Brush my dog’s teeth every day? Seriously? The short answer? Yes! I know, it sounds ridiculous, however, it is almost as important as getting your child to brush every day. Most dogs can be trained to accept the idea, so we have some tips for you:
- The younger you start, the better. But it’s never too late.
- Start by pulling back the lips and rubbing her teeth with gauze or some sort of clean fabric. This gets her used to the sensation.
- Once he’s comfortable with that you can upgrade to a toothbrush. Make sure if you do not purchase it from your veterinarian (they know what is best) that it is very soft bristles.
- DO NOT use human toothpaste. It is toxic to dogs. Purchase paste that is poultry flavored. Your dog will thank you.
- 30 seconds is all it takes, just make sure you get below the gum line and the back teeth especially well. This is where most of the tartar forms.
- Tarter turns into plaque in 36 hours so be sure not to miss more than a day. Once it is plaque it must be professionally removed under anesthesia.
- It is also helpful to use a diet specially formulated for dental health. Make sure you look for the VOHC seal (Veterinary Oral Health Council) http://www.vohc.org/.
- Regular check ups with your vet are still important. Dental disease is easily treated but left untreated can cause a host of medical problems, including pain for your dog.
- For more information visit https://www.gentletouchanimalhospital.com/veterinary-services/pet-dentistry.html
If your vet recommends a professional cleaning, “anesthesia free” is not the way to go. They are simply brushing your dog’s teeth for you. The dog must be under in order to allow the technician to get under the gumline, where there is hidden plaque. Make sure your veterinarian performs oral x-rays. We often find problems we can not see with the naked eye. Pre-anesthetic blood work is always recommended and encouraged.
As always, with any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 303.691.3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Springtime Parasite Safety For Your Dog
It’s the time of year when your pet is going to start spending more time outdoors. You may not give much thought to who he shares that space with—but you should. From deer and coyotes to foxes, skunks, bats, and raccoons, wild animals can pose a serious threat as they carry a variety of diseases that can be transmitted to pets and people. Springtime parasite safety for your dog is definitely something you want to think about.
- Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that attacks the brain. It can affect any warm-blooded animal, including dogs, cats, and humans. It is almost always fatal.
- All mammals can contract rabies, but some are more susceptible than others. Foxes, skunks, and raccoons are particularly prone to rabies and can be carriers. The disease is transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal to another mammal.
- The best way to prevent rabies is to have your pet vaccinated. For more information visit pet vaccinations
- Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects livestock, wildlife, companion animals, and humans. Symptoms of the disease can vary, but common signs include fever, lethargy, and vomiting. The disease can be fatal if left untreated or even if treatment is delayed.
- Leptospirosis is most commonly transmitted through standing water or soil contaminated with the urine of infected animals. Pets at particularly high risk include those who frequent dog parks, visit hiking trails or other nature areas that have an increase in wildlife traffic, or spend any time outdoors, even if only in the yard. Pets that are walked in common areas such as apartment complexes or busier neighborhoods are also at great risk.
- A vaccine is available to protect your pet against leptospirosis infection. In addition, be sure not to let your pet drink from standing water and avoid any areas that may be contaminated.
- Tapeworms are long, flat worms that live in your pet’s intestines.
- In order to become infected with tapeworms, your pet must ingest a flea that contains tapeworm eggs. This process begins when fleas are accidentally ingested upon licking or chewing the skin. The flea is digested within your pet’s intestine and the tapeworm hatches, anchoring itself to the intestinal lining. We are seeing an increased number of pets with fleas every year, even in the city.
- Tapeworm infections are treated with a deworming medication that kills the worms within the intestines.
- The most effective way to prevent infections in pets and humans is through aggressive and thorough flea control.
- Giardia is a parasite that lives in the intestines and is passed in the feces. In some humans and animals, it can cause diarrhea and cramping known as Giardiasis. Anything that comes in contact with feces from infected humans or animals can be contaminated with the Giardia parasite.
- Wildlife including beavers, muskrats, deer, coyotes, and rodents are frequent carriers of Giardia. Pets may become infected after drinking from puddles or ponds or swallowing infected stool from other animals. Signs of Giardia infection include diarrhea, greasy stools, and dehydration.
- Giardiasis can be treated with medication; however, this parasite can persist in the environment and lead to reinfection. Because of this, environmental disinfection is also critical.
Tick Transmitted Diseases
- Ticks are blood-feeding external parasites that can attach to both animals and humans and spread transmit numerous bacterial diseases, including Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
- Ticks are unable to jump and instead find their hosts through a behavior called “questing.” Questing ticks perch on leaves or blades of grass with their front legs extended, waiting to climb onto a host that brushes past. They can easily grab a hold of your pet’s fur as he travels through particularly grassy, bushy, or wooded areas. The tick then burrows down through the hair where it attaches to the skin.
- When it comes to preventing ticks and the diseases they spread, consistent parasite control is key. In addition, you should always examine your pet thoroughly after hikes or other outdoor activities. If you find a tick on your pet, it is important to remove it as soon as possible, if you are unsure or unable to remove it yourself please call your vet for assistance.
- A Lyme disease vaccine may be also be recommended for pets who are highly exposed to ticks.
As always, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. email@example.com or 303.691.3720
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