As vets we need to complete at least 35 hours of continuing profession development (or CPD for short) to maintain our membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

I am currently completing a course on dentistry in cats and dogs. Dental work may not be the most rock and roll aspect of veterinary medicine, but it is in fact something that we are doing daily here at the practice.

Because cats and dogs do not brush their own teeth – and many owners are not able to do so, we see a lot of dental disease in our patients. Often the first sign of this to the owners is smelly breath, sometimes these pets will have trouble eating – but it is amazing how many pets will seem to be eating perfectly well despite having multiple rotten teeth and a breath that could wipe out a small army.

Tooth problems start with the build-up of plaque (or tartar), this then leads to gum disease and damage to the tooth roots and rotten, wobbly teeth.

Once we get to the point of lots of tartar build up and diseased teeth, we have no choice but to anaesthetise patients and clean up those teeth taking out any diseased ones. We often find that after a dental owners will tell us that, even though their pet seemed well enough before the dental work, they are noticeably happier after it has been completed.

So, if your pet has bad teeth, do not be afraid to get them checked and treated at the vets, preventing problems with home brushing is always best but treating bad mouths that have gone too