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National Pet Dental Month and Senior Dogs

image from api.ning.com
February is National Pet Dental Month, and since my mind is on candy, this is the perfect month to remind me about the importance of my dog's dental hygiene.

image from api.ning.com
Having a senior dog who already had dental issues when we adopted her is tough. Cleo had a tooth break in half while playing with another dog at the park. The dog had a metal collar. Following her first dental examine as our new family member over seven years ago, she had two root canals. A few years ago she had eight teeth removed following an incident when she caught a canine tooth in a piece of wood. She was on the losing end of the tug-of-war with the Labrador Retriever. It has been one thing after another for her so now we are hyper-aware of whether she has any mouth pain. Do you know when your dog's mouth hurts?

Oral pain can be difficult to pinpoint in pets, particularly if the pain is a gradual change. Just because your dog appears pain free, it doesn't mean she is. In fact, the majority of dogs with fractured teeth don't show signs of discomfort even though they may be in serious pain. If your pet exhibits any of the following behaviors, she could have a tooth fracture:

Chewing on one side
Dropping food from the mouth when eating
Excessive drooling
Teeth grinding
Pawing at the mouth
Facial swelling
Shying away when the face is petted
Refusing to eat hard food
Refusing to chew on hard treats or toys
Tooth discoloration could be the result of pulpitis, which is the inflammation of the tooth pulp

I will never forget the first time Cleo picked up her plush squeaky toy to show us how happy she was we'd come home...only to drop it like a hot potato. The look on her face said it all.

For more information go to the library section of the GREENIES® site

This post was [originally] written by a Nutro Knowledge Network Member.

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