Cavities In Dogs
Taking care of your dog's teeth is just as important as taking care of your own. Dogs can suffer from a variety of dental issues including cavities. Fortunately, because a dog's teeth are shaped differently than human teeth, they aren't as prone to getting cavities as often as humans do. However, because of the modern domestic dog's diet, they are more likely to happen especially if tooth care is neglected. Here is more information about cavities in dogs as well as how to have them treated and prevented.
Signs of Cavities in Dogs
In their early stages, cavities are unlikely to bother your dog or cause him any discomfort, so you may not realize that he has any. However, if a cavity is left alone, the decay will increase and infections and tooth decay will become more obvious and painful. This could cause your dog to stop eating. In the early stages, the cavities will appear to be white spots and other discoloration in the enamel. In later stages, you may see actual breakdown in the surface of the teeth.
Causes of Cavities in Dogs
One of the main causes of cavities in dogs is poor dental hygiene. You must make brushing your dog's teeth a regular habit. There are several techniques available to get your dog accustomed to the routine as well as special toothpastes with flavors that dogs like. Other causes include a diet high in carbohydrates, such as that in many dog foods and treats. A lack of appropriate objects for your dog to chew on, such as hard rubber toys or dog treats designed to clean the teeth, also increase the chances of dental decay.
Treating Cavities in Dogs
Your veterinarian will do a thorough examination of the mouth, including the gums, before deciding on a course of action. Minor cavities in dogs are sometimes treated with either a fluoride varnish or bonding agent. If the problem is more severe, fillings will likely be required. A dental x-ray is taken to determine the exact size and severity of the cavity before filling. Very severe decay may require a root canal or even removal of the tooth.
Be sure to check your dog's mouth and teeth on a regular basis in order to prevent future problems. Dogs will likely show no signs of cavities until things get so bad as to be life threatening. Have your dog's mouth examined by a veterinarian, such as Brian E Hall, at least once a year. They may also give you advice on special diets and brushing tips so that your dog is more likely to have no dental discomfort in the future.