Morley Vetcentre
20 Rudloc Rd
Morley, WA, 6062
Phone: 08 9275 3000
Contents of this newsletter

01  What’s lurking in your pet’s mouth?

02  FAQs about the treatment of dental disease

03  You want me to do what to my pet's teeth?!

04  Human Aids and Cat Aids - what is the link?

05  Get walking

01 What’s lurking in your pet’s mouth?

Look for yellowing of the teeth from tartar and bacteria

There is a sneaky disease out there that likes to hide in your pet's mouth. It is called dental disease.

As many as 8 in 10 pets may be suffering from dental disease. It is caused by food particles and bacteria that build up around the teeth. This causes irritation of the gum and leads to an inflammatory condition called gingivitis. Eventually the gum separates from the tooth allowing small pockets of bacteria to form. At this point, the tooth's attachments start to break down and the disease becomes irreversible.

Signs of dental disease:

  • Bad breath
  • Shying away when the mouth is touched
  • Drooling or dropping food from the mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • A loss of appetite or weight loss 

If your pet will allow it, gently open its mouth and look inside for red and swollen gums, a yellow-brown crust of tartar around the gum line, or broken or loose teeth. If you notice any of these changes, arrange a dental check up for your pet as soon as possible.

Dental disease is a great example of why regular check ups with us are important. If we can pick up on dental disease early, we can implement a dental disease prevention plan are often able to prevent further damage to your pet's teeth, giving you and your pet something to smile about! 

02 FAQs about the treatment of dental disease

A cat undergoing a dental procedure

Does my pet really need a general anaesthetic?

In order for us to properly assess and treat dental disease general anaesthesia is usually necessary. Unfortunately we can’t ask you pet to ‘open wide’ and we need to keep all of our fingers so it is best that your pet is anesthetised. We are also able to painlessly remove any diseased teeth and clean every tooth thoroughly. 

My pet has a fractured/chipped tooth, do we really need to have it treated? 

Yes, especially if the internal part of the tooth (the pulp) is involved. The pulp contains all of the blood vessels and nerves for the tooth and if exposed, is very painful. Bacteria can enter into the tooth and infect the pulp and lead to infection within the jawbone. Often, there aren’t any obvious outward symptoms (such as facial swelling) until very late in the infection. 

Is extraction of a tooth really necessary?

When comparing our own dental experiences to that of our pets, extraction may sound drastic however the options for saving teeth in our pets are limited. A pet with severe dental disease has usually lost a significant amount of bone and soft tissue along the roots of the tooth. Extraction is often the only way we can restore oral health and prevent the disease spreading to neighboring teeth. 

03 You want me to do what to my pet's teeth?!

There are a variety of ways you can help to prevent dental disease in your pet. Feeding a crunchy prescription dental diet and giving your pet regular dental chews (such as Greenies®) are very important. We can recommend the best dental prescription diet for your pet.

Did you know that brushing your pet’s teeth is considered gold standard when it comes to prevention of dental disease?

Click here to watch a video on brushing your pet’s teeth – it is not as ridiculous as it sounds!    

04 Human Aids and Cat Aids - what is the link?

Cats spread FIV most commonly through fighting

Picture a human and a cat. Both became infected with a virus several years ago. 

Both appeared fine and lived without symptoms for several years, but during this time the virus was quietly weakening their immune system. 

Now they are both losing weight, have swollen lymph nodes and suffer from chronic infections.

Both were infected with similar viruses and are now suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The difference is that the human was infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the cat was infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). 

Some facts: 

  • FIV and HIV are very similar viruses
  • They behave similarly when they infect the body’s cells
  • Both FIV and HIV are serious problems to cat and human populations around the world
  • FIV has not been found to infect humans

The viruses are spread very differently. FIV is carried in saliva and is most commonly spread via cat bites. Therefore any cat that ventures outside and has contact with an infected cat is at risk.

There is good news for cats and cat lovers as there is a vaccine available to help prevent FIV infection.  Given that a successful vaccine has been developed against FIV this gives hope to scientists trying to develop a vaccine against HIV. 

Click here for more information on FIV. For the best advice about vaccinating your cat, speak to us.Your LinkYour Link

05 Get walking

The Million Paws Walk is the RSPCA's biggest fundraising event and in 2012 the walk will take place on Sunday 20th May.  Click here to see a walk location closest to you.

Million Paws Walk is a terrific day out for all and an important fundraising event for the RSPCA. Funds raised through entry fees, online fundraising and the sale of merchandise help assist the RSPCA to operate its animal shelters, support its Inspectorate services and provide community education on animal welfare issues.

In Queensland alone, there are 18,000 dogs that go through the Animal Care Centres each year. These dogs are not as fortunate as your much loved family pet. They often need to be desexed and vaccinated before they can be put on the road to finding a new home.

Yearly costs involved in caring for these dogs include:

  • $360,000 for vaccination medication
  • $270,000 to provide heartworm treatment
  • $216,000 to provide food and shelter

So sign up to walk on Sunday 20 May and fundraise to help make a real difference to the lives of these animals.  

Even if you can’t attend a walk, you can still fundraise! 

Find out more information by visiting