Alma Veterinary Hospital believe oral health and hygiene are important for the health and well being of your pet. Dental disease in dogs and cats is one of the most common conditions seen by Veterinary surgeons. Without preventative care saliva and food form a thin layer over the teeth known as plaque. If not not cleaned away this will eventually form hard deposits called tartar. Plaque and tartar irritate the gum causing bad breath (halitosis), inflammation (gingivitis), infection, tooth loss, pain, salivation and loss of appetite. Toxins released into the bloodstream will cause your pet to feel unwell and may affect other organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys. Veterinary dental treatment involves the requirement of a general anaesthetic, possible removal of affected teeth, ultrasonic descale and polish. Preventative health care before and after necessary treatment will significantly reduce your pet''s need for further dental treatment. Daily brushing is the most effective way of removing plaque and preventing gum disease.

How to Brush:

  1. Use a finger brush or veterinary toothbrush . (Alternatively a children toothbrush or soft bristle adult brush will be fine) A dog/cat toothpaste must be used. (Human toothpaste is not designed to be swallowed and also has a foaming action)
  2. Introduce your pet to toothpaste by applying to your finger and allow them to sniff it and lick it off. Give plenty of praise. (This should be repeated for several days)
  3. Hold the animals mouth closed, lift up the lip and use your finger to massage the paste onto the gums and teeth. Repeat on both sides of mouth and upper and lower teeth, not forgetting the front incisors. Continue this for a few day, introducing a finger brush if possible to allow your pet to grow familiar with this feeling. NOTE: We do not try to open the jaws or clean the inside of the mouth!
  4. When both you and your pet are comfortable with this change to a toothbrush. Use the same technique as above and aim to brush each tooth using vertical strokes.

Specially designed dental chews and diets are available to supplement tooth brushing and promote good oral hygiene and health.

Our qualified veterinary nurses hold FREE dental check up and monitoring clinics. Please ring the surgery for further advice or an appointment.