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Signs of Doggy Dental Woes

August 1, 2018

Did you know that dental issues are a crucial but often-overlooked part of good doggy care? Just like people, dogs can develop some serious problems with their teeth. Dental troubles are just as painful for our furry pals as they are for us! However, Fido can’t tell you he has a toothache, so it’s important for you to look for warning signs. A local Salem, VA vet lists some common ones below.

Bad Breath

It’s probably safe to say that Fido’s affectionate doggy kisses will never be winter-fresh. However, they shouldn’t knock you out, either. Bad breath is often a sign of dental trouble. It can also be symptomatic of several other issues.

Tartar Buildup

Visible tartar buildup often goes hand-in-hand with gum disease. Gum disease actually affects as many as 80 percent of adult dogs. This condition may not seem like a big deal at first, but it’s actually quite dangerous. The infection can move through your pup’s bloodstream to his vital organs, and can contribute to some major health troubles, such as heart disease. A deep cleaning can get rid of that yucky buildup. It will also help fight the bacteria and infections associated with the disease.

Ropy or Bloody Drool

While some pooches are naturally, well, a bit slobbery, excessive, stringy, or bloody drool is a red flag.

Reduced Interest In Play

If Fido used to love playing games like Fetch or Tug O War, but now won’t even budge when you pick up one of his toys, dental issues may be to blame. If your dog’s dental issues are affecting his playtime, discover gentle ways to keep him engaged and happy with our article on ‘Tips for Playing With Your Dog’.

Changes In Appetite

Dogs with dental issues sometimes start to prefer softer food. They may also chew on one side of their mouths, or take longer eating than they once did.


Have you ever had a toothache? If so, it probably didn’t do much for your mood. This is true for dogs as well. If your furry bff is uncharacteristically cranky, he could have dental issues or other medical problems. If Fido’s teeth are hurting, he may also shy away if you try to touch his mouth.

Blood Smears

Bloody spots on Fido’s toys or dishes could mean that his gums are bleeding. This is often a sign of gum disease.

Recognizing these signs of dental problems in Fido is just the first step; our ‘Diagnostics’ services can help identify the root cause and guide appropriate treatment. Contact us to learn more. If you know or suspect that your dog has dental issues, call us right away. As your Salem, VA animal clinic, we are happy to help!

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