Can Periodontal Disease Kill My Dog

Can Periodontal Disease Kill My Dog? Stages With Scary Consequences

Canine periodontal disease is painful, frustrating, and usually heavy on the owner’s pocket. It makes our beloved pets suffer from unbearable pain and discomfort. But can a “simple disorder” like a toothache or bleeding gum be deadly for our brave and strong canines? Can periodontal disease kill my dog?

You are about to find out!

Can Periodontal Disease Kill My Dog?

If you have been a puppy owner for a while now, you will agree that dogs are the most precious part of our human pack. They adore us, and we also share a special bond with them. That’s why most owners provide their pets with lots of love, tuns of exercise, regular checkups, and a nutritious diet to ensure that their furballs are in perfect physical shape.

But, one thing that most pet owners take for granted is oral health. Even though poor oral hygiene can lead our dog’s teeth to periodontal disease, a painful condition resulting in bad breath, bleeding gums, and tooth decay, the gums and teeth of our beloved pets are rarely given any priority. Inadequate oral care is also linked to other canine health concerns, including a broken jaw, heart disease, and diabetes.

Having an understanding of the periodontal disease is critical, so you can take proper steps to safeguard your darling pooch’s health before it leads to something a bit more severe. In this article, we will give you a brief overview of periodontal disease, its causes, symptoms, and possible treatments.

healthy dentition in dogs

What is Periodontal disease in dogs?

Periodontal disease is simply the result of untreated gingivitis. Gingivitis in canines is pretty similar to what we humans may experience when our gums are swelled. Usually, it is caused by the build-up of plaque on our canine’s teeth. Periodontal disease is not limited to any specific dog; all dog breeds are prone to it.

Periodontal disease and gingivitis, both teeth diseases, are preventable. But unfortunately, most dog owners don’t pay much attention to their pet’s oral health, and their unconscious negligence makes this problem a recurrent medical concern.

If ignored, oral diseases can worsen and cause rotten teeth, dog teeth infection, broken teeth, severe disfigurement, and loss of life.

Causes of periodontal disease

The main culprits of this disease are the tiny pieces of food that get stuck in the dog teeth. This left-over food is responsible for the growth of plaque, leading to gingivitis and periodontal disease.

prevent gingivitis in dogs

Though all dogs can suffer from periodontal disease, small dogs with crowded teeth are more susceptible to developing it. Their teeth shape makes it hard to clean between their choppers, leaving plenty of room for plaque to build and grow.

Senior dogs are more vulnerable to periodontal disease because of poor nutrition and broken teeth. Their immune systems are also not that strong to fight off bacteria produced by internal gum disease.

Symptoms of Periodontal disease in dogs

Knowing that dogs are experts when it comes to hiding their feelings, it can be tricky to catch the early symptoms of dog tooth infection. Usually, the only time owners recognize that something is off is when it’s a little too late to act.

Here we have listed the most common warning signs of gum disease. Rush to your vet as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.

  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Lack of interest in chewy toys
  • Unnecessary food aggression
  • Blood in the food bowls or on dog chew toys
  • Dogtooth infection
  • Dog broken tooth
  • Chronic bad breath (Halitosis)
  • Chewing food with only one side of the mouth
  • Nasal discharge on sneezing

treatment of periodontitis in dogs

Can periodontal disease kill my dog?

The three most possible complications of periodontal gum disease are dog loose tooth, gum loss, and bone loss.

Periodontal disease can get so extensive that even the slightest pressure can fracture your canine’s jaw easily.

Bacteremia is a gum infection causing your pup to experience bone loss. This infection is perilous as it can infect your pooch’s actual blood. Bacteremia can also progress to sepsis, a disease capable of spreading to different organs.

The periodontal disease puts your dog at high risk of developing heart, liver, and kidney diseases. It causes these essential organs to break down and stop working. So yeah, periodontal disease can kill your canine.

Best periodontal disease treatments

Helping your fido get rid of periodontal disease involves consistent and long-term care. Your veterinarian may suggest several oral treatments depending on the severeness of your pet’s oral health.

·       Canine mouthwash

A dog mouthwash can help you keep your furry companion’s oral health in great shape. Most dog mouthwashes are formulated by keeping in mind your canine’s oral health, so they have no adverse effects. These mouthwashes are highly beneficial in eliminating the build-up of plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth.

dog with cardiovascular problems

·       Anti-inflammatory drugs

Your veterinarian may recommend your dog an anti-inflammatory drug to cure the pain caused by an infected dog tooth. These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines are also expected if your pooch undergoes mouth surgery.

·       Antibiotics

Another medicine that your veterinarian may prescribe your dog is antibiotics. Antibiotics help fight off tooth infections caused by periodontal disease. Abscessed tooth pain also requires this type of medication.

Your pup may be placed on antibiotics for many days before a severe dental cleaning. Additional dosage is also expected after the cleaning process.

·       Dental cleaning

Dental cleaning is a serious medical procedure that requires your dog to be under anesthesia. The primary aim of dental cleaning is to remove the majority of plaque and tartar build-up from your dog’s teeth.

While your canine is unconscious under the effect of anesthesia, the vet may take an x-ray and other dental exams to look out for additional bone and teeth related complications. These exams are especially essential when treating periodontal disease.

Dog periodontal disease prevention

·       Brush, Brush

The best thing you can do to put a stop to periodontal disease is to make toothbrushing a regular part of your dog’s routine. Use safe animal toothpaste and brush your bud’s teeth two times a day. But if you can’t follow this routine every day, try your best to be as regular as possible.

·       Dental appointments and cleaning

Semiannual wellness checkups and periodic dental visits are a great way to address dental concerns right away. Plus, it would be great if you could discuss canine dental chat with your vet to keep oral health concerns at bay.

Bear in mind that if you regularly take your doggo to a vet to have his choppers checked, then the possibility of having a severe oral disease is extremely low. This is also how you can avoid dog tooth infections and tooth decay.

causes of periodontitis in dogs

·       Follow a healthy diet

Well, this is more on dog parents as canines eat anything their parents offer them. Thereby try to resist your canine’s adorable puppy eyes and keep a check on sugary treats as such treats are a major reason for bacteria build-up.

Have a chat with professionals and let them prepare a canine dental chart for your fido.

·       Treats and chew toys

There is nothing wrong with rewarding your fur babies with some delicious treats in moderation. However, always incorporate tooth-friendly treats in your canine’s routine. You can also opt for dog chew toys to keep your dog happy and healthy. Such treats and toys satisfy your canine’s natural desire to nibble on something while fortifying their gums and teeth. Most dog chews are enzyme enriched, and munching on them removes tartar and plaque from the teeth and gums of your lovely pup.

What consequences can be expected if periodontal disease is left untreated?

If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause irreparable damage and make a dog lose teeth. This disease can even make your dog’s teeth detach from gums and sockets.

In addition, periodontal disease can lead to tooth abscess, another excruciating dilemma for your sensitive pooch. Your vet may prescribe some antibiotics to cure these conditions, but the affected teeth will require surgery to be removed.

Apart from heart and kidney failure, periodontal disease can also worsen pre-existing diabetes in canines.

Dogs diagnosed with diabetes have a higher chance of getting periodontal disease. Sadly, both of these diseases go hand in hand. The more periodontal disease escalates, the worse diabetes gets.

stages of periodontal disease in dogs

Commonly asked questions

1.    How many teeth do dogs have?

A fully grown adult and healthy canine should have a total of 42 teeth in his mouth. That’s 22 on the bottom of his jaws and 20 on the top of it. Puppies, however, possess 28 baby teeth. Most canines have a similar number of teeth, but in comparison with puppies, adult dogs have more teeth.

2.    Can hard kibble help my pup’s gum problem?

Though there is no scientific evidence whether the overall feel of food can further affect your canine’s gum problem or not, if your pup has a pre-existing gum problem, it would be difficult for the fellow to munch on hard kibble.

3.    What are dog periodontal disease stages?

There are 4 stages of periodontal diseases.

Stage 1: Gingivitis

Stage 2: Illness is in the initial stages with less than 25% recession.

Stage 3: the disease is in an established state, and there is a 25 to 50% attachment loss.

Stage 4: The disease is in an advanced state, and there is more than 50% recession.

Can Periodontal Disease Kill My Dog? Final words

Canines with healthier teeth tend to live longer. Plaque and tartar may seem a simple problem at first, but if ignored, they can lead to periodontal disease, which in severe cases can be fatal. So brush those puppy teeth regularly and follow a healthy dental diet to save your pup from this painful experience.

Dog coughing after drinking water

Dog Coughing After Drinking Water – “Goose Honk” or Gagging?

A dog coughing after drinking water can be a source of concern for his master, especially if it happens frequently. The repetitive “goose honk” or gagging after drinking water or after exercise can be a characteristic of a few health issues.

This can be an indication that your dog will most likely need to be visiting the veterinarian, as coughing should not be taken lightly.

A dog will cough after drinking water most commonly because of either a collapsed trachea or Kennel Cough.

There are other respiratory issues that can cause coughing after ingesting water, but these two are by far the most commonly seen in conjunction with drinking and eating.

It is also possible that your dog just drank too quickly and, if so, there are no health risks at all.

This article will help answer your questions about your dog and why he is coughing after drinking water.

Dog Coughing After Drinking Water – Tracheal Collapse

The trachea is also known as the windpipe for some. This important airway is a tube made up of small rings of cartilage that connects the throat to the lungs. There is also a thin membrane of tissue that helps to complete the internal anatomy of the trachea.

my dog coughs when it drinks water

Symptoms of Tracheal Collapse and Who Is Most Affected

The signs of tracheal collapse usually include excessive coughing, especially during excitement and exercise, difficulty breathing, low energy and in more severe cases, their tongue or gum color will be blue or grey.

If they are turning an unhealthy shade of purple, blue or grey, they need to be taken to the veterinarian immediately!

Tracheal collapse is more commonly seen in small breed dogs, especially those that are overweight. Pomeranians, poodles, yorkies, chihuahuas and pugs are typically the most affected.

Why Does Tracheal Collapse Cause My Dog To Cough?

A pet will develop tracheal collapse if the rings or cartilage lose any of the rigidity and strength or if the inner membrane starts to sag. This will cause the delicate trachea to collapse, cutting off airflow and making it very difficult for the dog to breathe.

The reason that tracheal collapse causes coughing after drinking is because as the pet tries to drink, they have difficulty breathing as well. This causes them to occasionally inhale small droplets, making them cough.

dog coughing after drinking water

How Do You Treat Tracheal Collapse?

There are a few forms of treatment for tracheal collapse from medical management with cough suppressants like Guaifenesin and bronchodilators like Theophylline. It is also helpful if you can encourage weight loss and use a harness, not a collar, to minimize pulling on the throat.

In some cases, treating with an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory may be necessary if a secondary infection is noticed.

Surgery – Is It Worth It?

Surgical management is very complex and should be performed by a board-certified veterinarian. A mesh is chosen and applied to the inner part of the trachea, holding it open in order to allow for proper airflow. Just like with any surgery, there is always the risk of life-threatening complications.

Even with surgery, it is very likely that the dog will still need to have cough suppressants and a change in diet and lifestyle afterward.

Is Kennel Cough the Reason My Dog Coughs After Drinking Water?

Kennel Cough is typically the second most common reason for a dog coughing after drinking water. This is a highly contagious, inflammatory condition of the upper respiratory tract. Kennel Cough is often contracted through a contaminated environment, such as the groomer or boarding facility, or by another infected dog.

dogs are putting their nose in the water

What Are the Symptoms Of Kennel Cough?

The symptoms associated with Kennel Cough are very similar to the signs of tracheal collapse. Except, often times the history of the pet and the breed can have a lot to do with the diagnosis. If Jack the Labradoodle was just at the groomer a week or two ago and is coughing now, it would be more likely that it is Kennel Cough over a collapsed trachea.

What Are the Risks Of Kennel Cough In My Dog?

Kennel Cough can cause pneumonia if it is left untreated. Death and severe illness have been seen when this condition has been ignored.

How Do I Treat Kennel Cough in My Dog?

Thankfully, antibiotics usually kick Kennel Coughs’ butt. Azithromycin and Clavamox are usually the weapons of choice when treating this irritating cough. They tend to resolve the issue within less than 14 days of administering.

Other Potential Reasons Why My Dog Coughs After Drinking Water?

There really is a list of possible explanations for coughing after drinking water. While collapsing trachea and Kennel Cough are the number one and two reasons, it is still possible that it could be something else ailing your pet.

  • Heart failure
  • Heartworm disease
  • Allergies
  • Lung cancer

dog puts his nose in the water

Heart Failure

Coughing can most certainly be noted when the heart is not functioning at its full capacity. Typically a dog will start coughing from heart failure because there is either fluid build-up around or in the pericardial sac or some kind of heart enlargement that is applying pressure to the surrounding tracheal structures.

Symptoms Of Heart Failure

Symptoms can include but are not limited to persistent coughing, especially when getting up from rest or activity, lethargy, pale or poor gum color, inappetence and distended abdomen.

How Do I Treat Heart Failure?

Treatment of any kind of condition of the heart can be very tricky and delicate and depends entirely on what is causing the issue. Sometimes treating medically with diuretics can help but oftentimes this will still be the reason that the be passes away or is euthanized. It is important to confirm a diagnosis as serious as this one.

Performing an echocardiogram of the heart can help us better understand the causes of the dog’s heart issues and coughing, as there can be many ways that the heart fails.

Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is an entirely preventable condition where a blood parasite called heartworms entire the bloodstream through a bite from an infected mosquito. From there the microfilaria (baby heartworms) migrate to the heart where they begin multiplying inside. Sounds creepy? That’s because it is!


Heartworm prevention is readily available online and at your veterinarian. They should be tested yearly for heartworm disease and be put on prevention as soon as possible to eliminate the possibility of your dog contracting this nasty parasite.

Many folks are familiar with HeartGard, Trifexis, Interceptor Plus and Proheart. These are all great products that will prevent your dog from heartworm disease and should be given under the instructions of your vet.


The treatment for heartworm disease is a complicated, risky and expensive one. It is far cheaper to have your pet on heartworm prevention for their whole life than it is to treat it one time. Typically treatment ranges depending on the size of the dog and the cost of medical care in your area.

It can be anywhere from as little as 1500$ to over 3000$ and takes at least 6 months to fully treat as you can only test for it again 6 months after treatment is finished.

Melarsomine is the drug that is used to kill the adult heartworms which are greatly affecting the integrity of the heart. Prior to treatment, they have to be on high doses of steroids and antibiotics for two months prior to their first melarsomine injection.


A dog coughing after drinking water may suffer severe allergies. The inflammation from the irritating pollen and airborne pathogens can cause a large amount of upper respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, running nose and eyes and general itchiness.

Yes, it is possible that your dog could just be affected by simple allergies and they are still coughing after immediately taking a drink. Sometimes this is just because of the way that your dog drinks, or because his esophagus and trachea are irritated from all the coughing he did.

Sometimes if the pet lives in a household with cigarette smokers, coughing can be seen due to allergic lung disease response to the smoke.

Lung Cancer

The diagnosis of lung cancer is one of the worst ones and typically indicates a poor prognosis. Once the pet begins showing signs of coughing and it is found through x-rays that they have lung cancer then planning for their goodbye is what is best for them.

Symptoms Of Lung Cancer

Just like most things in this article, coughing is one of the first signs. Lethargy, weight loss and inappetence are also commonly seen in dogs that are suffering from this issue. Sometimes, the dog may even cough up bloody mucous.

Can I Treat Lung Cancer in My Dog?

It is extremely difficult to treat most types of lung cancers and is it unlikely that most therapies will be successful. Firstly, most lung cancer is derived by some type of metastasis (spread) from another organ or surrounding tissue, such as the liver, spleen or bone. Treatment can include surgical removal of a tumor or medications to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

Dog Coughing After Drinking Water – It Isn’t Always an Emergency Case

In rare cases is your dog coughing after drinking water a sign of an actual problem. If your dog is young and healthy and otherwise doesn’t seem to be sick, then he probably just drank his water too fast. After all, I know that I have taken a sip of water the wrong way and choked myself.

Be sure to monitor your pet for any other symptoms of collapsing trachea and other causes of coughing. Always contact your veterinarian about any concerns you have with your pet and coughing as it can be an indication of something deeper.

Can Dogs Get Down's Syndrome

Can Dogs Get Down’s Syndrome?

As a dog owner I have asked myself the question: Can dogs get Down’s syndrome? In this article we reveal everything about Down’s syndrome in animals.

Did you know there are very few diseases that exclusively affect humans? Indeed, although we may be surprised to see that our pets can contract common pathologies in humans, it is nevertheless a normal and usual fact. Thus, certain human pathologies associated with aging or reduced functioning of the immune system have the same causes and factors in animals.

What is Down’s syndrome?

Let’s first understand what is the nature of this condition and what mechanisms favor its appearance in humans. The genetic information of the human being is contained in the chromosomes, structures formed by DNA and proteins with a great level of organization. They contain our genetic sequence and largely determine the nature of our organism, which explains why often times pathologies are present in these chromosomes.

Human beings have 23 pairs of chromosomes and Trisomy 21 is a genetic alteration, since people with this pathology have an additional copy of chromosome 21: instead of having two chromosomes 21, there are three. This condition is medically known as Down’s syndrome.


trisomy 21 in humans


This genetic alteration is responsible for the physical traits that are characteristic to people with Down’s syndrome, which are accompanied by a certain degree of cognitive impairment, impaired growth and muscle tissue, but also a higher risk of suffering from other diseases.

Can Dogs Get Down’s Syndrome?

Trisomy 21 is a disease exclusive to humans, since the chromosomal organization of human beings is different from that of animals. However, animals also have genetic information determined with a specific sequence. For example, gorillas have a DNA similar to human up to 97-98%.

Since animals too have ordered genetic chromosome sequences (chromosome pairs depend on each species), they can also suffer from trisomies of one chromosome, which will result in cognitive and physiological difficulties, as well as anatomical alterations which will give it a characteristic state. This can happen in the case of laboratory mice for example, and therefore genetically modified, which have a trisomy of chromosome 16 or trisomy 16.

On the other hand, you are no doubt familiar with the case of Kenny, a white tiger from an Arkansas zoo, who died in 2008 and has a very special physique. The world we live in unfortunately gives a lot of importance to the physical appearance, and in Kenny’s case the subject raised a lot of questions and many thought it was a tiger with Down’s syndrome tiger, but the truth is that this claim has never been confirmed.

We can therefore conclude with the following statement: animals can suffer from genetic alterations and trisomies of a chromosome, so there is indeed the possibility that an animal is trisomic, but they cannot suffer from trisomy 21, which is a human disease caused by a third copy of chromosome 21.


How to recognize a trisomic dog

As we said above, trisomy 21 is a disease that only affects humans because it specifically affects chromosome 21. Trisomy 21 in animals therefore does not exist. In the case of the trisomic dog, the condition of its chromosomes has not been analysed and described because these abnormalities lead, most of the time, to the early death of the animal and the genetic tests necessary to identify trisomic dogs are simply not carried out.

Trisomy in cats

So many dog owners also have cats, so allow us to discuss the condition in cats. These animals can also have a chromosomal abnormality such as the Klinefelter syndrome, although it is a very rare condition. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 1out of 5,000 cats is affected by this disease. In addition, and often at birth, mothers can eat abnormal kittens because they assume they will not be able to survive. This phenomenon also explains why there are very few cats with some form of trisomy.

Klinefelter syndrome in cats

The Klinefelter’s syndrome affects only males and consists of an additional X chromosome on the sex chromosome pair. Thus, a cat suffering from this syndrome will have 3 sex chromosomes (XXY instead of XY). Symptoms of such syndrome in a cat will be observed by reduced mobility as the disease is known to affect, amongst other things, motor capacity. Thus, some cats move by jumping instead of walking, and you can also observe certain physical malformations in the limbs, eyes or ears.

If however you observe that your cat suddenly becomes aggressive with you, it is not a symptom of the disease but probably of the syndrome of tiger in the cat. The name of this disease appears to be innocuous and comes from the fact that the cat undergoes a sudden transformation of its behavior and can even become aggressive with its owner. This is generally due to the animal’s diet and a lack of physical activity. If you observe such behavior from your cat and are unsure what is the cause, don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian immediately.

healthy little dog

Can Dogs Get Down’s Syndrome? We hope you now have a more informed view of the disease as it relates to dogs and the above has dispelled some of your doubts!

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