When people think about their pets' overall wellness, teeth are often one of the last things to come to mind. Not enough pet parents do their duty in brushing their pet's teeth and getting them to a veterinarian regularly for cleanings. Unfortunately, neglect in this area can not only lead to your cat losing teeth and being in a lot of pain, but it could lead to a life-threatening condition later on. Here's what you need to know about your cat's teeth and kidney connection.
Kidney Disease in Cats
Many cats develop kidney disease in their lives. Like in humans, this means that the kidneys stop functioning properly and can't perform their job well. When this happens, toxic byproducts build up in the blood, which can cause problems all over the body. Without medical treatment, this can quickly kill. However, even with treatment, kidney disease has no cure for felines. Dialysis isn't an option, as cats can't sit still for hours per day like humans can to have their blood filtered and treated. With this in mind, the best course of action is to try and help your cat to not get kidney disease in the first place.
Unfortunately, scientists aren't 100% certain as to what is responsible for non-damage related kidney disease. That is to say, if your cat isn't exposed to a harmful poison or experiences physical trauma to the kidney itself, the cause will generally be considered as unknown, or genetic. However, there is a leading theory regarding the cause of kidney disease, and it involves your cat's teeth.
More scientists and veterinarians now believe that there's a link between feline kidney disease and oral health. The theory is that the bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, as well as the chronic inflammation caused by these two conditions can ultimately impact your cat's kidneys. With adequate dental care, your cat won't develop gum disease or tooth decay, and their kidneys may be protected.
What to Do
If you don't already take care of your cat's teeth yourself, you should visit a vet first and foremost. They'll be able to diagnose any conditions that your cat's teeth have and treat them accordingly. Once your cat's teeth have been professionally cleaned and are free of tartar, you should plan on brushing them regularly.
Your veterinarian can also provide you with tools and tips on how else to keep your kitty's mouth in good shape. For example, certain water additives can help to keep bacteria at bay, lowering the risk of gum disease.
Taking care of your cat's oral health now could help to protect them later on in life. Talk to your veterinarian and get your cat's teeth taken care of right away to help protect them from the risk of this dangerous disease.