Tartar in dogs
Tartar in dogs is a problem that should not be neglected. It is the main cause of bad breath, but it is the diseases it can cause that should worry us. Tartar, if left untreated, can lead to more or less serious complications such as gingivitis or abscesses.
How does tartar form? What are the consequences of its presence on the dog’s health? How to get rid of it? How to prevent a recurrence?
Overview of tartar in dogs.
1- Tartar in dogs : what is it?
Tartar is not plaque. It is actually a good layer of tartar, the result of a significant accumulation that has certainly lasted for a long time, and has finally become mineralized.
You will easily recognize tartar by its two properties:
* It is brownish in color
* It does not come off despite regular brushing
2- The process of tartar formation in dogs
Every time a dog eats, food debris will stick to his teeth. Bacteria will naturally clump and grow around it. This explains the formation of this orange film that will cover the entire dental surface.
This film is usually removed with a toothbrush. But it can happen that it does not come off completely. With time, several layers will accumulate and form a plaque. It is the mineralization of this plaque that leads to the formation of tartar.
3- Causes of tartar formation in dogs
Tartar formation can also be caused by a bad eating habit, the ingestion of wet food and digestive problems. But in most cases, poor oral hygiene is the main cause. Only regular brushing can prevent the accumulation of plaque and its subsequent mineralization.
You should also know that some breeds of dogs are predisposed to tartar formation. This is the case for the Coker, Chihuahua, Poodle, Pekingese, Yorkshire, Shih-Tzu and the miniature breeds of dog.
4- Why treat tartar in dogs – Health consequences
Tartar is not a major health problem, but it should not be neglected. Unlike plaque, which is harmless as long as it doesn’t mineralize, tartar can penetrate the gums.
4-1 Bad breath and tartar in dogs
It is well known that the first symptom indicating the presence of tartar is bad breath. The bacteria nests on the teeth will indeed start to give off a foul smell. A smell so foul that even regular brushing of the teeth cannot alleviate it.
If you feel that your dog has a persistent bad breath, he probably has tartar and you should think about getting rid of it quickly.
4-2 Gum inflammation and infections
Once tartar reaches the gums, it will cause inflammation. Your dog will then suffer from gingivitis, a painful inflammation that manifests itself by constant irritation and bleeding in the gums. If left untreated, tartar will also lead to mouth infection and oral abscesses.
No need to say how much your dog will suffer. In addition to the pain, these inflammations and infections will affect your dog’s appetite, and later on, will lead to the loss of his teeth.
4-3 How to get rid of tartar in dogs – Treatment options
The first thing to do is to keep an eye on the dog’s teeth. Because in reality, there are no 36 solutions. Either you monitor and do everything you can to prevent tartar from appearing, or you scale. And beware, the price of scaling a dog is not cheap.
4-4 Some tips to prevent tartar in dogs
To minimize the risk of tartar formation in your dog, you should :
* Give your dog a healthy, balanced diet with as little wet food as possible;
* Ensure good oral hygiene with regular brushing to remove yellow dandruff and plaque;
* Give him specific foods, designed specifically for the natural elimination of plaque.
5- When to opt for tartar removal for your dog ?
Scaling is necessary as soon as the veterinarian confirms the presence of tartar: red and swollen gums, persistent bad breath, etc.
Scaling should generally be done as soon as the dog is one year old. And it should be done systematically every two years thereafter. Don’t worry, it’s a completely painless procedure. But it can take time. That’s why the veterinarian uses general anesthesia to immobilize your dog for the duration of the operation.