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Hey there. It’s CAT Stanley again. I’ve been busy doing cat things so it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. Sorry about that. But I’m back now. And I have a quiz for you! Are you ready? Here we go.

What is the most common clinical disease diagnosed by veterinarians? What’s your guess? Go ahead and take a few minutes to think about it.

Did you guess periodontal disease? If you did, congratulations. You’re a genius. If you didn’t, you’re not alone. But it’s true – periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed clinical disease seen in pets, at least according to some surveys. (Other surveys have recognized obesity as the most common disease diagnosed.)

Let’s translate that into more common language. Periodontal disease is dental disease. According to the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC), “periodontal disease includes gingivitis (inflammation [reddening] of the gums) and periodontitis (loss of bone and soft tissue around the teeth).”

The experts at AVDC tell us that the most common periodontal diseases seen in cats are tooth resorption, stomatitis, and fractured teeth.

  • Tooth resorption involves the loss of part or all of the tooth structure.
  • Stomatitis is defined as inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth. In cats, it can be a severe and extremely painful disease.
  • Fractured teeth are teeth that have been broken or cracked. These teeth can also be painful for your cat.
  • If you’re interested in more information on these diseases, including some photos illustrating what they look like, please visit the AVDC page on feline dental disease.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month. Since January is almost over and February is just around the corner, it’s a good time for cat owners to make the decision to start caring for their cat’s teeth. Fortunately, dental disease is preventable. I’ve talked about what dental disease means for your cat and how to prevent it previously.

Don’t forget that all cats need regular veterinary care, and part of that care involves dental health examinations.

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