Disclaimer alert: I am not a professional of any kind, just a pet lover who has done research over the Internet and my own personal observations and experiences with my own pets. This is just my opinion and not to be taken as a fact. I have not be paid or compensated in anyway by Vetzlife, they just have a product that I found beneficial to my dogs. If you have any questions, please consult your veterinarian for accurate and professional advice.
It wasn't until I worked at a veterinarian clinic that I even knew the importance of healthy teeth for our pets. Of course it makes sense but being on a tight budget and not always making it to my own dentist as often as I should, I definitely can't spring for a yearly dental on all my rescues! But here is a little bit of info first and then I want to tell you about a product that I love!
The following information came from this website: http://vetmedicine.about.com/
What is the difference between plaque and tartar?
Plaque is a colony of bacteria, mixed with saliva, blood cell, and other bacterial components. Plaque often leads to tooth and gum disease. Dental tartar, or calculus, occurs when plaque becomes mineralized (hard) and firmly adheres to the tooth enamel then erodes the gingival tissue.
What can happen if my pet's teeth aren't cleaned?
Both plaque and tartar damage the teeth and gums. Disease starts with the gums (gingiva). They become inflamed - red, swollen, and sore. The gums finally separate from the teeth, creating pockets where more bacteria, plaque, and tartar build up. This in turn causes more damage, and finally tooth and bone loss.
This affects the whole body, too. Bacteria from these inflamed oral areas can enter the bloodstream and affect major body organs. The liver, kidneys, heart, and lungs are most commonly affected. Antibiotics are used prior to and after a dental cleaning to prevent bacterial spread through the blood stream.
How can I care for my pet's teeth at home?
It is important to use products specifically designed for dogs and cats. Do not use human toothpaste on your pet's teeth. Products are available for cats and for ]dogs. Your veterinarian or veterinary technician can show you the proper techniques for your pet. Some animals do well with a toothbrush, some do not. Other products include finger swabs, tooth 'cloths', and mouth rinses. Talk to your vet about what type of product would work best for your pet. Ideally, the teeth should be brushed daily, as with humans. Even once every few days will be a big help.
It is important to watch the treats, too. The soft, gummy treats can be especially bad for the teeth - they are soft, sticky, and full of sugar. Treats such as raw carrots for dogs are a much healthier choice. There are many "dental treats" on the market now to reduce plaque and tartar buildup.
The following information is from: http://www.petplace.com/
A dental, also sometimes called a "prophy" or prophylaxis, is a cleaning and polishing of a dog's teeth. It is important to realize that dental disease does not reach a particular level and remain there. Dental disease continuously progresses. As dental disease progresses, the treatment becomes more involved, meaning longer and more elaborate (and more costly) dental procedures. This means that sooner is better than later when it comes to addressing your pet's dental disease with an appropriate treatment.
The following information is from http://www.healthypet.com/
The AAHA Dental Care Guidelines recommend regular oral examinations and dental cleanings, under general anesthesia, for all adult dogs and cats. AAHA recommends these procedures at least annually starting at one year of age for cats and small-breed dogs, and at two years of age for large-breed dogs. The guidelines further recommend the following:
Pre-anesthetic exam — Whenever anesthesia is needed, special considerations are taken to help ensure the safety of your pet. Your veterinarian will thoroughly examine your pet to make sure she’s healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. Depending on your pet’s age and general physical condition, your veterinarian may also run blood, urine, electrocardiograph, and x-ray tests to check for any dangerous heart, kidney, or other conditions. Though there is some risk associated with any medical procedure, modern anesthesia is usually safe, even for older pets.AS you can see, this can become all quite expensive and I always would hesitate putting my pet under anesthesia unless it was absolutely necessary (once again, only MY opinion). There is a product that the Doctor at my clinic had me and another woman test out. I am usually very cynical about EASY fixes but I LOVE this! It's called Vetzlife Oral Care. I have tried both the spray and the gel and I personally prefer the gel. I think it is much more effective. It is made from all natural ingredients and (I'd try it myself but it has grapefruit extract in it and I can't have that because I'm on statin medication...but if I wasn't, I'd try it! LOL!)
Anesthesia monitoring — During anesthesia, the monitoring and recording of your pet’s vital signs (such as body temperature, heart rate, and respiration, as well as other important factors) is important. This helps ensure the safety of your pet while undergoing anesthesia.
Dental radiographs — Radiographs (x-rays) of the teeth are needed periodically in order to completely evaluate your pet’s oral health. X-rays aid the veterinarian greatly in detecting abnormalities that cannot be detected under examination alone. In some cases, x-rays can confirm the need for extraction of teeth that are loose or badly infected.
Scaling & Polishing — Veterinarians are advised to use similar instruments as human dentists to remove plaque and calculus from your pet’s teeth. To smooth out any scratches in the tooth enamel, polishing with a special paste is also recommended.
Fluoride/sealants — The application of an anti-plaque substance, such as a fluoride treatment and/or a barrier sealant is also advised. This can help strengthen and desensitize teeth as well as decrease future plaque.
What I did was squirt a little bit on my finger and then rubbed it across the teeth of one of my dogs that had plague build-up. I did that twice a day at first and then tampered off. (There are directions for the size of the dog and the amount of the gel and the frequency) but what it does is, it starts to break down the plague on the teeth. I have been told that you could give your dog a HARD bone to chew on after the dog had been treated for a bit and that can help chip it off. I'm thinking of trying those new Dentastix by Pedigree (if I do, I'll give you a review)...but, if you are me, you could take your thumb nail and chip it....yeah, some people would find that kinda gross but if it saves me money...! So here's the website for you to take a look- http://vetzlife.com/
Remember I am just saying that I like it but I'm NOT guaranteeing it will work for you but you might want to check it out and it's a lot cheaper than getting a dental done on your pet so often!
AND I also recommend the mint flavor because it helps with the BAD breath problem!
Mmmmm Minty Fresh!