Chances are, when you adopted your greyhound, you were warned that they are notorious for their bad teeth. Some postulate that it’s because, as racers, they were fed high protein, high bacteria food, also known as “4-D” meat – meat that comes from dying, diseased, disabled and dead livestock that has been deemed unfit for human consumption. Others believe that these racers are fed meat of old dairy cows who are no longer productive. Regardless, it is up to us – as responsible greyhound parents – to care for their teeth and prevent periodontal disease.
Some signs of periodontal disease include:
- Bad breath
- Red or swollen gums
- Yellow or brown crust near the gum line
- Loose or missing teeth
- Discomfort when the mouth or gums are touched
- Possible decreased appetite or weight loss due to difficultly in chewing
In order to prevent this, daily brushing is encouraged. While brushing, check for these signs.
According to the National Greyhound Adoption Program and veterinarians, in addition to regular, daily brushing, greyhound’s teeth should be professionally cleaned once a year. This may need to be done under anesthesia, depending on the condition your hound’s teeth.
I’ve started with Luna, and on my first attempt, I got the funniest look, like, “Mom, what do you think you’re doing with my mouth?”
It took some time, and I started out with a small size brush so as not to intimidate her, and some tasty chicken flavored toothpaste. She’s getting better, but it’s clear that this is an entirely new experience for her. In addition to brushing, I use a water additive to give her teeth a little bit of a boost to fight off bad breath and plaque. I’m committed however, because I’ve seen those horrible pictures of greyhounds with their teeth rotting out of their head, and I would never want Luna to experience that kind of pain.
What are your dental stories? I’d love to hear.