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---"I want to add my praise for WiggleLegs Frog toy.  My cat loves to play with WiggleLegs No other toy will do.  When I ask her to find WiggleLegs she goes right to it!  I just ordered 3 more as I'm afraid you will stop making them and then I don't know what we will do!"

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Each MetPet FlyToy is handmade by skilled artisans with great attention to detail.  They come in the form of bugs, amphibians, mammals and more in three very reasonable price points.

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Periodontal Disease in Pets

Flossing and mouth washes aren't required - yet - but a brush and clean are in order for your cats and dogs

 

MetPet.com Staff Writer

Periodontal diseases and disorders are problems with the teeth and gums.  As food and drink is chewed and ingested, a thin film of food and bacteria, known as plaque, develops on the surface of teeth and around the gum line.  If left to harden, plaque becomes calculus which can be seen as yellowish deposits around teeth particularly where they meet the gums. 

Although gum and tooth disease can appear minor, these conditions can lead to much more serious consequences.  Through the mouth, bacteria can enter the bloodstream If left unattended, periodontal disease can develop into a variety of unpleasant or life-threatening disorders and diseases:

- bad breath
- swollen, receding, bleeding gums
- tooth loss
- abcesses
- tonsillitis
- sinus infections
- bacterial infection of the bloodstream reaching the heart or kidneys and resulting in heart or kidney failure in the most serious cases

Early symptoms of periodontal disease can include bad breath, obvious signs of discomfort around the mouth, loss of appetite, bleeding and loose teeth.  Pets can begin forming plaque at a few years of age so it's important to begin the dental hygiene routine as early as possible.

Daily or frequent brushing
Foods and treats that are designed to keep teeth clean generally use some type of physical cleaning effect.  They tend to be harder to chew causing individual teeth to sink into them thus creating a "brushing" effect.  Although there is evidence that these foods and treats do help reduce plaque buildup, the most effective preventative is still the regular brushing of the teeth and gums with a pet toothpaste and brush. 

Pet toothpaste is meant to be ingested and is flavored to be palatable (for example, liver or malt flavored).  Human toothpaste is not meant to be ingested in large quantities and can lead to gastrointestinal upset. 

You can start off the kitten or the puppy with a piece of gauze wrapped around your index finger and gently swabbed around his mouth.  You can then add some pet-friendly flavored toothpaste and then graduate to fingertip brush.  If you prefer using human brushes, look for soft bristles with compact heads for maximum reach.  Some larger dogs actually enjoy having their teeth brushed with an electric toothbrush but they are definitely in the minority. 

As with human teeth cleaning, it's important to do this daily whenever possible and for a minute or more whenever possible. 

Veterinary Teeth Cleaning
Depending on the pet, teeth cleaning, involving the scaling and polishing of teeth with special instruments under general anesthesia or sedation by a veterinarian, can be required from time to time.  There is a wide range of individual susceptibility to plaque buildup and periodontal disease, in addition, the use of general anesthesia, especially in older or sickly individuals, can be both expensive and is not without some health risks.

The older the pet, the riskier and generally more expensive the procedure due to the additional tests and monitoring recommended to minimize the risks of general anesthesia.  If you are planning on having your pet's teeth cleaned, consider other procedures that could be done to take advantage of the sedation.  This will help keep costs down as well as reduce the risk to your pet.

Some veterinarians suggest a once or twice a year cleaning schedule for pets with a high susceptibility to periodontal disease and plaque buildup. Other pets can have a cleaning every five years while other pets never have their teeth cleaned. 

Related information:
What To Do About Doggy Breath
 

 
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