Dental and oral diseases are not infrequent among pets. Some of
the problems evolve into real emergencies and require urgent care.
Trauma to the face or mouth area may result in loose or broken
teeth or bones, contusions and laceration of the tongue and gums,
significant bleeding and considerable pain. Common causes include
car accidents, dog bites, blunt object, falls etc.
On occasion, fractured teeth are related to self-inflicted
damage, by chewing on hard objects or rocks. Foreign bodies, such as
twigs, bones or toys are also common causes of oral lesions and
wounds. Traumatized pets should be approached carefully. Extreme
pain will cause an animal to bite and behave unpredictably. The best
thing an owner can do is to rap the pet in a blanket and get to the
vet ASAP. Local pain and trauma can be initially managed with
cleaning and ice packs. Bleeding may be controlled with moderate
pressure over the area.
Tumors of the oral cavity are usually noticed late, when they
become large or bleed. Many oral tumors are malignant and carry poor
prognosis. They quiet often mimic inflammation and go untreated or
under treated for a while. That is why frequent oral and dental
examination is so important. Early detection and intervention save
Sudden swelling under the eye indicates a tooth root infection
and an abscess. Sometimes the abscess will rupture through the
facial skin and drain its content outside the body. These cases
should be treated promptly with antibiotics and extraction of the
Inflammations and infections of the oral cavity are among the
most common problems. They might persist for a while as low-grade
processes and go unnoticed until they become an emergency. Swelling
and redness of the gums are signs of gingivitis. A whitish or bloody
discharge may develop in advanced cases. In cats, gingivitis is very
common and is often related to viral infections. A build-up of
plaque and tartar predispose the teeth and gums to disease.
With severe gum disease, you can detect a foul breath odor called
halitosis. Pets may also have a decreased appetite, selective eating
of soft foods, and behavioral changes related to eating (dropping
food from mouth or running away from the food dish). Infections can
extend from the mouth to the adjacent bone and bloodstream and
internal organs such as the liver, heart and kidneys. These cases
require treatment with antibiotics and other appropriate
We recommend daily brushing (with tooth paste and brushes made
for pets) and yearly/ semi-annual check-ups as basic prophylaxis.
Dental scaling and polishing should be done promptly when necessary.
These preemptive measures will help keep your pet's mouth
healthy and you smiling.