CANTON, Ohio (Feb. 12, 2010)
Pet Dental Month prime time to schedule preventive annual cleaning for pets
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance wellness option covers annual dental cleanings
Preventive care can serve as the best
protection against poor dental health in cats and dogs, and wellness coverage
options offered by ASPCA Pet Health Insurance makes this care even easier for
pet parents to afford. (Note: Wellness options are now available for a low extra cost on Levels 3 and 4)
About 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3,
according to the American Veterinary Dental Society*. The Society is one of several organizations sponsoring National Pet Dental Health Month in February.
In recognition of Pet Dental Month, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is reminding
pet parents to schedule an annual dental check up for their pet. Since preventive
care is so critical to keep dental problems at bay, annual dental cleanings are
covered by the Level 4 plan offered by ASPCA Pet Health Insurance.
In 2009, we reimbursed our customers nearly $200,000 for their pets’ dental
cleanings. We reimbursed our customers an additional $196,000 for dental
problems—including as illnesses or accidents—last year.
“Dental problems can cause serious health problems in cats and dogs,” said Dr.
Lila Miller, Vice President of Veterinary Outreach for the ASPCA. “By staying on
top of their pet’s dental health before problems arise, pet parents can help to
ensure their pet’s overall health and happiness.”
The first visible signs of trouble can be accumulations of tartar and calculus
(plaque) on the teeth and gums. These are indicators that your pet has gingivitis,
or inflammation of the gums around the roots of the teeth. While dogs and cats
rarely develop cavities, cats can develop painful resorptive lesions. Both cats and
dogs can develop periodontal disease, which can cause pain, tooth loss and
Some signs of dental disease include: bad breath, loss of appetite or difficulty
eating, pawing at the face, excessive drooling, loose teeth, bleeding or inflamed
gums and even weight loss. Pets who have any of these symptoms should be
taken to their veterinarian for an exam promptly.
“Dental disease in pets is very serious,” Dr. Miller continued. “Not only is it very
painful for your pets, it can lead to serious health problems involving the heart,
liver, kidneys or intestines.”
Pet parents should discuss with their veterinarians regular preventive dental
care, such as monitoring proper diet and treats, checking pets’ teeth, breath and
gums regularly and seeking veterinary care at the first sign of trouble.