Mouth infections maybe far more serious than they appear, particularly if left untreated.
“There is a link between oral hygiene, your animals immune system and the long term health of organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver.” (Pitcairn et al 2005)
If bacteria are allowed to build up around the teeth and gums (usually from a processed diet of pet biscuits and or canned foods) they give off toxins, which accumulates and produces tartar. Over time, tartar destroys teeth and gums and leads to inflammation, redness, bleeding, loose teeth and even pus coming from tooth sockets. This painful periodontal disease called gingivitis can then spread through the body via the lungs, gut and bloodstream. In the long term, the uncontrolled spread of the bacteria and toxins from the mouth can cause kidney, liver and lung disease or even organ failure.
“Periodontal disease is the most common infectious (caused by bacteria) disease in dogs and cats.” (Messonnier 2001)
If the dog or cat is suffering from periodontal disease, the typical symptoms are: bad breath, red, inflamed gums, thick yellow brown build up on teeth, difficulty chewing, reluctance to chew and perhaps a lack of appetite due to the pain.
Before a raw diet with bones can be introduced, the animal will have to have its teeth scaled by a vet and have any tooth extractions that need to be carried out. Your cat or dog may also require a course of antibiotics if the infection needs a helping hand.
Natural methods of reducing a mouth infection or indeed to maintain a healthy one is to:
· Brush the pet’s teeth with a ‘pet enzyme based’ toothpaste. For cats this can be carried out with a piece of gauze wrapped around the finger and rubbing toothpaste onto gums and teeth. Another method on cats is to use a make up brush with firm, soft bristles. I find this method the best.
· Add Ester C (non acidic vitamin C) to the diet to facilitate destruction of bacteria and toxins
· Rub the gum line with CoenzymeQ10 which is a powerful antioxidant to help reduce inflammation
· Rub fresh aloe vera on sore gums for relief
Anyone who has suffered from toothache or some kind of mouth infection knows how incredibly painful it is. The effects are not just the decline in physical health but the emotional health too. Mouth infections should never be left untreated.
Billinghurst, I 1993, ‘Give your dog a bone,’ Warrigal Publishing, Australia.
Messonnier, S, 2001, ‘Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats’ Three Rivers Press, New York.
Pitcairn, R. H. & Pitcairn, S. H, 2005, ‘Dr. Pitcairn’s guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats.’ Rodale Inc, USA.
Website internet references:
Vets All Natural by Dr Bruce Syme 2010. Article, ‘Importance of Omega 3.’ Viewed 18th August 2011