Good digestion requires good teeth – this is true for both humans and animals.
Dental problems are extremely common in pets.
Small dogs are primarily affected by calculus.
There are several reasons for this:
In most small dogs, the saliva contains more inorganic substances (calcium and magnesium salts) than in large breeds.
In addition, the owners of small dogs tend to “not chew” their pets. This means that they are often kept on mushy food (wet food, cooked food).
Because of this, the beneficial effect of chewing on the teeth is lacking. The result: Organic plaque quickly forms on the surface of the teeth, into which inorganic salts accumulate and tartar has already formed.
Tartar starts to form at the neck of the teeth, in areas adjacent to the gums, but if neglected, it can cover the entire tooth surface.
Why is calculus harmful?
Tartar is not only an aesthetic problem, but can also be a serious internal medicine problem!
Tartar causes chronic inflammation at the site of its formation, i.e. in the oral cavity. Prolonged inflammation of the gums causes gum atrophy, which in severe cases can lead to the loss of teeth.
A dog with tartar develops bad breath, which can be particularly unpleasant for dogs kept in apartments and living in close contact with humans.
But is that all?
Unfortunately, no. Tartar has a spongy structure – like coral. Pathogenic bacteria live in its cavities, which can reach other organs with the blood circulation. They primarily cause serious changes in the pericardium and kidneys (This is one explanation for why heart valve diseases are more common in small in dogs).
Shrinkage of heart valve
Due to the shrinkage and distortion of the heart valve, a blood circulation disorder develops, and the symptoms of heart disease appear. Cough, fatigue, wheezing, shortness of breath, and rarely fainting may occur.
The bacteria lurking in the tartar also reach the kidneys and slowly but surely destroy the kidney tissues. Kidney failure develops over time.
Kidney failure is one of the most common causes of death in old dogs and cats!
What is the solution to the tartar problem?
No tooth cleaner or nutritional supplement will remove the tartar that has already formed from the surface of the teeth (contrary to the advertising claims). The veterinarian can do this with the help of the ultrasonic depuration device.
Should patients be anesthetized for the procedure?
Yes, you have to. Proper tartar removal is not possible in an alert animal – this is easy to see. Depuration performed while awake is not suitable for cleaning the hidden, inner surface of the teeth, which is the essence of the matter.
Tartar removal performed while awake only provides the owner with a (temporary) aesthetic experience, it is not professionally acceptable. We are aware that most owners shy away from interventions involving anesthesia, they would try to “get away” with it.
Unfortunately, based on the above, this does not make much sense. Such an intervention should not be undertaken irresponsibly, patients must be examined first.
A properly examined patient who has undergone laboratory tests and a cardiology examination can indeed be sedated, and tartar removal can be performed!
How can tartar formation be prevented?
Chewing is the best prevention method!
Chewing cleans the surface of the teeth and slows down the rate of tartar formation. (Genetically predisposed dogs will sooner or later develop tartar, but it doesn’t matter how quickly).
Crowded teeth predispose to tartar formation. If the animal has milk teeth that have not erupted (not in small dogs