National Pet Dental Health Month
Dr. Arthur Freedman
Since February is National Pet Dental Health Month, we want to make certain our clients know why it is so important to take care of their pets’ teeth. Proper dental care is just as important for our pets as it is for us, yet it is often not considered an integral part of their health care.
Periodontal disease is a very common health condition in cats and dogs and can occur as early as 3 years of age. It is an infection of the gums which can be very painful as well as progress to gum and tooth loss, and if it becomes more advanced, the infection can lead to serious problems of the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Periodontal disease begins with an accumulation of a soft bacterial film on the teeth called plaque. Plaque calcifies, becoming tartar, which leads to more serious periodontal disease. At the onset of periodontal disease, a routine dental cleaning can often restore a pet’s oral health. As the disease advances, though, more involved dental procedures are often necessary to help save the affected gums and teeth. A periodic check of your pet’s mouth by our veterinary team, along with early and consistent home dental care, will help prevent periodontal disease or minimize its progression.
Home dental care includes daily brushing, and in some cases, special diets, chew treats, and water additives. Even with this protocol, a professional cleaning may be necessary every so often. Some pets just seem to have a tendency toward tartar build up.
If your pet has bad breath or trouble eating, we encourage you to schedule a courtesy oral exam, and we’ll let you know if a dental cleaning would be beneficial.
More specific references on your pets dental Health visit: American Veterinary Dental College
Arthur Freedman, DVM, practice owner
Dr. Arthur Freedman, affectionately known as Dr. F., has owned and operated Hawthorne Animal Health Care for 29 years. He grew up in Marblehead and attended Kansas State University and then Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, earning his DVM. He returned east to begin his career at Lager Animal Hospital in Salem, purchasing and relocating that practice when Dr. Lager retired in 1986. His practice evolved as he developed an interest in alternative medicine, studying with Dr. Richard Pitcairn, the renowned veterinary homeopath, and completing advanced coursework in the field. Dr. F. is a member of many professional organizations and has been acknowledged by peers for his volunteer service, dedication, and spirit of giving back. He and his wife, Ellen, live in Swampscott with their dogs, Quinn and Sara.