Tag Archives: pet dental care

Rabbits need fiber from HAY for healthy digestion

Young red rabbit in hay on green backgroundIf you have a rabbit, the number one thing to be mindful of is that your rabbit gets enough FIBER in his or her diet.  Most of this should come from fresh, thoroughly-washed leafy vegetables – such as romaine lettuce, parsley, cilantro and other greens.  (See some great information on rabbit nutrition as well as other rabbit care topics on the House Rabbit Society website at http://rabbit.org/suggested-vegetables-and-fruits-for-a-rabbit-diet/

But it’s also important to supplement fresh greens with HAY to aid healthy digestion and stool production.  Include TIMOTHY HAY in your rabbit’s diet as a good source of fiber.   One supplier of Timothy hay is Oxbow Animal Health.  Timothy hay should be provided to your rabbit in unlimited quantities daily.  Chewing hay will also help with natural wearing of your rabbit’s teeth.   (See my past blog on Rabbits need to chew to avoid dental problem.)

Rabbits that lack sufficient fiber are prone to a condition called GI stasis, a potentially deadly condition in which stool production slows down or stops completely.  Sufficient fiber – including Timothy hay – can help prevent this condition.

Should you notice your rabbit not eating, or is producing diminished or no stools, see your veterinarian* immediately.  GI stasis can be extremely painful and can cause death in a rabbit sometimes in a matter of hours.

*IMPORTANT NOTE:  Do NOT assume that the same veterinarian who you take other pets to will care for your rabbit.  Not all veterinarians see rabbits.  Therefore, it’s best to find a good vet for your bunny BEFORE you need one – and also to schedule annual wellness exams. 

AS ALWAYS, CONSULT WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT YOUR PET’S OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLBEING.

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Rabbits need to chew to avoid dental problems

small rabbit sitting in hayPet rabbits are adorable, but need more care than many bunny owners might realize.

One thing that surprises many new bunny families is that rabbits have 28 teeth – including molars and incisors. Very few of these teeth are visible without a special instrument that your veterinarian* will use to check your rabbit’s teeth.

NOTE: Rabbits need veterinary care just like any pet. As prey animals, they mask their illness and often do not show signs or symptoms until it’s too late.  So at least annual preventive care is essential.

Your rabbit’s 28 teeth can grow tooth spurs and sharp edges that can prevent your rabbit from eating and cause extreme pain. So it’s important to help your rabbit keep his or her teeth properly worn down by providing things to chew on. Some options include:

  • Special bunny size lava rock blocks
  • Special wood blocks made just for bunnies (Get these at a pet supplies store. Do NOT use just any wood as some can contain toxic finishes that could be fatal to your rabbit.)
  • Timothy hay which should be provided to your rabbit in unlimited quantities. (Watch for my upcoming blog: Rabbits need fiber from HAY for healthy digestion.)

*IMPORTANT NOTE:  Do NOT assume that the same veterinarian who you take other pets to will care for your rabbit.  Not all veterinarians see rabbits.  Therefore, it’s best to find a good vet for your bunny BEFORE you need one – and also to schedule annual wellness exams. 

AS ALWAYS, CONSULT WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT YOUR PET’S OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLBEING.

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See us talking about pet dental care on Fox 2

This morning, Dr. Andrea Putt, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital, and I went on Fox 2 / Detroit to talk about the importance of canine and feline dental care.

This is also the topic of our workshop coming up on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016.  THERE IS
STILL TIME TO REGISTER – CLICK HERE!

Here is a link to the video on the Fox 2 website: http://www.fox2detroit.com/good-day/93121133-video

dental care fox 2 segment

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Here we are in the Fox 2 “ green room” waiting to go on live TV.  This is  me  with Niko. We are going to show viewers what the symptoms of dental disease look like in a cat.

Niko, who was recently adopted at age 13, is showing signsof dental disease and will be going in for a dental cleaning soon.

The dog in the picture is Esthme along with her person, Beth. Esthme was on camera having her teeth brushed by Dr. Putt.

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Get the most from our Canine and Feline Dental Disease Workshop

We are hoping that you can join us on February 18 for our next Pawsitively Healthy workshop, Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease.  Click here to register.  Our speaker is Andrea Putt, DVM, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital.

Elsewhere in this blog, I talk about some signs of dental disease in your dog or cat.  Take a few moments to see if your dog or cat will allow you to look at his/her teeth and gums.  A friend of mine routinely rubs her hand around and puts the tip of her finger into her cats’ mouths to get them used to this.

If you are able to take a look at your dog’s or cat’s mouth, try to take note of what you see.  Are gums read?  Do teeth look yellow or brown?  Does your pet flinch in pain when you do this?

If possible, see if you can take a picture of what you see. Do NOT force it.  But if your pet will let you, you will have something to show Dr. Putt at the seminar.  While she cannot diagnose dental disease from a photo, it will provide a starting point to see if your pet should be seen by a veterinarian.

Below is a photo that my friend took of her cat’s mouth.  Again, my friend gets her cats used to having their teeth checked by routinely touching and playing with their mouths. So this was an easy picture for her to take!

Emma Cat Teeth
This is picture of a friend’s cat, Emma. Emma is at least 16 years old and had her teeth cleaned a year ago. Still, she is starting to show signs of some tartar build up, the beginning of dental disease.

Know the signs of Canine & Feline Dental Disease

Pet health experts estimate that about 70 percent of all dogs and cats have some form of dental disease by age 3. Dental disease is especially prevalent in SMALL BREED DOGS due to tooth overcrowding.

As in humans, bad teeth can be extremely painful for your pet.  However, dogs and cats often HIDE THEIR PAIN, a throw-back to living in the wild and protecting themselves from potential predators.  So, in many cases, your dog or cat can be suffering from dental disease and you may not know it.

This is one more reason why annual exams (and twice annual for older pets) by a veterinarian are important.  Between exams, watch for these signs:

  • Smelly breath
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Yellow or brown teeth
  • Broken or loose teeth
  • Diminished appetite and / or difficulty chewing

If you spot any of the above, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Find out more about dental disease on February 18 at our Pawsitively Healthy workshop Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease with Andrea Putt, DVM of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital.  Click here to register. 

Find out what you can do at home to help prevent dental disease

Imagine if you never saw the dentist! Getting TEETH AND GUMS checked and cleaned is just as important as any other type of exam for your dog or cat. In fact, in some ways it may be more important since a LACK of good dental care can lead to serious illness – such as heart and kidney disease and more.

Join us on February 18 for our Pawsitively Healthy workshop Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease. Andrea Putt, DVM, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital will share her perspectives on this important topic including helpful tips on what you can DO AT HOME to help prevent dental disease. Click here to register.

Brushing your pet’s teeth, proper nutrition and regular veterinary check-ups are all things you can do to make sure your dog or cat has good oral health. Dr. Putt will share with you her thoughts on which products do the best job and how you can provide dental care at home to even the most temperamental pets.

Dental disease, easy to prevent, is a major health concern

Andrea Putt conducting oral exam on dog Andrea Putt, DVM, conducts an oral exam on Penny.

The facts about dental disease might surprise you.  I am not a veterinarian, but I do know that dental disease in pets:

  • Is easily preventable
  • Is prevalent even in young pets
  • Can lead to more serious health issues

Some pet owners might think that dental exams and cleanings are only to reduce “doggy or kitty breath.”  They are actually one of the most important things that you can do for your pet to reduce the natural build up of tartar and plaque that lead to dental disease.

First and foremost, dental disease in your dog or cat can be EXTREMELY painful and affect appetite and activity levels. If left untreated, dental disease can also lead to serious illnesses including:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Infection of the heart, lungs or kidneys
  • Heart failure
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis and spinal diseases

February is National Pet Dental Health Month.  Celebrate it by coming to our workshop, Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease on February 18, 2016.  The speaker will be Dr. Andrea Putt of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital.  Dr. Putt will talk about how you can spot the signs of dental disease in your dog and cats – and what you can do about it.

Click here to register.