Greencross Vets has partnered with Petbarn to raise awareness about the importance of dental hygiene in dogs and cats.
The chain of veterinary hospitals – which has clinics in Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Point Cook, Williamstown, Craigieburn, South Morang and Woodend – is urging pet owners to watch out for the seven signs of dental disease in their four-legged friends.
According to the Australian and American Veterinary Dental Societies, more than 80 per cent of dogs and cats will develop dental disease by the age of three.
Greencross Vets director, Dr Michael Yazbeck, said dental disease was a serious issue that was often overlooked by pet parents who did not realise their pet’s teeth needed daily bushing and a regular dental routine.
“Dental disease is painful for pets and can often progress to a severe stage before the pet is even taken to the vet. If you can’t remember the last time you brushed your pet’s teeth, there is a high likelihood they could be suffering from dental disease,” he said.
Dental disease is inflammation of the gums and supporting tissues caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar, and can cause bad breath, oral pain and loss of teeth in pets.
If left untreated, dental disease can contribute to certain forms of heart, liver and kidney problems.
The signs of dental disease to watch out for in cats and dogs include discolouration or build-up of plaque and tartar on teeth, difficulty eating or loss of appetite, bleeding around mouth, swelling under the eye and pawing at the mouth or chattering of the teeth.