Flip Those Lips ...

It has come as a great surprise to me to recognize how little owners know about their Yorkie's teeth and gums.  One would think that bad breath and a deteriorating condition of a Yorkie's teeth and gums would be very noticeable seeing that these pets are continuously on owner's laps and are affectionately hugged and kissed.

The life of a Yorkie can be expanded by 10 - 15 years or more if Dental diseases are readily prevented.  we brush our teeth 2 - 3 times a day, and the Yorkies?  There are various means to prevention such as giving them Chews, rinsing and brushing their teeth.

It is good to Chew,

Better to Rinse,

Best to Brush!

At least 85% of Yorkies over 5 years or more are in need of dental scaling under anaesthetic.  This may even apply to Yorkies even younger.  Periodontal (gum) disease leads to kidney, liver, heart, digestive and other problems.  Here are some symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • A built up of tartar
  • Bad breath
  • Inflamed (red and swollen) gums
  • Infection of the gum line
  • Loss of teeth
  • Plaque covering teeth
  • Poor appetite caused by pain with chewing
  • Red and bleeding gums
  • If any of these symptoms appear, consult your veterinarian.  As mentioned briefly above; Chew, Rinse and Brush are many ways to prevent teeth and gum problems.  At your veterinary clinic, you will be able to find food that is formulated specially for Oral Care.  When brushing a Yorkie's teeth it is best to use Pet Toothpastes with a palatable flavour and toothbrushes shaped for pets.

    Flip those lips and find out the state of your Yorkie's teeth.  Remember, prevention is better than cure.  Make an arrangement for a dental check-up TODAY.

    Article written by : Dr. Irma Bailey



    One of the main purposes of teeth in dogs and cats is to assist in catching, killing and eating prey. The majority of dogs and cats today are not used for hunting but their teeth are similar to those of their hunter ancestors. Dogs have 42 teeth in total (12 incisors, 4 canines, 16 premolars and 10 molars). Cats have 30 teeth (12 incisors, 4 canines, 10 premolars and 4 molars).

    Dogs and cats rely on their owners to ensure good oral hygiene and apart from regular visits to your veterinarian for checkups, health nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining strong and healthy teeth and gums. Gums should be a healthy pink colour with no redness or signs of bleeding where the gums meet the teeth. Some dogs and cats have areas of pigment in their mouths which is normal and nothing to be alarmed about.

    Signs of healthy teeth and gums:

    • Breath that doesn't smell offensive, bad breath can be a sign of dental or oral disease.
    • No discomfort when eating.
    • Teeth are white and clean, not discoloured.
    • Baby teeth are normally very sharp, are smaller than adult teeth and look very similar to each other.
    • Adult teeth are less sharp and are clearly differentiated into the different types of teeth. They should not be loose or ready to drop out.
    Nutrition from Royal Canin, tailored to assist dogs and cats suffering from dental problems, contains specific ingredients to reduce the risks of, and the diseases associated with, oral diseases:
    • Brushing Effect. The texture and shape of the kibble produce a gentle abrasive effect on the teeth during chewing.
    • Tartar Control. Helps to reduce dental plaque and tartar through the action of sodium polyphosphate, which binds with calcium in saliva, thus making it unavailable for the formation of tartar
    • Skin Barrier. A synergistic complex of vitamins and amino acids supports the skin's barrier role (niacin, pantothenic acid, choline, inositol and histidine).
    • Urine Dilution. Increases urine volume whilst simultaneously reducing saturation of urine with struvite and oxalate crystals, thus helping to reduce the risk of bladder stone formation
    • Joint Support. Added chondroitin, glucosamine and Omega 3 essential fatty acids help maintain cartilage strength, joint health and activity levels.
    • Digestive Security. A selection of highly digestible proteins helps to facilitate digestion and minimise intestinal fermentation, thereby reducing flatulence.
    • Hairball elimination. Aids the elimination of hairballs (through the action of psyllium and dietary fibre) thus helping to minimise discomfort associated with vomiting or constipation.

    Providing good nutrition is one of the most important aspects in owning a dog or cat. Not only does it ensure all the health benefits of essential nutrients and ingredients, it is crucial in maintaining excellent oral and dental hygiene.

    Article by Michelle Christie (Royal Canin)

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