Thinking about skipping a visit to the vet to save some cash? You’d better think again! New statistics show pets are getting sicker simply because their owners are skimping on basic medical care.
Obesity, kidney disease, arthritis and cancer are all on the rise and the American Veterinary Medical Association says it’s because owners are not taking their pets to the vet for routine exams. We found a USA Today article detailing the pet health epidemic, so we reached out to our vet expert to find out what’s really going on.
Obesity is up 37 percent in dogs (and an astounding 90 percent in cats). Diabetes is up 32 percent and arthritis is up 38 percent. A whopping 60 percent of dogs have dental disease, which is highly preventable.
We chronicled the warning signs and dangers of dental disease in the first part of this series on oral health. Now it’s time to explore a teeth-cleaning procedure done right. It’s very important to ask the right questions and make sure your dog is taken care of during his teeth cleaning, as he will be put under general anesthesia and may need to have teeth removed. More on that to come. First, let’s walk through the teeth-cleaning procedure.
Step one: Anesthesia
Sundown has his IV in place and is ready for his injection of propofol to induce anesthesia. A vet should perform a check on your dog before inducing anesthesia to make sure he’s healthy enough for it. Blood work may need to be done. Sundown checked out fine; he is young and quite healthy so he was green-lighted for this procedure. You should ask what precautions your vet takes against anesthetic complications.
Sundown has a red line between the tooth and the gum as well as layers of brown tartar build-up, classic signs of stage-one gingivitis.
Dental disease in dogs is unfortunately quite common. In fact, a vast majority (upwards of 85 percent) of dogs will develop dental disease in their lifetime, and most by the time they are three-years-old.
We have been aware of this sobering fact since Yellow Dog was a wee-one of five months. We constantly check Yellow’s teeth and offer bully sticks often to keep his teeth healthy. This vigilance has worked for Yellow but sometimes genetics play a role; this has been the case for Yellow’s brother, Sundown, who currently has stage-one gingivitis, which is characterized by tartar build-up on the upper-rear teeth and minor inflammation at the gum line.