Everyone Needs a Breath of Fresh Air
Bad dog breath. We all know it when we smell it. It practically has its own genre of jokes. Still, many pet owners don't ask their veterinarians about it - and many veterinarians don't broach the issue with their clients. For veterinary patients, that truth can stink.Prevalence of periodontal diseasePeriodontal disease is the No. 1 diagnosed disease in small animals.1 It may also be the most commonly undiagnosed disease in that population.1 Consider that:
Bad dog breath. We all know it when we smell it. It practically has its own genre of jokes. Still, many pet owners don't ask their veterinarians about it - and many veterinarians don't broach the issue with their clients. For veterinary patients, that truth can stink.
Prevalence of periodontal disease
Periodontal disease is the No. 1 diagnosed disease in small animals.1 It may also be the most commonly undiagnosed disease in that population.1 Consider that:
80% of dogs over 2 years of age have periodontal disease of some kind.1
74% of pet owners complain about their dog's bad breath.2 (That's a lot of complaining!)
76% of dogs have dental disease.3
Need for management and ongoing care
Beyond its unpleasantness, bad breath is a common sign of dental disease.1,4 And, unfortunately, many small animal patients aren't getting the best possible dental care.
Although veterinary training addresses periodontal disease as a general topic, it generally doesn't emphasize the watchdog role that pet owners need to play on the home front. The truth is that ongoing dental care is essential.
Periodontal disease is more than a localized infection. It has been linked to serious health issues including heart disease, renal issues, respiratory problems and diabetes mellitus.1
As in human dentistry, professional care is just one step in preventing periodontal disease or controlling existing periodontal disease. Veterinarian-based care without ongoing home care on the pet owner's part is ineffective. (Imagine what would happen to your own teeth if you didn't clean them between visits to the dentist.)
When a pet receives a professional dental treatment:
Plaque coats the teeth within 24 hours.1
Tartar forms after 3 days.1
Gingivitis begins after 2 weeks.1
In other words, without ongoing home care, your beautiful in-clinic cleaning won't prevent that pet from being infected for the remaining 50 weeks of the year.
Apart from monitoring patients' dental health at all visits, how else can your practice increase at-home care on the dog owner's part? It's helpful to remember that good habits and training go hand in hand for our species, too:
Educate. Whether you consistently discuss dental health, provide informational materials or both, educating clients is key to having clients understand and accept recommendations.
Follow up. Check in with your clients to make sure they've accepted and are implementing your recommendations.
Pet owner compliance
No dog owner wants to battle regularly with their pet. And that's part of the resistance to at-home dental care.
"Brushing pets' teeth is the gold standard for at-home periodontal health - but getting pet owners to comply can be a challenge," says Cristiano von Simson, DVM, MBA. "It's important for veterinarians to provide an option that increases at-home care and compliance," he adds.
For instance, Dr. von Simson says, veterinarians might encourage a chew product that's:
Proven effective in supporting periodontal health
Easy to use because dogs find it palatable
Virbac, which already has a comprehensive dental portfolio, recently added C.E.T.® VEGGIEDENT® FR3SH® Tartar Control Chews for Dogs.
This product helps support good oral health in patients with its 3-way performance:
Cleanse. Addresses oral causes of bad breath, such as plaque-causing bacteria. A single daily chew reduces tartar and plaque.5
Freshen. Freshens breath with every chew, with significant improvement from day 1 and continued improvement with daily use.6
Balance. Contains a prebiotic known to support proper digestion. Prebiotics promote healthy gut flora and help maintain intestinal well-being.7
C.E.T.® VEGGIEDENT® FR3SH® Chews also provide the enormous benefit of palatability with:
A 100% acceptance rate8
92% of dogs consuming the entire chew8
That's a far cry from the mental picture many dog owners might have of being locked in a perpetual battle with their pet. What's more, 9 of 10 pet owners perceived an improvement in their dogs' breath.6
Dogs rely on their people to care for them, including their teeth. Sometimes their people need to be reminded that the truth doesn't have to stink.
See more about how C.E.T.® VEGGIEDENT® FR3SH® Chews can support good oral health for your canine patients.
1Niemiec BA, Gawor J, Nemec A, et al. World Small Animal Veterinary Association Global Dental Guidelines. http://www.wsava.org/WSAVA/media/Documents/Guidelines/Dental-Guidleines-for-endorsement_0.pdf. Accessed June 22, 2018.
2Data on file, Kynetec market research, 2016. Virbac Corporation.
3State of Pet Health® 2016 Report. Banfield Pet Hospital. https://www.banfield.com/banfield/media/pdf/downloads/soph/banfield-state-of-pet-health-report-2016.pdf. Accessed June 27, 2018.
4Periodontal disease. American Veterinary Dental College. https://www.avdc.org/periodontaldisease. Accessed June 21, 2018.
5Clarke DE, Kelman M, Perkins N. Effectiveness of a vegetable dental chew on periodontal disease parameters in toy breed dogs. J Vet Dent. 2011;28(4):230–235.
6Chala V, Chaix G, Navarro C, Espuna G. Evaluation of breath freshening effect in dogs following chew administration: an open field trial. In: Proceedings from the European Veterinary Conference Voorjaarsdagen; April 11–18, 2018; The Hague, Netherlands.
7Flickinger EA, Schreijen EM, Patil AR, et al. Nutrient digestibilities, microbial populations, and protein catabolites as affected by fructan supplementation of dog diets. J Anim Sci. 2003;81:2008–2018.
8Chaix G, Lloret F. Palatability in dogs of a new vegetable dental chew (VeggieDent® FR3SH®) which helps to reduce plaque and calculus formation and helps to maintain a healthy and fresh breath. In: Proceedings from the 27th European Veterinary Dental Forum; May 31–June 2, 2018; Innsbruck, Austria.
About Virbac Corporation
Founded in 1968 by a French veterinarian, Virbac is an independent pharmaceutical laboratory dedicated to animal health, since the beginning. Currently ranked 8th worldwide, the company is present in more than 100 countries, offering a comprehensive and practical range of products and services covering the majority of species and pathologies. Virbac innovation, based on both technological advances and listening to the customers, relies on reactive production facilities which meet the highest international quality standards. For nearly fifty years, these specific features have allowed the company to build a personalized relationship with veterinarians and farmers in every country. Through this privileged partnership, in which social, health and environmental issues come together, Virbac contributes, day after day, to shape the future of animal health.