Keeping canines healthy -- canine teeth, that is

December 19, 2008
Brenda Mulherin with Couger, a patient at the Dr. W. Eugene and Linda Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center.

( -- "Dental disease is a serious problem in pets," said Dr. Brenda Mulherin, community practice veterinarian at the Dr. W. Eugene and Linda Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center. "Signs of dental abnormalities can begin from birth with malalignment of the jaws," Dr. Mulherin said. "Young animals commonly retain their deciduous (baby) teeth and both young and adult animals can develop periodontal (gum) disease as early as six to eight months of age."

The most common type of dental illness is periodontal (gum) disease. Dr. Mulherin says that dental disease can be easily prevented. She advises pet owners to brush their pets teeth daily with a toothpaste designed for pets, not humans.

"Dental cleanings are another way that pet owners can be proactive," Dr. Mulherin said. "In the long-run periodic dental cleanings can save owners the expense of costly problems in the future as well as save their pets' teeth from being extracted."

Although it might be a bit daunting to brush your pet's teeth for the first time, Dr. Mulherin says many pets enjoy the taste of the pet toothpaste and the massaging of the gums by the brush. She advises owners to start brushing when the pet is young but encourages owners of older pets to brush their pets' teeth, as well.

Since joining the veterinary staff at the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) last month, Dr. Mulherin has performed numerous dental cleanings and procedures. "We commonly perform routine cleanings and extractions." Dr. Mulherin will soon be trained in performing root canals and other endodontic procedures. She has already taken several courses concentrating in small animal veterinary dentistry.

Dr. Mulherin is a 2002 graduate of Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Previously, she was a small animal practitioner in the Des Moines area. She has given client presentations on pet care and the veterinary profession.

In addition to caring for pets at the Lloyd VMC, Dr. Mulherin teaches fourth- and third-year students in general practice.

Provided by Iowa State University

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Amazon deforestation leaps 16 percent in 2015

November 28, 2015

Illegal logging and clearing of Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 16 percent in the last year, the government said, in a setback to the aim of stopping destruction of the world's greatest forest by 2030.

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.