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Welcome to our series from the Wonderful Dr. Barry Baum, Chief of Staff at Center-Sinai Animal Hospital.  If you have a question for our Virtuoso Vet, he'd love to see it.  And he will answer all that he can.  Just use the email contact that follows below, beneath the column. Please note: If you feel the condition of your pet is critical, Dr. Baum suggests you contact your local vet ASAP!

For previous questions and answers, see the buttons under this week's article.

Virtuoso_Vet_Baum_answers_your_questions_on_cat,_dog,_turtle,_and_other_pets'_care_at_inaspawprints.com

 

          
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Dear Dr. Baum --

How do you know when your dog needs a dental cleaning, and what do I do when my dog doesn't eat on and off?

Janelle,
California, Culver City, United States


Hi, Janelle--

Usually the first clue that you pet needs to have its teeth cleaned is an unpleasant odor from the mouth -- that is bad breath!  You, as the owner, should lift a lip and visually inspect the tooth surfaces -- particularly near to the gum line. Yellowish/brown tartar of varying degrees of accumulation will often be observed. The most tartar is usually seen on the rear teeth (molars). When the bad odor is consistently present you can assume that the odor is emanating from the mouth, but when it is only intermittent the source of the odor is usually from gas that is being burped up from the stomach, hence the term “sour stomach.” In the case of dirty teeth the only solution is to have the teeth cleaned. You should follow up by wiping the mouth with gauze and water -- along the gum line -- once or twice a week.

As far as not always eating consistently, this could be normal for that pet especially if this has been the pattern set over a long time. Any time there is a deviation from the established pattern of food consumption you should attempt to figure out a logical cause. Occasionally this will require the services of a veterinarian.
 


To find out what others have asked, click our Critter Query archives button:

Do you have a question for our Virtuoso Vet?  Just use the form below. Dr. Baum will answer as many of your questions as possible.  For Your Pet's Health: Please contact your local vet if you feel your pet is having an emergency to insure getting attention in time to meet his/her needs.

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If you are lucky enough to live in Los Angeles when you need a really good vet, you can call
 to set up an appointment with Dr. Baum or another of the
highly skilled staff at
Center-Sinai Veterinary Hospital.  The number is 310-559-3770.

Check out the new site www.CenterSinaiAnimalHospital.com! Your questions and answers appear there, with a link on our site, too, and more pet care information and special features! Just close the window after visiting, or hit your browser's back button to return to InasPawprints.
 

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