Hands down and far away, the most common illness we see in our patients is dental disease. I diagnose it multiple times per day in my patients. It is estimated that 80 percent of domestic dogs and 70 percent of cats develop gum disease by three years of age, and most do so silently. Our patients do not brush and floss regularly (unless we are doing it for them), so they are at significant risk for dental calculus (tartar), gingivitis, loose teeth, dental abscesses and even systemic illness from oral bacteria entering the bloodstream.
Thank goodness for pet groomers! They are entirely more talented, patient, capable and artistic when it comes to clipping dog and cat fur than I could ever be. Many groomers astutely notice common medical conditions such as ear and skin infections and skin tumors; I frequently see appointments that are scheduled as a result of a groomer noting a medical problem with one of our patients. Most pets require regular grooming of some sort or another, whether at home or by a grooming professional. There are several grooming topics we frequently address with clients; read on for more about tear stains, shedding and trimming nails!