Caring for oral health in felines is not far from what is required of humans. And it is that the tartar that affects cats is also produced by the accumulation of bacterial plaque, food debris and mineral salts that inhabit the animal’s mouth, just as it happens in humans.
Not paying attention to daily brushing or going to veterinary check-ups at the first symptoms of its presence can seriously compromise the health of our kitten. If you want to know how to detect and prevent it, we will show you below.
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Tartar and its symptoms in cats
The cohabitation of the remains of the food in decomposition with the mineral salts of the mouth and the bacterial plaque give rise to calculus stones, which if not removed by brushing can cause infections in the oral structures , the loss of teeth and secondary diseases in other parts of your body.
These plaques of tartar are usually fixed in the interdental spaces and in the gums, with age and genetic predisposition being two predisposing factors for their development. Felines over 3 years old and those whose enamel is of poor quality claim to intensify oral hygiene to stop the advance of tartar in their mouths.
Symptoms of the presence of tartar in a cat
There are several signs or changes in behavior that should make you suspicious of the formation of tartar in your pet’s mouth:
- Bad breath or halitosis. It is the first step in this process and is due to the decomposition of the accumulated waste in the mouth. Going to the vet for an oral examination is the most prudent practice, since it could warn you of the presence of other diseases such as diabetes, parasitosis, digestive or kidney pathologies , which cause bad breath.
- Gingivitis . If bad breath is not treated, tartar will continue to progress by inflaming and reddening the gums. The roots are exposed and bleed causing pain to the cat. Medical intervention is essential to prevent tooth loss or the consummation of secondary infections.
- Periodontal disease. We are in the next stage, of medium severity. Apart from the roots, the bones of the maxilla, palate and jaw will begin to show their deterioration. Professional oral cleaning, under general anesthesia, and pharmacological treatment with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories are decisive to avoid the eventual death of the feline.
- Secondary infections. In the most extreme cases, in which treatment is non-existent or late, purulent abscesses can occur that travel through the tissues of the mouth towards the muzzle, nose or eyes, leading to heart, intestinal, kidney or disease diseases. liverworts.
Other possible symptoms
In addition to bad breath or reddened and bleeding gums, there are other symptoms that warn of the development of tartar plaques in the cat. They are as follows:
- Excessive salivation
- Lack of appetite The pain forces the feline to not want to eat or to do so in an unusual way.
- Loss of teeth from one day to the next.
- Scratching the face or mouth with the paws or rubbing that area against objects.
- Discoloration or partitioning of teeth.
- Polyps or bumps in the mouth or under the eyes.
How to prevent tartar in a pussycat?
The preventive measures are summarized in not neglecting the daily brushing of the teeth and in controlling the diet , preferring in this sense dry feed to wet or canned food. Maintaining a good physical condition, providing it with the physical exercise that it demands through play, is another maxim that deserves your attention for the optimal oral health of a cat.
You must accustom your pet from puppy to toothbrushing, if it cannot be daily, it should not fall below 3 times a week. Take a sterile gauze pad and moisten it with water to rub over your teeth . When he is older do it with a brush, for example, for small children, and with a specific toothpaste for cats (without fluoride).
Likewise, you can opt for Chlorhexidine spray to spray your brush before hygiene, as it is very effective for cleaning, disinfecting, softening pre-existing tartar stones and improving bad breath.
What treatment to apply to a cat with tartar?
If your pet has not received the aforementioned care, it may be too late to reverse it through the manual brush that you can administer at home. In these cases, you should go to the vet as soon as possible to undergo a deep oral cleaning under general anesthesia .
At this point, it should be added that it is a smart practice to take advantage of this intervention to undertake other procedures that you wish to apply to your kitten, such as spaying or neutering. Professional oral cleaning is usually approached with special instruments.
In general, ultrasound is used to fractionate the plaques of tartar . It is common to lose some teeth during the intervention. Don’t worry, these are damaged teeth that can no longer cause polyps or other diseases. And remember, the priority is to prevent by setting aside time for oral hygiene.
How much does a cat tartar cleaning cost?
The price of a cleaning will vary a lot based on the area where we live and the size of our cat, since it is not the same to anesthetize a 5 kg cat than a 12 kg cat. As a guide, a tartar removal will cost around € 100 – € 150 , including anesthesia.
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