Health & Wellness
Is there a better way to a pet’s heart than food? Our pals love chowing down — that’s why it’s important to keep their teeth clean and healthy so they can enjoy all the treats and meals to come. Periodontal disease is one of the most common health issues our dogs and cats can face — it negatively impacts your pet’s quality of life, and treating it can be expensive. Read on to learn more about periodontal disease, along with tips from Fetch’s team of veterinary experts on what symptoms to look out for and how to prevent and treat it.
Periodontal disease (also called gum disease) is a very common and painful condition, especially in pets. The term describes infection and inflammation in the tissues surrounding your pet’s teeth. This dental issue includes gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gum. Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease and is reversible. But if left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis — the inflammation of the deeper structures around the tooth.
In advanced periodontal disease, teeth sometimes either fall out on their own or need to be extracted. When this happens, your pet may need softened food but some can eat hard food without a problem. In rare cases, an infection in the mouth can spread to other parts of your pet’s body through the bloodstream. The most commonly affected parts of the body are the heart, the kidneys and the liver. Periodontal disease also makes it difficult to manage other chronic medical conditions. If your pet starts acting lethargic, not eating well, vomiting, having breathing issues or any other notable change, they should be seen by a vet for diagnosis.
The best course of action is to make a treatment plan with your vet and be as proactive as possible to decrease the risks of complications. According to veterinary experts at Fetch, here are some things you can do to help with periodontal disease prevention:
The first step in ensuring the health of your pet’s teeth is to treat tartar and periodontal disease early. If it gets too advanced, the effects may become irreversible. A more aggressive treatment approach will be needed if the disease progresses too far. The hallmark of periodontal disease treatment is a professional dental cleaning performed under anesthesia and typically includes:
Mild side effects of dental cleaning may include anesthesia reactions, coughing, bleeding, infection, inflammation and pain. Certain medications can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite or bloody stool. Some pain medications may also cause sedation. If you notice any changes in your pet's health or behavior after the procedure, consult your vet for guidance on alternative treatments and improving their well-being.
Periodontal disease is one of the most common diseases in dogs and cats, and treatment can be expensive. According to CareCredit, the average cost of treatment for dental disease or periodontitis is $768. Fetch Pet Insurance provides the most comprehensive coverage for unexpected vet bills. With Fetch, you can get paid back up to 90% of unexpected vet bills, including coverage for injury and disease in every adult tooth (not just the canines).
Fetch also offers coverage for dental cleaning with Fetch Wellness, an add-on to Fetch Pet Insurance. With Fetch Wellness, you’ll be covered for the routine and preventive care that helps keep your pet healthy.
Based on claims submitted to Fetch Pet Insurance, small and medium mixed-breed dogs are the most likely to need treatment for periodontal disease. Among specific breeds of dogs, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, and Shih Tzus are the most prone to developing periodontal issues.
Source: Based on claims submitted to Fetch Pet Insurance for periodontal issues.
Data based on Fetch’s aggregated data does not reflect your individual pet's health. Always consult with your veterinarian about your specific pet.
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