February is Pet Dental Health Month
Diet and oral health are the greatest preventive health measures we can provide for our pets.
Dental health is stressed because tartar on teeth at the gum line is major source of chronic infection. Aside from local pain and potential tooth loss, periodontal disease allows bacteria to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the inflamed gums (Gingivitis). The body responds to the bacteria with antibodies that combine to form complexes that get filtered by the kidneys and contribute to premature kidney failure. They also can affect liver and heart failure; just like in people.
Signs that indicate that your pet may have dental issues include
- Red, inflamed or bleeding gums
- They have stopped eating
- Their breath is very foul smelling
- Cracked or broken teeth
If you notice any of the signs, have your pet checked by your veterinarian.
In the spirit of Pet Dental Month, Rosemont Pet Clinic is offering pet dental specials in February. Give us a call if you have any concerns or questions about your pet’s oral health.
In our next post we will cover oral care options that we recommend to repair and prevent oral disease and demonstrate teeth cleaning for home care.
What is Up With Jerky Treats?
Many of our clients are wondering if they should heed the warnings of many regarding the dangers of feeding their pets jerky treats. Following is important information from both the FDA and the American Veterinary Association.
Since 2007, FDA has become aware of an increasing number of illnesses in pets associated with the consumption of jerky pet treats. As of September 24, 2013, FDA has received approximately 3000 reports of pet illnesses which may be related to consumption of the jerky treats. Most of the reports involve jerky products sourced from China. The majority of the complaints involve dogs, but cats also have been affected. The reports involve more than 3600 dogs, 10 cats and include more than 580 deaths. There does not appear to be a geographic pattern to the case reports.
FDA has received adverse event reports for many sizes and ages of dogs, and for multiple breeds. About 60 percent of the reports are for gastrointestinal illness (with or without elevated liver enzymes) and about 30 percent relate to kidney or urinary signs. The remaining 10% of cases involve a variety of other signs, including convulsions, tremors, hives, and skin irritation.
What we recommend for pet owners
- It is up to you to decide whether or not you will feed your dog chicken jerky treats. There are wonderful grain-free alternatives to jerky treats and as a safe precaution, we suggest switching until more information is revealed.
- If your pet is vomiting, lethargic, or does not want to eat, consult your veterinarian, especially if there is a history of jerky treat consumption. If your pet is showing these signs, it does not necessarily mean that your pet has been made ill by jerky treats – your veterinarian will likely need to perform tests to determine the cause of the problem.
- If your pet becomes ill and you and/or your veterinarian suspect(s) the illness may be associated with the consumption of jerky treats, discontinue feeding the treats and save the treats and packaging (storing them out of your pet’s reach and in a place where a family member will not mistakenly feed them to your pet) in case they are needed for testing.
Following are links to the FDA and AVMA if you want to read more.