"Malcolm" - Cat with a Problem with Dental Floss
|Every day, in pets as well as people, we end up with an invisible thin film on our teeth called plaque. Over 24-48 hours after forming, plaque hardens and becomes tartar. Bacteria and their toxins which attach themselves to the tartar cause inflammation at the edge of the gum which causes periodontal disease.|
This process occurs 5 times faster in dogs and cats than in humans and is present in over 70% of the dog and cat population. Of these patients only 4% are being taken to their vet for dentistry checks. Consequently, at Fairfield we promote dental health care as much as possible to minimise the effects of this ubiquitous problem.
A number of different products as well as teeth brushing are recommended. One technique however, after our experience with Malcolm is strongly discouraged! Malcolm was presented at Fairfield several weeks ago with severe constipation. He was more lethargic than normal and had also been vomiting. Growing concern that his bowel may have become turned inside out (intussusception) led to an exploratory operation.
Several enemas, laxatives and a considerable amount of straining finally produced the primary cause of all his digestive stagnation. . . a long piece of dental floss! Malcolm had taken it upon himself to practice good dental hygiene without proper guidance!
He had stolen a piece of discarded dental floss from the bin and swallowed it! Subsequently, all clinical signs were related to his digestive tract struggling to move this "string" from one end to another. Almost immediately his symptoms disappeared once the floss was removed although there is still some tenderness around his bottom from all the straining.
Good dental hygiene for your pet is to be strongly encouraged but the bottom line is. . . don't floss!
BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS