The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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January 25, 2014

Time to check pets for dental problems

JOHNSTOWN — February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and a Johnstown veterinarian is urging pet owners to see that their four-legged friends receive regular dental care.

Fayez Assad, a veterinarian with Johnstown Veterinary Associates, said dental disease is the most common, most diagnosed, most often recognized health problem in pets.

“Seventy to 80 percent of all dogs and cats 3 years of age and older have some degree of dental disease, which requires treatment or preventative care or both,” he said.

Dental cleaning should be a necessary component of routine preventative care just as vaccinations, intestinal parasite and heartworm testing, and nutritional and behavioral counseling are, Assad said.

“If left untreated, periodontal disease, the progressive inflammation of the supporting structures surrounding the teeth, can lead to infection and tooth loss and severe problems like kidney, liver and heart disease,” he said.

“Clinical signs of periodontal disease may include mouth odor, drooling and difficulty eating hard food.

“Consequences of periodontal disease can be devastating,” Assad said. “Just as you brush your teeth and have them professionally cleaned for good overall health and appearance, your pet requires the same care.”


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