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Did you know that your pet’s teeth are extremely similar to yours? Their baby teeth will fall out, they’re at risk of developing tooth and gum diseases and they need to have a check-up once a year.

Animals are particularly good at tolerating tooth and gum pain, which means that your pet could have a dental disease that you don’t know about. 

If you don’t care for your pet’s mouth on a regular basis plaque can begin to build on their teeth. This will lead to brown-yellow scales known as tartar; tartar is accompanied by bad breath. Eventually, tartar will lead to other bacteria which cause disease. This is known as periodontal disease. Once your pet has this disease their teeth can fall out, and the infection could spread to your furry friend’s organs.   

At Newnham Court Vets we recommend that you monitor your pet’s mouth regularly. Signs that your pet could have a dental problem include:

  • Avoiding eating or difficulty eating such as chewing on one side of the mouth

  • Red gums, brown-yellow scales on the teeth, pus pockets on the gums

  • Your pet pawing at their mouth

  • Blood in your pet’s saliva

  • Subdued behaviour such as a reduction in grooming

If your pet is demonstrating one or more of the symptoms above you should bring them to see us as soon as possible. The quicker a tooth or gum infection is diagnosed, the more likely effective treatment is. 

The best way to prevent your pet from developing a dental problem is to take a proactive approach from when they’re a baby. You should brush your pet’s teeth regularly with specialist animal toothpaste that doesn’t require water and causes no harm if swallowed. 

A dry or partially dry diet is also recommended. Chewing causes hard, rough biscuits to rub against your animal’s teeth acting as a cleaning device. 

Finally, dental sticks are available to not only keep animal’s teeth and gums healthy, but to prevent bad breath too. 

When you bring your pet to Newnham Court Vets for their annual check-up they will have their teeth thoroughly examined. This is to check for any signs that they could be suffering from a tooth or gum disease.

There may be a stage in your pet’s life when we recommended dental treatment under anaesthetic. Depending on the age and health of your pet, we may also require a pre-anaesthetic blood test. 

Once your pet is asleep a veterinary surgeon will check each tooth extensively for problems such as mobility, deep pockets around the teeth, exposed roots, and tooth decay. Once this examination is complete, the vet may decide that an X-ray would be useful to help decide an effective treatment. 

Some problems we see at Newnham Court Vets can be reversed by scaling (removing the tartar) and additional care at home. However, if the problem is found to be too advanced, a single tooth or multiple teeth may need to be removed. 

In extreme cases root canal treatment may be discussed with you. 

If you would like more information about animal dental health, or to book your pet in to have their teeth examined by a veterinary professional, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

To have your pet treated by the practice that has been caring for animals for 100 years, get in touch. You can call us on 01622 734555 or send us a fax on 01622 736512. Alternatively, send us an email at For out of hours animal care call our emergency service on 01622 734054.

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