The primary reason that you should brush your dog’s teeth is that periodontal disease can cause more problems than tooth pain. Your dog is at higher risk of heart, kidney, and liver disease when he has gum inflammation. Untreated gum disease can destroy bone at an unprecedented rate. It can make the jaw so weak that the dog is subject to fracture of the jawbone.
How to Prevent Gum Disease in Retrievers
The first thing you should plan to do is to brush your pet’s teeth twice a day. By brushing twice a day you minimize the bacteria and bacteria byproducts allowing for the body to defend and maintain a very healthy mouth.
Following these four steps and working with your vet you can prevent slow, painful gum disease in your Retriever:
- Get oral exams and cleanings of your dogs teeth on a regular basis. If you allow your vet to take dental x-rays under general anesthesia you can get a full picture of what is going on with your dog’s teeth below the gum line.
- Try to brush your dog’s teeth every day. You pretty much have to follow the same regimen that you have for your own teeth but do it for your dog. This can be a little taxing but it doesn’t have to be. If you take your time using the right tools and get the proper guidance most pet owners can clean their dog’s teeth successfully. If you take it real slow most dogs will allow you to brush their teeth.
- Always feed your dog high quality dog food. Your dog will benefit from a good dental diet if they have food they can chew and have food that has additives that prevent plaque from hardening. Check this out with the vet and find the right food for your retriever.
- Give your dog safe toys and treats that encourage daily chewing. If your dog is allowed to chew every day on tooth friendly treats this will help prevent gum disease in dogs. Try to find treats and toys that are not too hard. Thin rawhide, rubber balls, and toys made of rubber where you can hide the treats often work well. Be careful of the hard rawhide treats which tends to give retrievers gastrointestinal problems. Avoid hard treats of any kind such as raw or cooked animal bones, nylon bones, or cow hooves.
How to Treat Gum Disease In Your Retriever
Gum disease is a very common problem in dogs. It’s estimated that more than 80% of dogs have some stage of periodontal disease once they are over three years old. Treatment depends on the stage of the periodontal disease. The only way to determine the stage is to get an oral exam and x-rays.
- Stage I -this is indicated by mild redness and inflammation of the gums without periodontal pockets between the gum and the tooth. To treat this your vet just needs to clean above and below the gum line.
- Stage II – at this stage periodontal pockets form between the gum and the tooth but you still have no involvement of the bone. They will treat the gum tissue and tooth root by cleaning and rinsing and treating with the gel to help reattach the gum to the tooth root.
- Stage III – this is where periodontal pockets form in the pockets go deeper than 5 mm which means now there is bone loss. They can fix this by opening the gum flap cleaning out diseased tissue around the tooth and bone.
- Stage IV – this is where bone loss is over 50% and tooth extraction is the only treatment.
This may seem a little much for treatment of a dog but just like your own health if you want your pet to stay healthy you need to take all of this information into consideration. For the sake of your pet’s health try to make this a priority.
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