SCARSDALE, N.Y., Feb. 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Veterinarian Dr. Michael Woltz of Central Animal Hospital in Scarsdale says that a pet's bad breath may be far more than an annoyance; it may be a sign of dental disease. He urges pet owners to schedule exams and cleanings for pet dental health month in February and beyond. He adds that nearly 80 percent of adult pets have some degree of periodontal disease, which can be painful for pets and lead to further health complications. Dr. Woltz explains that bacteria from dental disease can even spread to damage other internal organs like the heart and liver.
"Bad breath is just one of the possible symptoms of pet dental disease," says Dr. Woltz. "You might also see swollen gums, yellowed, or even missing teeth and blood on bedding or toys. Worse still are the pets in so much pain they don't even want to eat or drink, or that have secondary infections stemming from infections in their mouths."
Dr. Woltz stresses that even if a pet does not exhibit any of these symptoms, he or she may still have pet dental disease that needs treatment. The American Veterinary Medical Association urges pet owners to schedule at least one pet dental examination and cleaning every year and to learn how to brush their pets' teeth at home. Dr. Woltz says that he and his fellow veterinarians at Central Animal Hospital check all aspects of a pet's oral health during examinations. He says they both clean and polish teeth to prevent future tartar buildup and that they can also perform extractions and other types of oral surgery if needed.
Dr. Woltz says that one of his main goals is to stress prevention by teaching pet owners how to brush their pets' teeth at home. He recommends slowly building up a pet's tolerance to the idea by using chicken or tuna broth on a piece of gauze at the same time each day. He says pet owners can gradually and patiently work up to a pet toothbrush and pet toothpastes with pet-friendly flavors like peanut butter or chicken. He cautions pet owners to avoid human toothpastes as these can upset a pet's stomach.
"It's a lot easier to build up a good pet teeth-brushing habit than you'd think—and it will prevent a lot of pain and infection for your pet. It just takes some patience, persistence and a lot of praise," says Dr. Woltz. He says anyone who needs advice on training their pets for teeth brushing should visit their website or call their office.
Central Animal Hospital in Scarsdale is a full service veterinary center providing pet wellness checkups, vaccinations, health certificates, pet nutrition, urgent veterinary care, pet surgery and pet dental care for cats, dogs and exotic pets. To find out more, visit their website at http://bestvets.net.
CONTACT: Central Animal Hospital, 1-888-667-5235Source:Central Animal Hospital