BALTIMORE, Jan. 31, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- February is National Pet Dental Month, and Fullerton Animal Hospital of Baltimore has already started raising awareness about the annual campaign. Dr. Bob Brown and his team want to make sure that this year's campaign is the most effective one yet, so they are encouraging pet owners to bring their dogs and cats in for annual exams and cleanings. "Just like people, pets can't be completely healthy and happy without routine dental care," said Dr. Brown. "Without regularly tooth brushing and at least one exam and cleaning by a veterinarian per year, a pet's dental and oral health can erode at an incredibly rapid pace," he added.
Like most veterinary clinics, Fullerton Animal Hospital routinely has clients bring in pets who are experiencing serious dental and oral issues. Many times, these issues could have been warded off with routine dental and oral care. Although pets are less likely than people to develop cavities, they can and do suffer serious ailments when their oral and dental health is neglected. "Pets' teeth develop plaque over time," said Dr. Brown, "and that plaque eventually turns into tartar. When it gets below the gumline, it can infect the jawbone and surrounding tissues." A variety of consequences may then occur, including infected teeth, tumors and cysts, abscesses, and periodontal disease. In its advanced stages, the latter can even damage a pet's heart, kidneys and liver.
In honor of National Pet Dental Month, Dr. Brown and his team are reminding clients to bring their cats and dogs in for routine exams and cleanings. If they notice any of the following symptoms, they should bring their pets in right away: bad breath; abnormal chewing; bleeding in the mouth; discoloration of the teeth; drooling; dropping food from the mouth; pain or swelling in or around the mouth; and reduced appetite or refusing to eat. Also, pets may exhibit behavioral changes when experiencing oral and dental issues. In particular, they may seem irritable or restless.
When pets come to Fullerton Animal Hospital for their exams and cleanings, the veterinarian and his technicians exam their teeth and gums as part of a routine oral exam. Scaling of the teeth is performed to remove plaque and tartar. Because this must be performed below the gumline, pets are typically put under general anesthesia during this process for their safety and comfort. Depending on the results of the exam, X-rays may be ordered.
Pet owners are also being reminded as a part of the campaign to brush their pets' teeth daily. "Pets are initially resistant," said Dr. Brown, "but most get used to it fairly quickly. It is the best thing a pet owner can do for their dog or cat's health," he added.
Fullerton Animal Hospital is located in Baltimore. Pet owners in Baltimore, Carney, Parkville and surrounding areas may schedule appointments by calling the hospital at (410) 665-6996.
Fullerton Animal Hospital, (410) 665-6996
Source:Fullerton Animal Hospital