LAS VEGAS, March 1, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Veterinarian Dr. David Drake of St. Francis Animal Hospital in Las Vegas urges pet owners to remember to celebrate Pet Dental Health Month. According to Dr. Drake, about 8 out of 10 pets in the country suffer from some form of periodontal disease. He adds that if pet dental disease is left unchecked, it can be very painful for the pet and actually go on to damage internal organs. Dr. Drake recommends that pets have an annual pet dentistry checkup and that pet owners start brushing their pets' teeth daily at home.
"Pet dental disease symptoms are not always obvious, so it's crucial to schedule that annual checkup whether you notice a problem or not," says Dr. Drake. "Some noticeable symptoms are really bad breath, missing or loose teeth, yellowed teeth, swollen or bleeding gums. If your pet leaves blood stains on chew toys or seems hesitant or in pain when eating or drinking, those are also red flags. It's important to address those symptoms right away before dangerous bacteria enter your pet's blood stream and cause heart, liver or kidney damage."
Dr. Drake says that during a pet's annual dental checkup, he checks all aspects of a pet's oral health. He examines the condition of the teeth, gums and internal structures, as well as checking for any lesions or tumors, he explains. He and his staff also clean and polish the enamel, removing any tartar buildup on the teeth and from under the gums, he adds. If he notices cavities or other oral health problems in a pet, he says he discusses potential treatments needed and schedules a follow up appointment with the pet owner to address those problems.
Teaching pet owners how to brush their pets' teeth at home is another important aspect of pet dental care, says Dr. Drake. For pet owners feeling nervous about starting this new habit, he says he and his staff provide advice and training, as well as the correct toothbrushes to fit the shape of the pet's snout. He also insists that people do not use human toothpaste on their pets as it can cause an upset stomach. He says that their office has several different pet toothpastes in pet-friendly flavors like chicken, peanut butter and tuna.
"With some pets, you have to start slow, but be consistent and positive and you can get a good teeth-brushing habit going," says Dr. Drake. "Good pet dental health will really keep them healthier and happier overall in the long run, and keep them out of pain."
Francis Animal Hospital in Las Vegas is a full-service veterinary center providing pet wellness services such as checkups, pet nutrition, vaccinations and pet dental care as well as pet surgery and geriatric care. To learn more, visit their website at http://www.stfrancisanimalhospitallasvegas.com.
CONTACT: St. Francis Animal Hospital, 1-888-667-5235Source:St. Francis Animal Hospital