Monday, October 31, 2011

Shih Tzu Teeth Care

Talking Teeth

Is your dog's bad breath sabotaging your cuddle time? Is your kitty drooling while nibbling her kibble? If so, your four-legged family member likely has dental disease. A recent study of Banfield Pet Hospital's 770-hospital network identified dental disease as the most common malady among pets, affecting 68 percent of cats and 78 percent of dogs over three years of age.

Most dental diseases, including halitosis (bad breath) and gingivitis (gum disease) are caused by tartar accumulation. All cats and dogs can develop dental tartar, but small breed dogs are particularly predisposed. Toy Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Pomeranians and Shetland Sheepdogs are at greatest risk, according to the Banfield study.

Be sure to inspect your pet's teeth and gums on a regular basis just as you would his or her skin and haircoat. Here's the key to getting a good look- don't try to pry your pet's jaws open lest you desire to engage in a wrestling match. Rather, with the mouth remaining closed, simply pull those flabby lips up, down, and then back (as if he is smiling) to get a good view of the gums and teeth. Look for tartar accumulation (brown colored material that's adhered to the teeth) redness or swelling of the gums, and broken or loose teeth.

If your pet does develop significant tartar and gingivitis, he'll need a thorough dental cleaning. Dental X-rays may be recommended to detect abscesses or bone loss. Should such significant abnormalities be found, your vet will discuss antibiotic therapy and the pros and cons of removing the affected teeth versus a root canal procedure.

The best way to prevent tartar buildup is to brush your pet's teeth (including those way in the back) at least two to three times a week. Ask your vet or members of the clinic staff to share their secrets for success when it comes to brushing. Have them observe and provide critique as you demonstrate how you brush those canines (in cats they should be called 'felines'), incisors, and molars.

What can you do besides brushing? Dental chews, additives to your pet's water, products applied to the teeth and gums, and specially formulated dry foods that have received the Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Acceptance can help prevent tartar buildup. However, nothing beats regular brushing (sorry!).

Part of your pet's annual physical examination performed by your veterinarian should include careful inspection of the teeth and gums. Early identification and treatment of dental disease goes a long way in preventing serious consequences.

Now it's your turn to talk about teeth. What have you experienced with your dogs and cats?

Best wishes for good health,
Dr. Nancy Kay

Dr. Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Donner Trail Kennel Club 10/ 8 & 9/2011

Back to Back Best Opposite wins for "Pink"
Stacey B's Glitter In The Air.
Showing under Judge:Mr William De Villeneuve and Mr Stephen P Regan. winning her first Major.
Mr.William De Villeneuve commented on her outstanding movement and believe as when she matured she would be a wonderful special and looked forward to seeing her again.
Mr.Stephen P Regan commented on what a nice example of the breed and her beautiful movement, structure and expression. Thank you to the judges for placing Stacey B's Glitter In The Air and your wonderful comments.
It was a great weekend!

Yorkie Fun