Spinney Lodge Vets: Bitesize Guide To Protecting Pets’ Teeth

A leading Northamptonshire veterinary practice is giving pet owners advice on how to look after their animals’ dental health as part of a two-month awareness campaign.

Spinney Lodge Vets, which has an RCVS-approved hospital in Kettering Road, Northampton, along with practices in Wootton Fields and East Hunsbury, is urging pet owners to be vigilant when looking after their animal’s oral health.

As part of its campaign, Spinney Lodge is offering free nurse dental health checks at its Kettering Road and Wootton clinics from now until 14th May 2018, in which vet nurses will examine pets’ mouths and give advice, if needed, on what treatment may be appropriate.

Veterinary surgeon Lisa Bond said the aim of Spinney Lodge’s focus on dental health was to encourage pet owners to be aware of the risks faced by animals and prevent any dental disease going forward.
Lisa said: “Unfortunately, dental disease is extremely common in pets due to a combination of dietary and genetic factors. If we didn’t follow our dentist’s advice and look after our teeth by brushing twice a day, think what our mouths and teeth would be like – pets are no different.

“Without daily brushing, plaque can build up on animals’ teeth and this contains a complex film of bacteria which cannot always be seen by the naked eye but can be damaging to gums and roots.

“If plaque isn’t removed it can build up and become calcified. The brown substance which can be seen on the teeth of cats and dogs is tartar, which can allow more bacteria to grow and cause more damage if left untreated. This can eventually lead to toothache, gingivitis (gum infection) and tooth loss. All these conditions can be very painful and you may see your pet having difficulties eating.

“Regular proactive dental care can help prevent oral health issues. Daily brushing with pet-friendly toothpaste will help reduce the build-up of plaque and there are also a number of prescription dental diets which can be used to help prevent plaque build-up and keep teeth clean.

“For cats and dogs where tartar is already present, a scale and polish under a general anaesthetic is needed to remove the build-up.”

Lisa also warns dog owners of potential dangers to their pet of what seem to be harmless tennis balls.
She said: “Without sounding like a killjoy, tennis balls are not best friends to our dogs’ teeth. The tennis ball fibres collect sand, dirt and grit which can be very abrasive and, along with the tennis ball fibres themselves, they can wear teeth down so the root is left exposed.

“When choosing a ball for your dog to play with, it’s best to choose a soft or rubber ball. It’s also important not to let your dog or cat chew and play with hard or brittle items which could cause painful fractures to their teeth.”

To find out more information on Spinney Lodge Vets and its free dental health check offer, call 01604 648221. To watch a video giving you advice on how to clean your dog’s teeth, search for ‘Spinney Lodge Vets’ on Facebook.

Wootton Fields veterinary nurse Lisa Chawner with a patient all set for a dental check. Spinney Lodge, which has three branches across Northamptonshire, including an RCVS-approved animal hospital in the town, is offering free vet nurse dental health checks until 14th May 2018.