By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.
Periodontal disease, an oral disease, is the source of the greatest amount of intractable pain and discomfort that can be experienced by our companion animals. I think we can all relate to tooth pain.
It is estimated that over 80% of all pet animals have significant oral pathology. When I read this statistic for the first time, it really threw me. The key word here is “significant”. Can you imagine your pet suffering the pain of a toothache, yet he is not able to tell you he is in pain? It could go on for a lifetime if undetected. A lifetime of chronic pain is bad enough, but even worse, it may lead to serious conditions such as endocarditis, iliac thrombosis, nephritis and several other preventable conditions.
Gum disease is by far the most common oral problem in small animals, and we see it mostly in older dogs. Small breed dogs, such as Poodles, Pomeranians and Maltese, generally have shorter maxillae and mandibles with relatively larger teeth in relation to their jaw size than do most large breed dogs. This leads to crowding, rotation and malocclusions that predispose small breed dogs to periodontal disease. However, one large breed dog that is especially prone to early and severe periodontal disease is the Greyhound. Other large breed dogs such as Great Danes, Collies, Dalmatians, and Boxers are susceptible to gingival overgrowth.
Not All Dogs Have “Doggy Breath” – It’s NOT A Normal Condition!
If you feed your dog a grain based, processed pet food, you probably consider oral disease and “doggy breath” a normal condition. Processed food may seem like a convenient way to feed a dog, but such diets are likely to cause your pet considerable ill health and suffering. Unfortunately, over time, periodontal disease can disrupt bodily functions and cause undo harm and painful episodes.
Most dental issues and doggy breath can be taken care of with a diet change. You see, the chemicals in an artificial diet, like kibble, are likely to encourage the accumulation of plaque. Sticky sugars provide the perfect media for bacteria, which provides the needed medium for plaque buildup. The dry diet allows food to be packed between the teeth much like popcorn. Without a way to remove the packed food between the teeth, it builds up tartar and possible infections are the result.
Need A Natural Toothbrush? Try Raw Meaty Bones
However, raw meaty bones and diets created using raw meaty bones such as the BARF Diet have good physical characteristics to promote excellent oral health. When they are combined with other food items, they provide a complete and balanced source of nutrition and when raw bones are fed they act like a natural toothbrush for your dog.
Raw Bones –Nature’s Toothbrush For Your Dog
It’s unfortunate that so many people regard “doggy breath” as an acceptable condition for dogs. Bad breath or “doggy breath” is an indicator of potential dental health problems. It isn’t “normal”. Ask any raw fed dog owner about doggy breath. You will be shocked to learn that natural raw fed dogs don’t have this problem.
Oral Health Assessments
Most of the oral conditions can be diagnosed and treated during a COHAT (Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment). A COHAT exam includes full-mouth dental x-rays, periodontal probing, cleaning and polishing, diagnosis and treatment. It is recommended that the pet owner should schedule this treatment before their pet is 18 months old because to wait longer may lead to chronic dental trauma. Many care givers object to having their pet undergo this treatment because it is necessary to put the dog under sedation.
An Easier Resolution
Conventional advice is to have regular teeth cleaning performed, by a professional or yourself. An easier resolution for prevention is to switch to a natural raw meat diet. Preventing the formation of dental plaque is the key to oral health.