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Dental/Oral Health Problems: A Serious and Widespread Cat and Dog Issue

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  1. Snaque Rollo

    I have daily brushed all our pups teeth and NONE of them over the 34 years of having dogs have ANY of them had to have a dental cleaning!
    One Vet said, “your dog’s teeth are cleaning than my dogs teeth”!
    It works and is so easy!

    1. Carolyn

      What do you use to clean their teeth?

      1. Snaque Rollo

        I use a “Colgate” toothbrush….from my DDS….and right now “KissAble” all natural pet toothpaste.
        I have always used some kind of “pet toothpaste”

  2. Sherrie Ashenbremer

    I have a very hard time cleaning my dogs teeth, I have 5 dogs. They are all rescue from shelters where they do not clean teeth, and my dogs are older. They were in Puppy Mills so they didn’t get good care to start with.
    I have three Shih Tzu and one Pekingese so they have mashed in faces. Any advice would be wonderful, thank you

    1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

      Hi Sherrie– There is a product called “Leba III” it works better than anything on the market, better that “petzlife”, (that is mentioned in this article). The reason I state this, is because while “Petzlife” does kill oral bacteria, it also kills the GOOD oral bacteria as well & changes the normal state of the mouth flora, whereas the “Leba III” balances & normalizes the oral flora of the mouth. If you go on their website, you can read the clinical trial data.

      It is also much easier to give to the animal, even cats. It is a simple 1-2 sprays in the mouth, you just need withold food & water at least 1/2 before & after, so that it has time to work with the mucosa of the mouth.

      ***For cats*** Knowing how much cats detest a spray of any kind, I contacted the manufacturer & they recommend spraying the 1 spritz into the cap that the bottle comes with, then drawing the liquid into a non-needle syringe, then dispensing in the cats mouth, on the side of the cats mouth, towards the far corner of his/her mouth. They also said you can add a small amount of filtered water to the 1spritz in the cap before you draw up in the syringe, if you need a little dilution for the cat to be more cooperative.

      The product is not cheap, but you use such a small amount, that it really becomes cost effective when you figure out how many uses per bottle, plus you do NOT have to brush the teeth in order for it to work. As the plaque starts to loosen, the pets teeth & gums will get get healthier quicker if you can manually brush or use gauze to help remove what has been loosened by the product, but it is not necessary to work,.if you cannot do that, (as in the case of most cats & some dogs) it will still work. This is so important because if a pets mouth is very sore due to inflamed gums, where you absolutely cannot brush, this product WILL still work!

      It is.still important for our pets to still have their mouth assessed by a veterinarian, because if the pet has stomatitis, they will need to probably be treated with prednisone to.reduce inflammation. There are also alternatives, are dealing with a holistic vet, such as herbal formulas, & homeopathic that can help with stomatitis, to help possibly avoid prednisone all together, or if still needed, help to be able to.use a much smaller MG of the prednisone, which is important, because prednisone of.course does have potential serious side effects.

      1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

        Thank you I will check this out. I appreciate your help

    2. Karen Mitchell


      My Shih Tzu’s love their raw pork neck, chicken neck and feet, kangaroo tail and arms and brisket.
      I recommend members watch these two videos. They’re the most informative available on the web.
      This webinar by Vet’s All Natural Dr Bruce Syme is long, but very informative. I have found it to be the best educational resource for bone feeding on the web
      Dr Karen Becker has a great video..
      __ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ __ _

      I’ve had some pet parents use coconut oil to use to brush with good feedback

      1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

        Thank you

  3. Carole

    I have not had teeth cleaning or gum issues as I have fed raw and whole foods since the 70’s. That is one of the nice things about feeding whole foods and raw meat. Nor does their breathe stink. Did not realize that part until a visiting relative commented about it.
    Dog food does seem to contribute to tooth and gum problems yet the dog food companies do not acknowledge that.

    1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

      Carole, what do you feed your dogs, if you don’t mind me asking? I feed my dogs Evermore, it’s a chicken and they have beef too. But it is gently cooked.

    1. Acroyali

      Agreed, however for some pets, being put under is not an option. An animal that’s old, has kidney and/or heart troubles, etc, sometimes it’s a good candidate for surgery. I got the go-ahead from my vet to start home-scaling my old dogs teeth, as his heart was causing some problems there was nothing to be done as far as being put under for a cleaning. The home scaling happened over the course of several months, a little at a time. I used the Fragaria Vesca 6x I mentioned in another post to loosen the plaque. A few times a day I would dab a little FV6x water onto his teeth. Within a month, the plaque began to chip off easily with my fingernails. I rubbed Vitamin E oil on his gums (very soothing) every few days if there were problem areas; which there were. I believe it helped extend his life. He was very kind and cooperative. My vet commented on how well things were going, but never for one moment did I believe I was getting the teeth nearly as good as a tech could have if he were unconscious; I couldn’t get under the gumline obviously, etc. This was a case of an old, sick dog who’s dental problems were simply feeding his (heart) problems, and at that age it’s about quality of life. Again, I feel it helped improve his quality of life and helped extend it. Just my opinion of course.

  4. lili

    Humans had no dental caries or periodontal disease before agriculture. Archaeologists can tell if fossilized remains of humans are pre- or post-agriculture by a quick glance at the teeth. Carbohydrates wreck your teeth. They wreck your dogs’ teeth. They wreck your cats’ teeth. Dogs, cats and people do not require carbohydrates. Want to fix pretty much all of their (and your!) health problems? Stop feeding carbohydrates.

    1. Acroyali

      Absolutely, lili! (though I do eat a bit of carbs in the forms of raw fruits and veggies.) Dr. Weston A. Price did a lot of study on the effects of “modernized’ diets in certain parts of Polynesia; the difference in the teeth of those eating their native diets vs. “modern” diets was astounding, as was the children who were born to parents eating a native diet vs. a modern diet.

  5. Debi Cohen

    Thank you for the info., so wondered about the Tapioca, have to look for another food, even tho I have never had a dog with bad teeth because I, like Carole, feed mostly raw and Ziwi Peak, when we can afford to, the food with the tapioca is Great life limited ingredient dry dog food, dogs with allergies do well on it but I only feed a small amt. daily with the raw being the majority.

  6. D. Lee

    I feed raw with raw meaty bones (chicken leg quarters, turkey necks, pork necks or riblets) once a week and none of my dogs have ever required dental work and even my 10 year olds have clean breath and clean teeth!

  7. Jane Eagle

    I always enjoy these articles; AnD the comments are often almost as good as the article! Thanks to everyone who takes the time to comment!

  8. Nik

    What kind of healthy chews do you recommend? My 3yo pit bull broke a tooth with a Nylabone so we have taken the chew toys away. She had to get it extracted.

    1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

      I hear raw bones are great for dog’s teeth, but I have small dogs. Three Shih Tzu (8-11 pounds), one Pekingese (13 pounds) and one Jack Russel/Beagle who is 24 lbs. I am so nervous to give them bones, what if they get it caught in their throat, or swallow it and die. On the other hand, I want the benefits of teeth cleaning that these bones do. I am confused.

  9. Acroyali

    The homeopathic preparation Fragaria 6x can do wonders for loosening plaque and tartar. Drop 3-4 pellets into a small dish of warm water and let them dissolve. Don’t touch the pellets with your hands, just tap them out of the jar and into the container of water. Use this to brush teeth. It takes daily dedication but it works. Within a few weeks of daily use, you should be able to easily flick large chunks of plaque away with your fingernail. I was able to spare my elderly dog of 14 years a dental cleaning due to daily usage of this, my vet was extremely impressed with what a good job it did.
    We brush with coconut oil. Dogs (and cats) love the taste, so those not used to mouth handling seem to accept it better.
    Check the label of your pets toothpaste; a lot of brands contain xylithol which is toxic. Perhaps a small amount would do no harm, but for those who would prefer to err on the side of caution, coconut oil is outstanding!

    1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

      Thank you, where do I get this Fragaria 6X. I will give it a try. I have heard that Coconut oil is good for dogs teeth. I have five dogs, three of them just don’t like teeth brushing at all. They fidget and squarm and don’t like it. But I am determined to keep them healthy and I know teeth cleaning is so important. So how do you work this, did you use the Fragaria 6X for a while then switch to Coconut Oil? Thank you very much for getting back to me.

  10. dj

    Thanks for posting this. One of our cats has plaque that seems to be there overnight even after a proper cleaning (below the gum-line, anesthetized) He was feral and in the past sent me to the ER for trying to gently brush him! He’s gotten better over the years of learning to trust me. I can brush him now, but brush teeth? No Way! He is not having it. But maybe we can try this, slowly, over a long time…And see if he’ll allow it. We even have some organic coconut oil here already.

    Our other kitty had FORLs (horribly painful – when teeth break below the gum-line and really hard to detect in kitties!) so we know the importance of home cleaning. We’ve fed raw since he was poisoned in the ’07 recall. The vets couldn’t figure out why his teeth kept breaking off. Eventually he had to get all his teeth pulled because they just kept breaking off. We don’t want this to happen to our other kitty. Thanks again!

  11. Aylani

    Hi dj,
    What does “FORLs” stand for? Also I read somewhere (years ago) that feeding a cat Lactoferrin (and dogs and humans too) will eliminate Tartar buildup on teeth. So very early in my cat’s life I started giving him 1/2 capsule of Lactoferrin every day in his food. He is 17 now and has no teeth problems. Btw, I have never brushed his teeth.

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