Dog Cavities: Do Dogs Get Them and Can They be Prevented?
As a dog owner, you probably find yourself wondering about your pet’s health and wellness often. Your dog’s dental health is a part of this, and it’s important to keep up with your pet’s needs when it comes to dental care and cleaning, too. But did you know dogs can get cavities without the right dental care?
In the article below, you’ll find out more information about cavities in dogs and learn how you can help prevent them in your pet, too. Read on to find out more.
What Causes Cavities in Dogs?
Dogs and humans both get the same kinds of cavities, and if you’ve ever had one, you know what it’s like for a dog to have one, too. But what causes this problem? Basically, cavities in dogs are caused by poor dental hygiene, just like they are in humans.
More specifically, they are caused by the buildup of bacteria and plaque on your pet’s teeth. The longer the bacteria sit on your pet’s teeth, the more plaque they produce, and the more damage is done to the teeth, too. Dogs don’t eat junk food like humans do, but their regular food and treats can also cause bacteria and plaque buildup.
Are Cavities as Common in Dogs as They are in Humans?
No, not at all. Humans are much more prone to developing cavities because we eat a lot of sugary foods as well as acidic foods, like citrus fruit. Dogs don’t eat much of either of these substances, so they’re much less likely to have a cavity than a human is.
With that said, however, it is still very possible for dog cavities to develop, especially if you don’t keep up with your pet’s dental health and hygiene. Dogs with teeth that are not cared for properly are much more prone to this potential issue.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dog Cavities?
Dogs hide their pain well, but if your dog is dealing with dental pain, she will likely show you in some way. She may have difficulty chewing or eating, or she might not want to play with her toys like she once did. She might also show signs of fear or aggression when you try to touch her mouth.
Dogs with dental pain may also have visibly damaged teeth, and you might be able to see the cavity itself. The pain from your dog’s tooth problem might also cause her to drool excessively as she tries to get rid of the pain.
Additionally, some dogs are more prone to cavities than others. English and French bulldogs, poodles, pugs, and Pomeranians are some of the breeds that are more likely to show signs of cavities than others.
What is the Treatment for Cavities in Dogs?
Just like humans, dogs may sometimes need fillings to treat their cavities. If your dog needs a filling, she will need to be anesthetized for the procedure, and your vet may need to refer you to a special dental vet depending on the situation.
Some dogs may need a root canal or removal of the tooth altogether, depending on the extent of the damage and the location of the cavity.
How Can You Help Prevent Cavities for Your Dog?
The best way to prevent dog cavities is the same method of preventing cavities in yourself: brush her teeth! Keep up with brushing your dog’s teeth regularly to cut down on the risk of her developing cavities as well as other oral health problems throughout her life.
Additionally, you can take your dog to the vet for a professional dental deep cleaning. Your vet will let you know how frequently you need to take your dog in for this type of procedure and can tell you if she’s a good candidate for a cleaning, too.
When talking about dental health for pets, Heart + Paw Chief Veterinary Officer, George Melillo, says, “At one point, veterinarians would delay dental care and deal with problems as they arose in a pet’s mouth. Now, we strive to keep pets from ever experiencing the pain of dental disease and to have our patients live a long life with a full set of teeth.”
Seek Veterinary Care for Any Sign of Dog Cavities
With the help of this information, you should be well on your way to better understanding your dog’s dental health. You can use this knowledge to make it easier to recognize problems with your dog’s teeth before they get out of hand, and you can know what to expect if your pet has a cavity, too.
Remember that you should always keep up with your pet’s dental cleanings, exams, and general checks. Your vet can give you more information that is specific to your pet, and can help you get to the bottom of any problems that may be affecting your dog’s teeth.
If there are any reasons why your dog is not a good candidate for dental cleanings or treatment of cavities, your vet can let you know about this and help you figure out an alternative, too. When it comes to dog cavities, it’s best to seek veterinary care as soon as possible so that your pet can get the treatment they need right away. For more information about your dog’s dental health, or if you need to schedule a teeth cleaning for your pet, book an appointment at any of our locations today.
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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.
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