Dental Disease in Shih Tzus – How can you prevent and treat it?
Unlike us humans, our canine pals do not tend to suffer from severe tooth rot, but most dogs over age three do have dental issues. Dog dental disease comes in four phases, usually starting with a build-up of tartar and plaque in the mouth, and then it leads to slightly inflamed gums.
This dental condition is also referred to as gingivitis in dogs. If this is left untreated for long, it could progress into more severe gum problems or periodontal disease, which could involve bone and soft tissue loss around the teeth. Gingivitis could leave dogs more vulnerable to different infections that could affect other internal organs in the body.
Sadly, your Shih Tzu dog is more likely to have problems with her teeth than other dog breeds. Dental problems begin with a nasty tartar build-up on their teeth and develop to a full-blown infection of their teeth’ gums and roots. If we do not treat or prevent dental diseases in Shih Tzus, your pet might lose her teeth and might even risk damage to her heart, joints, kidneys, and liver. As a matter of fact, your Shih’s life span could even shorten by one to three years!
Signs of Dental Disease in Shih Tzus
It is sometimes easy to disregard dental diseases in Shih Tzus as a root of discomfort, especially in older Shih Tzus, as we usually think that behavioral changes are just caused by ‘getting old’. Nevertheless, mouth pain could result in noticeable changes in dog behavior. Watch out for:
- Loss of interest in chewing toys
- Food fussiness— sometimes favoring particular types of food, chewing on one side only, or issues picking up food
- Pawing or rubbing at the mouth
- Salivating more
- Pain or soreness when you try to check their mouth
- Blood in the food bowl
Other clinical signs of a dental condition include foul-smelling breath, swollen and inflamed gums, and missing teeth. Remember that dental disease in Shih Tzus could be very painful, particularly if left untreated.
Dental health is an essential part of your canine buddy’s general wellness and should never be overlooked. Keeping your Shih’s teeth clean has been stressed relatively recently, and many people are still unaware of the risks and dangers. Nevertheless, just like people, there are a lot of oral conditions that dogs could get that can lead to bigger issues down the road.