East Texas Veterinary Clinic Owner Says Pet Dental Health Is Often Overlooked

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) — The dental health of cats, and especially dogs, is often overlooked. This can cause them great pain and is much more difficult to treat after the periodontal disease has progressed.

According AVMA, (American Veterinary Medical Association), 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease by the age of three. Most dental diseases in pets occur below the gum line where you can’t see them.

Owner of Starnes Veterinary ClinicSeth Shirey said about 15 people will have their pet’s dental health checked at the clinic in a month, but that number is expected to be around 60.

Shirey said dental work is neglected as it progresses slowly and in most cases dogs do not act differently even when infected. “All the time the dog eats soft food, wags its tail, wants attention,” Shirey said.

“People can miss it or ignore it for years and so over time the constant washing of low quality bacteria into the blood streams starts to break down the kidneys because they have to filter it all out,” Shirey said. “It also has a real chance of seeding the valves of the heart, and then they will get an infection on those valves, eventually turn into heart murmurs and eventually heart disease, potentially heart failure, all because of this infection that never stops in the mouth.”

Shirey said the best thing you can do is stay ahead of your pet’s dental health. Check your pet’s gums, especially for small dogs who are more susceptible to dental disease due to their genetics.

“All it takes is lifting that gum. If you see yellow crusted plaque, if you see gum inflammation instead of pink gum, if you have bright red gum color, that’s bad,” Shirey said.

If you notice symptoms, call a clinic early for early treatment, as delayed treatment only makes symptoms worse.

For the month of August, Starnes Veterinary Clinic is offering $50 off dental care to help raise awareness of the need for dental care.

Starnes Animal Clinic is opening a new location on October 3 to modernize the center and combat rising patient numbers. For more information, contact the clinic.

The dental health of cats, and especially dogs, is often overlooked.

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