Monthly Archives: February 2015

Dental Care of Small Exotic Pets at KAH

We all know that our dogs and cats need proper dental care, including regular professional cleanings, but did you know that your exotic pets need dental care, too? Rabbits are known as lagomorphs, because they have four incisors on the upper jaw and a set of peg teeth, instead of two incisors, as seen in rodents. Small rodents (guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, and mice) as well as rabbits need routine dental care. The teeth in small rodents and lagomorphs are open rooted, meaning they grow continuously throughout their lives. Our small furry friends need regular chewing action in order to wear down their continuously growing teeth. The most effective way to help your exotic pet wear down their teeth is to provide a good quality timothy hay at all times.  A regular physical exam with your veterinarian at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD will include a dental examination to determine the status of your pet’s teeth.

Sometimes, however, our pets just have bad teeth. In which case, a visit to your veterinarian is recommended. Some animals do not wear their teeth down properly, leading to malocclusion, a misalignment of the teeth. Malocclusion can lead to other dental problems, including abscesses, wounds and difficulty eating. Symptoms of dental problems in your exotic friends include, but are not limited to, drooling, difficulty eating, and weight loss. Improper nutrition can also lead to poor dental health.

Introducing Dr Dannis/Acupuncture to Frederick, MD

Sugar listening to Dr Dannis’ lecture

Sugar says “That didn’t hurt a bit.”
Did you hear that KAH is introducing Dr. Dannis who is an acupuncturist?!

     My name is Sugar, I am a healthy 3 year old American Bulldog.  My mom works at KAH as a CSR.  I overheard her talking about acupuncture & had to see what this was for myself.  So, when I heard KAH was looking for a demo dog for an acupuncture lecture, I was first to volunteer.

      I attended the acupuncture lecture that Dr. Dannis, a veterinarian, hosted last Friday with all of my friends from KAH. We learned all about acupuncture & how it works.  Basically, acupuncture is a form of triggering the nerve fibers to fire from minimal stimulus so that they don’t fire due to other causes ( can you tell I took notes ;))  It also promotes healing by encouraging the growth of the new blood vessels into areas of the chronic inflammation. This stimulation can also release opiods within your body for pain. 

Dr Dannis inserting the needles into Sugar’s back

     This all sounded great but I wanted to experience this for myself. Well, after seeing another animal first of course.  So when I noticed Baby Kitty raising her paw to go first I was relieved.  I watched her get her acupuncture without a flinch. I knew needed to be brave in this moment.  Dr. Dannis called my name, I started eating cheese & the next thing I knew I had all these needles all over my body & I was feeling really relaxed.  Great job Dr. Dannis!

     What a great experience! I’m sure this will benefit other pets that need additional therapy for their treatments of arthritis, pain, and other health issues.  Great job KAH for adding a service to go above & beyond for pets as usual!

For More information my mom says that you can contact Kingsbrook Animal Hospital at 301-631-6900. They will be starting to schedule appointments in Frederick, MD for Dr. Dannis soon!


Preventative Dental Care Recommendations at KAH

Tiffanie showcasing out dental care products

   When we think of dental care, we think of brushing and flossing our teeth twice daily and visiting the dentist for a professional cleaning every 6 months.  So why do we think that our pets don’t need the same care to keep their teeth pearly white?

When it comes to dental care in our pets, brushing is always best.  Plaque hardens into tartar after 48-72 hours.  Once it has hardened, the only way to remove it is with a professional cleaning. So it is best to brush your pet’s teeth at least once every other day.  Also you want to make sure you are using a pet safe toothpaste.  We recommend CET Enzymatic toothpaste.  The enzymes help to break down the bacteria in the plaque and it comes in three pet friendly flavors; vanilla mint, poultry and malt.
Dental care in pets can be intimidating.  You will have to slowly desensitize your pet to the toothbrush, the toothpaste and the act of brushing. To see a demonstration CLICK HERE.
What if your pet will not tolerate having their teeth brushed?  There are many other options for your pet’s dental health.
Dentacetic Wipes-An abrasive pad impregnated with a chemical that disrupts the biofilm on the teeth
                              caused by plaque and bacteria.
Oravet Sealant-A waxy substance that is applied to the tooth surface weekly to decrease plaque from
CET Oral Rinse-An antiseptic rinse that is applied to the tooth surface to inhibit plaque formation.
Maxiguard Oral Gel-An antiseptic gel that is applied to the tooth surface to inhibit plaque formation.
Greenies Treat*-A dental bone/treat that mechanically cleans the teeth.
Tartar Shield Rawhide*-A dental bone that mechanically and chemically cleans the teeth.
CET Chews-A dental bone/treat that mechanically and chemically cleans the teeth.
CET Veggiedent Chew*-A dental bone that mechanically cleans the teeth.
Science Diet Oral Care*-A diet that is formulated to mechanically clean the teeth.
Hill’s Prescription Diet T/D*-A diet that is formulated to mechanically clean the teeth.
*These products are certified by the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council)
If you have any questions about the products mentioned above, call your friendly veterinarians at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD for more information.

Dental Nutrition Recommendations at KAH

Dental disease is an ongoing concern in our companion dogs and cats.  All cats and dogs will at some point experience a level of dental disease that will benefit from being addressed by a thorough dental cleaning under anesthesia. 

Just like you or I benefit from having our teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months so do our pets.  Just like our dentist we are able to scale plaque and tartar that accumulates under the gum line that is difficult to eliminate with routine home care. 

When we brush our teeth everyday it contributes to our oral health and hopefully makes our routine visits to the dentist just that, “routine”.  Our goal with our own dental home care is to minimize gingivitis and gum disease that leads to progressive periodontal disease.  The same goes for our pets. 
Now we all know that not all four legged friends are created equal in their tolerance of dental home care in its forms of brushing, oral rinses and wipes.  This leaves us with diets and treats.  There are so many products on the market that are labeled to benefit our pet’s oral health. 

As veterinary professionals we hold stock in products that have the VOHC seal of approval.  VOHC stands for Veterinary Oral Health Council and includes 9 veterinary dentists and dental scientists that have established pre-set standards for products that reduce plaque and tartar with continued use.  

Some of the products that are included on this list that we strongly recommend to our patients are Science Diet t/d prescription food for both cats and dogs, Tartar Shield soft rawhide chews for dogs, and greenies for cats and dogs and Virbac CET veggie dents for dogs.  You can access information about other products with the VOHC seal of approval at

If you are interested in more information, call Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s veterinary team in Frederick, MD