If you've recently opened your home and heart to a senior dog, you already know how easy it is to fall in love with what is often an already trained, calm canine. Depending on the breed and size of your dog, he or she could be a senior dog as early as 4.5 years of age. Unfortunately, about 17 out of every 20 dogs suffer from dental disease by their third birthday, but only about three out of every 100 dogs ever get treated for it. Therefore, it's essential to be aware of the following information about appropriate pet dentistry for your mature dog who may have never gotten the necessary dental care.
Knowing What To Expect For The Oral and Physical Health Of Your New Dog As Soon As Possible
Ideally, you would have your dog examined by a veterinarian before bringing them into your home as a permanent family member. However, that is not always possible when you just can't turn away the old stray in the neighborhood or if you know someone who can no longer keep their mature dog.
Regardless, you should plan to have your dog examined by their doctor as soon as possible, even if you have a dog's medical record that says your dog is current on immunizations or has been seen by a veterinarian recently.
If it takes a few days to get into the doctor, it's best to know what signs to watch for when determining if your dog is IikeIy to need dental care along with that examination, as mentioned in the next section.
Identifying Possible Signs That Your New Dog Needs Prompt Dental Care
Many of the symptoms of poor dental care in a canine are similar to what you might expect to see in a human. However, just as you would not appreciate someone you barely know coming up to you and sticking their hands in your mouth or moving your lips to poke at your gums, your new dog would probably react as you would in that situation—and their teeth are often much sharper.
Therefore, you need to be subtle and slowly permit your dog to get used to your touch. While he or she is beside you on the couch or as you are petting them on their dog mat, take the opportunity to sniff their breath. Foul breath can indicate cavities, decay, or even an infection. When your pet is eating, watch for any discomfort as they chew, especially if your dog is on hard food, hard treats, or seems to be a fan of durable chew toys. Noticing blood in the mouth is never a good sign, and reddened gums, tartar, and inflammation are harder to see but are still quite problematic.
Broken, chipped, or missing teeth are common and painful issues for many mature dogs, but your veterinarian can still treat them and address the underlying problem. Given that untreated dental problems in your dog have the very real potential to shorten his or her lifespan due to the heart, brain, and kidney complications it can cause, you should never unnecessarily delay their dental care. Since 2013, dogs must be anesthetized prior to receiving any dental care, so your new dog does not have to be traumatized by the actual work.
In conclusion, pet dentistry is something that all dogs need and few receive. If you suspect that your new furry family member has untreated dental concerns, you should discuss the above details and your own concerns with the veterinarian immediately. Visit a vet clinic, such as Windsor Veterinary Clinic PC, for more info.