Most common clinical health problem in dogs and cats can go unnoticed by pet owners
GUELPH, ON, Jan. 29, 2015 /CNW/ - A new survey by Ipsos Reid has revealed the good, the bad and the ugly about pet owners' awareness of dental diseases in their cats and dogs.
According to the survey, conducted on behalf of Royal Canin, while nine in ten Canadian pet owners believe dental disease is linked to their pet's overall health, a quarter of them are unaware of the clinical signs of the disease and only 12 per cent of them could identify all the signs of the disease. What's worse is that many pets may be suffering in silence.
Royal Canin Canada's Veterinary Division wants to educate pet owners about the signs of dental diseases and the importance of taking their pet to their veterinarian.
"Dental disease is the most common clinical health problem in Canadian dogs and cats. It has been linked to other conditions including liver and heart disease," says Dr. Lee Jane Huffman, a board certified veterinary dentist from the Mississauga Oakville Veterinary Emergency Hospital.
"The substances we know as plaque and calculus (tartar) extend under the gumline and that is where the damage begins."
Dogs and cats may suffer from different kinds of dental diseases but the most frequent is periodontal disease (gum infection). It's present in nearly 85 per cent of all pets past three years of age. Signs include lost teeth, bad breath, inflamed gums, appetite loss, excessive drooling and pawing at the mouth.
Periodontal disease is caused by dental plaque (bacteria) which will also form calculus (tartar) with time. In the early stage, only gingivitis (red gums) will appear, but in the other stages of the disease, infection will go down the root and affect the bone and the attachments of the teeth, making teeth loose.
The good news is that these signs — and periodontal disease itself — can be prevented. The bad news is that many pets may be suffering in silence if their owners are not aware of the presence of periodontal disease until there is a significant problem that requires a major intervention.
"Just as in people, dental disease can be very painful," says Dr. Huffman. "However, pets may not show obvious signs of discomfort because these are gradual changes and most cats and dogs are also very good at hiding their pain."
Thankfully for them, in the same Ipsos poll, three-quarters of pet owners agree they should take their pet to the vet regularly to maintain their pet's oral health.
Pet owners are encouraged to make an appointment with their veterinarian and have a thorough oral and health examination. There are many options available to prevent dental diseases from becoming serious health issues.
The Ipsos Reid poll, conducted between December 8 and 10 on behalf of Royal Canin Canada's Veterinary Division, sampled 1,003 Canadians who identify themselves as owning either a dog or cat. It is accurate within +/- 3.5 per cent.
Royal Canin is a worldwide manufacturer and supplier of high quality, specialized dog and cat foods in the veterinary, pet specialty and breeder channels. Its headquarters are in France and production operations exist in 12 countries around the world, including the Canadian plant based in Guelph, Ontario. Royal Canin offers a comprehensive veterinary exclusive line of therapeutic and life stage formulas.
SOURCE Royal Canin
For further information: Media Contact: Jo Ann Robinson, ON Communication, 519.963.1946, [email protected]