FOUR out of every five dogs and cats over the age of three years have some sort of dental disease which becomes more severe with age.
This can be a real problem for pets and owners because it can lead to more serious problems such as illnesses related to the heart, liver and kidney, Gympie small animal vet Shannon Coyne, of Gympie Vet Services, said yesterday.
"You should check your pet's teeth regularly as pets often won't show pain," Dr Coyne said.
"Even pets with sore gums, an infected mouth or broken teeth will continue to eat so you may not notice they have problems.
"Dogs are pack animals and showing weakness is not part of their nature. They need to eat to survive so won't go off their food until the pain is unbearable."
Pets should have regular health checks at the vet.
Dogs and cats age much more quickly than humans, and it's important to catch problems early if you want to ensure them a long and happy life.
Checking your pet's teeth will be part of your annual health check.
Annual dental checks are an ideal opportunity for owners to find out if their pet has an existing problem which has gone unnoticed.
A dental day will be held at Gympie Vet Services next Wednesday with free dental checks for dogs and cats.
Signs of toothache or an infection in the mouth to look out for in cats and dogs:
- Bad breath
- Red and inflamed gums
- Stained teeth
- Your pet may start dropping food when they are eating.