October is still Pet Dental Month at the New Hamburg Veterinary Clinic and today’s blog will highlight some of the benefits of a professional dental cleaning with the story of Casey.
Casey, a 5 year old male Chihuahua, came in for his annual exam this year and Dr. Glen noted that he had some early oral health concerns; Plaque, Tartar and Gingivitis. Dr Glen knew that small breed dogs often suffer from dental decay and end up losing teeth as they get older due to this condition. He also knew that it can be hard to really get a good look inside any dog’s mouth while they are awake so he recommended that Casey come in for a full oral exam and dental cleaning during our Dental Month. Casey’s Mom & Dad understood that oral care is very important for the health and longevity of their pet, and they wanted what is best for Casey, so they scheduled him in this past week. Posted below are some pictures of what we found when we got a good look inside Casey’s mouth.
Casey had bloodwork done to check his organ function and blood cell counts before starting. Everything was normal so he was anesthetized and had a breathing tube placed for his safety. We used an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque and tartar from Casey’s teeth (both above and below his gum line). One tooth (his upper fourth premolar on the right side) had more tartar than the others and when we cleaned it off, we found out why. Casey had fractured this large chewing tooth and had exposed the sensitive dentin and pulp chamber in the middle of the tooth. Until we got into his mouth under anesthesia and cleaned away the tartar, this was difficult to assess.
In people, crown fractures like this are very sensitive and stop people from chewing on that side of their mouths. Casey is a tough little guy and never showed any signs of this injury, but if left untreated this tooth could have caused pain, appetite loss and even tooth root infection. Luckily, Casey’s parents brought him in for his yearly exam, had his mouth looked at, followed Dr Glen’s advice on dental cleaning and then were able to have the tooth removed before it became a bigger problem.
The last few pictures are a little graphic (so feel free to skip them if you don’t want to look) but they show Casey having his tooth removed. A flap of skin is lifted off the tooth roots, bone is removed with a high speed drill, the tooth is cut into three pieces and then each root is extracted before the skin is sewn over the hole. Casey is given pain medication, antibiotics and soft food after his surgery and we will re-check him to make sure that he is healing well, but we expect that he will be back to eating his regular food next week. He won’t miss his tooth and it won’t cause him any problems in the future now that he has had the treatment that he needs. Well done Casey!
If you have any questions about dentistry in pets or to schedule your free oral health exam in the month of October, please feel free to call our front office and book an appointment (519)-662-1525