Dogs, just like people, can suffer from diseases that develop in the oral cavity. This usually occurs in the absence of proper dental hygiene, but there may be other reasons. One of the most common dental diseases is periodontal disease.
Many owners underestimate the danger of this disease, while in the absence of timely treatment, it can lead to serious consequences — from loss of teeth to pathology of the gastrointestinal tract.
How periodontal disease develops, causes
Periodontal disease is usually understood as a progressive inflammatory process that develops in the parotid tissue — the periodontal (ligamentous apparatus of the tooth). In dogs, it never develops from scratch and occurs due to gum inflammation (gingivitis), which, in turn, is a consequence of Tartar.
The mechanism of development of periodontal disease is as follows. If you do not clean your teeth naturally (with bones, granules of solid dry food) or with a special brush, the plaque is mineralized and hardens. Deposits on the teeth are a favorable environment for the rapid multiplication of bacteria that settle under the gums.
Gingivitis begins, provoking the destruction of dental alveoli and tooth loss. This is periodontal disease. If dog owners ignore this phenomenon and do not contact a veterinarian, the bacteria penetrate even deeper, affecting vital organs — the liver, kidneys, and heart.
However, Tartar in dogs is not the only cause that contributes to the development of the disease. In dogs with infectious and autoimmune disorders, vitamin deficiency periodontal disease can develop even with proper care for the oral cavity.
In addition, there are breeds (brachycephalic varieties), whose representatives have a hereditary predisposition to pathology. Pugs and bulldogs are more likely than other dogs to have birth defects in their teeth.
Clinical picture of periodontal disease
Basically, most Pets suffer from the disease, in the diet of which there is no solid food. The life expectancy of four-legged Pets with periodontal disease is less than that of dogs with a healthy oral cavity. That is why if a dog shows signs that indicate the development of periodontal disease, you should immediately take measures to eliminate it.
Symptoms of the disease:
- putrid breath;
- inflamed red gums;
- painful sensations when pressing on the gums;
- salivation, with saliva often colored pink due to bleeding;
- refusal of food due to painful sensations when chewing;
- loose and loose teeth;
- swelling of the facial muscles;
- fistulas, abscesses in the mouth (in severe cases).
The signs are quite bright, so it is not particularly difficult to determine the disease at home. However, it is possible to detect the beginning of structural damage to bone tissues only with the help of diagnostic measures (one of the mandatory ones is radiography) in the clinic.
Treatment of periodontal disease in dogs
After the pet is accurately diagnosed, the doctor determines a set of measures aimed at eliminating periodontal disease. How and how to treat periodontal disease in dogs? This issue is of concern to all pet owners. You need to understand that this is a long process that requires both a person and a pet to be patient, especially if the pathology is running.
With mild periodontal disease, when the bone tissue is not yet affected, you can do with professional ultrasonic cleaning, which removes plaque, as well as a course of antibiotics to avoid the inflammatory process in the tissues.
In severe cases, ultrasound is no longer enough, so you have to resort to removing the affected tooth. The doctor does this with special care, since even a small piece of root will serve as a provoking factor for a new outbreak of infection.
Then it is necessary to remove accumulated pus and dead tissue by surgical excision. General anesthesia is used during the operation. After surgery, the dog is x-rayed to make sure that the tooth is removed efficiently.
Long-term antibiotic therapy is performed to prevent sepsis. Antibiotics are injected directly into the gum tissue and root canal. Drugs that are prescribed to relieve inflammatory processes — Metronidazole, Clavulanate, glucocorticoids, solutions of Miramistin and Chlorhexidine — have proven themselves well and effectively cope with the tasks set.
Important: in no case should you self-medicate and give the dog drugs with an antibiotic without a doctor’s appointment. This can seriously undermine the health of the dog.
Regardless of the stage of periodontal disease, you should strengthen the animal’s immune system, since the body needs strength to fight the disease. The dog should get the right amount of nutrients, for which it is prescribed vitamins. The vitamin complex is selected by the veterinarian individually.
If the dog refuses to eat because of pain, the patient is transferred to parenteral nutrition.
To prevent infection from affecting healthy teeth, they must be sealed. Unfortunately, not all veterinary clinics in Russia offer such services, but in the West, filling the teeth of dogs is a common procedure.
Some owners resort to traditional medicine methods, using decoctions of calendula, sage, Furatsilina solution, propolis, but these methods will not replace full-fledged medical treatment. They should be used exclusively in complex treatment and only after consultation with a veterinarian.
Prevention of periodontal disease
As you know, any disease is easier to prevent than to carry out long-term and sometimes expensive treatment. There are a number of fairly simple rules that can be followed to avoid periodontal disease. First of all, the owner should regularly brush the pet’s teeth with a special brush.
In a veterinary clinic, you can buy a gel or paste that prevents the formation of plaque and the proliferation of bacteria. The cleanser should be used once a week.
Formations on the teeth should be removed immediately, until they are mineralized. Hard plaque is much more difficult to clean, and it is impossible to do this at home.
It is advisable to teach the dog to the procedure of brushing teeth from an early age, then this manipulation will be quite natural for him. This should be done carefully, so as not to cause pain to the animal and not form unpleasant associations.
You can brush your dog’s teeth not only with a special brush, which can be expensive, but also with a regular children’s brush with soft bristles. She will do her job well. But it is not recommended to use “human” paste, since it contains a lot of substances that negatively affect the bone tissue and the animal’s body as a whole. These substances include xylene, menthol, and others.
The dog’s diet should include solid food, a sufficient amount of nutrients. Do not neglect regular examinations at the veterinarian.
If the dog accidentally injured the gums, for example, playing with metal or sharp objects, you need to immediately treat the oral cavity with an antiseptic, or even better — take the animal to a veterinary clinic.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.