The Edmond Sun

Features

February 11, 2013

VET Q&A: Time to check your pet’s teeth

February marks National Pet Dental Health Month

EDMOND — As we happily celebrate National Pet Dental Health Month in February, the primary objective is to enhance awareness of dental disease. Dental disease in our pets can shorten a pet’s life and make it feel miserable in the process.

The process of “Lifting the Lip” is one every pet owner should learn. The first signs of dental disease will be the start of plaque building up on the outer surface of the pet’s teeth. It may be a yellow to brown color and will start at the gum line and grow down onto the teeth. The outer surface of the large upper canines is likely the easiest place to see it starting.

As this builds up thicker and thicker, bacteria love to live in the crevice between the plaque and the gum. The crevice full of bacteria and food particles begins to irritate the gums. The gums become reddened from the inflammation due to the bacteria and food particles and it forms somewhat of a cesspool at the gum line.  At this point, you begin to smell the results of rotting food and bacterial presence as a foul-smelling breath.

All of these signs are screaming “help me!” By this time the areas below the gum line already are diseased.

The process of tooth disease development starts with the minerals and salts from the saliva precipitating out and attaching to the teeth. This forms what we call plaque. This plaque continues to build upon the teeth and when you fold in food particles and bacteria always present within the mouth, voila!, we have calculus.

Calculus, often referred to as tartar, is the really bad actor as it eats away the support structures around the teeth. Without professional intervention early in this process, teeth are irreversibly damaged and begin to fall out.

Our pets need twice a day brushing and daily flossing to protect their teeth as well as we do our own. With time they get used to the disease process and go on with their daily activities. All too often it is ignored until the pet becomes listless, has an abscess to the outside of the face or cannot eat due to the pain.

By the age of 2 and certainly 3, pets need their teeth professionally cleaned by your veterinarian. While reading an article on the human side it was reported that people who floss daily can add six years to their lifetime. We are not likely to floss our pet’s teeth but there are many things we can use that can help to clean off or prevent tarter (Biotene Maintenance) or kill bacteria present in the mouth (various oral sprays and water additives), and the old gold standard of brushing their teeth. Be sure to ask your veterinarian for advice in this area and to show you how to “Lift the Lip” and to brush. Use only doggy/kitty toothpaste since pets do not need the fluorides found in our toothpastes, nor do they usually like the minty smell and taste.

Start your pet as a puppy or kitten lifting the lip, brushing the teeth and/or applying cleaners to their teeth. It is so very hard giving up a beloved pet, that every healthy moment we can share with them is golden. Start early to protect their teeth and gums and they will return the love many years over. Happy Pet Dental Health Month!        

DR. M. MARGARET KING, a longtime Edmond veterinarian, is a guest columnist. If you have any questions for her, email them to mkekdoc@sbcglobal.net.

1
Text Only
Features
  • NAMI classes begin in September

    NAMI Edmond North-OKC, the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Sept. 2. It will contine Sept. 4 and 8-9. Classes will be at Crossings Community Church, Quail Springs United Methodist Church, Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Portland campus), Tinker AFB Chapel and the Thunderbird Club House in Norman.
    NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.

    July 30, 2014

  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg City to improve traffic flow

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • jc_Earp Marlin 2 - photo credit Noel Winters.jpg Shootout of a sale

    An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 80.
    Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 11.6.12 Mother and Cub (2).jpg UCO forensic researcher answers key question

    After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
    “You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Karan & Rwanda.jpg Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs

    Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
    Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How to care for your pet without breaking the bank

    It’s a shame furry friends can’t pay for themselves. Though wagging tails after a long day at work may make pet ownership seem worthwhile, a happy pup won’t stop those bills from rolling in at the end of the month. Thankfully, quick and easy ways exist for dog owners to cut down on costs.

    July 28, 2014

  • MS_new pastor_Page_1.tiff Local church welcomes new pastor

    For one of Edmond’s newest pastors, faith and family intersect on a personal level.
    Sam Powers, pastor at Edmond 1st United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St., and his family arrived in mid-May and his first Sunday in the pulpit was the second one in June. He and his wife Sheryl Heaton Powers, have two children — Kyla will be an eighth-grader at Cheyenne Middle School and David will be a fifth-grader at John Ross Elementary.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos