One of the biggest challenges in dealing with animals is that they can't communicate their needs to people well. This is an especially pronounced problem when it comes to pet dental care. If you're worried that an animal might have oral health issues, watch for any of these four signs.
Animals often exhibit dental issues differently than people would. A pet may react to oral health problems by slowing down their chewing. Likewise, they may be reluctant to eat harder foods. Even if your pet doesn't appear to have cavities or active health issues, this is a sign they may require animal dental treatment. An animal could also have bone injuries, problems with its jaw, or something affecting the ear, nose, and throat region.
Unsurprisingly, reluctant eating can also lead to weight loss. Animals that struggle to eat may also struggle to consume enough calories, especially if they are a larger specie or breed. Highly active dogs, for example, don't necessarily regulate their activity levels just because they need pet dental care. Consequently, they might end up burning lots of calories.
At first, your pet may just look lean and healthy because of weight loss. However, the weight loss will continue past that point and progress toward being skinny or even frail. Even if it turns out that your animal doesn't require pet dental treatment, you will have at least ruled out one possible cause.
The progression of problems may continue to the point the animal struggles to be energetic anymore. People are often quick to dismiss this issue in older pets because they assume it's just due to the rigors of age. However, most animals should be at least reasonably active and attentive as long as they don't have undiagnosed health problems.
Notably, lethargy doesn't always follow weight loss. Some animals can keep their weight up if they slow their activities. But they could still have oral health concerns.
Tooth decay and other oral health issues can lead to bad breath. Once more, people are prone to dismissing the symptoms of health problems in their pets. After all, terms like "dog breath" are synonymous with the minor annoyances of having pets in a family.
However, bad breath rarely happens without a link to a health issue. That issue usually calls for some level of pet dental care. Cavities and gum disease are among the most common causes of animals experiencing bad breath.
Contact a local vet office, such as Indian Creek Veterinary Hospital, to learn more.