410-513-3932

Alpha Veterinary Center

7387 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd.

Glen Burnie, MD 21061-3266

Phone: 410-766-PETS (7387)

Fax:  410-766-7779

Alpha Veterinary Center
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A newsletter from your veterinarian

DENTAL HEALTH

Why is dentistry important? Dental tartar is about 80% bacteria, and 85% of all pets have periodontal disease. The bacterium does local damage by irritating the gums, causing gingivitis, and possibly loosening the teeth. It also can get into the blood and travel to other parts of the body, such as the heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys, causing disease there. Keeping the teeth clean helps to keep the whole body healthy.

 

What's new in the world of teeth care? We all know about brushing the teeth and getting regular dentistries done. Most of us also know about using oral solutions to rub on the teeth and gums. This helps to remove the bacteria that eventually become tartar. We are also familiar with dental bones and feeding dry food, which help to scrub the teeth. There are a couple of new products that recently came out.

 

One is a powder that you sprinkle on the food of dogs and cats. It is called Perio-Support. The minerals in the powder help prevent plaque formation. It contains antioxidants and taurine to strengthen the gums. The zinc in it penetrates the plaque already on the teeth and oxidizes it. It also displaces the bacteria that cause the plaque. Daily use eventually softens the plaque and deters tartar development.

 

The other new product is Sanos. This is a product that is applied to the teeth at the time that dentistry is done, while the pet is still under anesthesia. It gets down into any little pockets in the pet's gums. This protects those places that are hard to reach even if you are brushing the teeth or using other products to clean the teeth. This is recommended to be done every six months. It decreases plaque and tartar formation, thereby decreasing gingivitis and potential organ disease. Whatever option you choose to manage your pet's dental health, remember that not only will your pet have a dazzling smile, but it will also be healthier all around.

Have you brought your cat in lately?

Scheduled wellness exams are vital to your cat's health, but when your cat is sick it's even more important to talk to your veterinarian.

 

10 signs of illness in cats:

Sometimes it's difficult to identify when your cat's not feeling well. Watch for these signs of illness, and consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible if your pet begins to show any of them.

Inappropriate elimination - A cat that urinates inappropriately could have any number of conditions associated with the behavior, including lower urinary tract disease, kidney disease, urinary tract infection, and diabetes mellitus. It can also be a sign of arthritis, which makes it difficult for cats to get into the litter box.

Changes in interaction - Cats are social animals, so changes in interactions with humans or pets can signal disease, fear, anxiety, or pain.

Changes in activity - A decrease in activity is often a sign of arthritis or systemic illness, while an increase in activity can be caused by hyperthyroidism.

Changes in sleeping habits - If your cat is sleeping more than normal (keep in mind that average adult cats may sleep 16 to 18 hours a day--though much of that is "catnapping"), it could be a sign of an underlying disease.

Changes in food and water consumption - Most cats are not finicky eaters. Decreased food intake can be a sign of several disorders, ranging from poor dental health to cancer. Increased food consumption can be caused by diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, or other health problems.

Unexplained weight loss or gain - Sudden weight loss can be a sign of hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, or a host of other diseases. Obesity, on the other hand, can cause an increased risk of diabetes mellitus, joint disease, and other problems.

Changes in grooming - Patches of hair loss or a greasy or matted appearance can signal an underlying disease. Cats who have difficulty grooming often suffer from fear, anxiety, obesity, or other illnesses. An increase in grooming may signal a skin problem.

Signs of stress - Stressed cats may exhibit signs of depression, hide more, or spend more time awake and scanning their environment. These signs may indicate a medical condition, so it's important to rule out physical ailments before addressing the stress behaviorally.

Changes in vocalization - An increase in vocalization or howling is often seen with an underlying condition like hyperthyroidism or high blood pressure. Many cats also vocalize more if they're in pain or anxious.

Bad breath - Bad breath is an early indicator of an oral problem--studies have shown that 70 percent of cats have gum disease as early as age 3.

 

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