressively worse to the point that people would hold him and say he is so cute but he smells so bad."
Bad breath is caused by many things - kidney or liver disease, diabetes. So they must be checked.
But the biggest culprit is plaque.
Dr. Jan Bellows: "See the plaque here -- This is what people should check for right on the outside surface of the upper teeth."
Smaller dogs are more prone to dental problems. Remi needed 23 teeth pulled.
Remi's mom, Amy Benaderet: "I cried, I think I was in more pain than I think he was."
Chad required gum surgery.
Chad's dad, Carmen Tettinel: "He had very bad periodontal disease to the point it had eroded part of his jaw."
Max's pearly whites are decaying.
Dr. Jan Bellows: "We're gonna take x-rays of his teeth, clean the teeth."
There's a lot we can do to prevent tooth trouble in the first place. Give them dry food along with wet.
Some are specially formulated to keep teeth clean, including dental chewies and treats. Give'em at least once a week.
You can apply special plaque preventive gels at home.
Dr. Jan Bellows: "This is applied once a week just to the gum line."
Vets also recommend annual cleanings. The best thing we can do is brush their teeth daily. It's never too late to start.
Dr. Jan Bellows: "Don't do the whole mouth at once. The first day, do one or two teeth and then play with the dog. The next day do three or four teeth and eventually you'll get to the whole gums."
Max's mom Amy Zito: "It does help -- Now I am brushing his teeth."
Your pet will be kissable in no time.
Chad's dad, Carmen Tettinel: "His breath is wonderful."
Remi's mom, Amy Benaderet: "It's fabulous. You can hold him -- you can kiss him."
And singing your praises.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Jan Bellows
Hometown Animal Hospital & Dental Clinic