February reminds pet owners to brush teeth

Your dog’s bad breath might tell you more than what type of snack he found out in the yard.

Bad breath, along with red and swollen gums, brown teeth, frequent pawing at the mouth, and reluctance to eat hard foods, can mean that your pet has a dental disease.

National Pet Dental Health Month is an initiative by the American Veterinary Medical Association that encourages pet owners to brush and care for their animal’s teeth.

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Keeping an eye on mange

“Just imagine your dog with all its hair fallen out, and it smells like yeast, really badly.” That’s how Nancy Yaeger, veterinary technician at Heart and Hand Veterinary Clinic in Matthews, described mange.

Mange is a skin disease caused by parasitic mites that animals carry with them their entire lives, but only cause a problem if the dog is subject to high stress, or if the dog’s immune system is compromised for some reason.

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