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Proper Dental Care Helps Fido, Fluffy Live Longer, Says Fishkill Vet

Dental care is essential to you pet's overall health, says Fishkill vet Hope Jankunas.
Dental care is essential to you pet's overall health, says Fishkill vet Hope Jankunas. Photo Credit: Provided

FISHKILL, N.Y. -- As anyone who knows what it’s like to get rudely awakened by their beloved Fido’s doggie breath in the morning, a healthy mouth is more than just a good thing, it’s one of the most important things, says Fishkill vet Hope Jankunas.

She, and the rest of her staff at Companion Pet Hospital, are reminding pet owners the majority of cats and dogs over the age of three have some degree of dental disease.

And, in light of the fact that February is National Pet Dental Health Month, she said she is hoping to raise awareness of the importance of routine oral care, including annual exams and professional cleanings.

According to pethealthnetwork.com, dental disease, as with humans, can lead to problems with other organs, like the heart.

Full grown dogs have 42 teeth, and cats, 30, the website said. But, again, like humans, they first have to lose their baby choppers. If they don’t fall out in a timely fashion, they can cause gum disease and tartar build-up.

Since our pets can’t communicate verbally when something is wrong, many suffer in silence with painful and worn teeth and gum problems.

Jankunas said preventative care “will save the pet owner money in the long run.

Brushing you pet’s teeth at home is the way to go between professional cleanings, she said.

Bad breath in dogs and cats isn’t normal, and must not be ignored, the vet said.

Symptoms to keep an eye out for include:

  • Red, swollen or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Teeth that are broken, loose, discolored or covered in tartar
  • Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth
  • Shying away from you when you touch the face or mouth area
  • Frequent pawing or rubbing at the face and/or mouth
  • Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • Weight loss

For more information, contact the Companion Pet Hospital of Fishkill at (845) 896-4830, or visit the practice’s website at www.companionpethospital.com .

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