Why small animal dentistry?
February 2019, I had come home from college and the first thing I realized was Luna had terrible foul smelling breath. I opened her mouth to look inside, as any good pet owner would, and found a pink mass between her front teeth. I remember thinking, "how could I have missed this". I was very worried and did not want my dog to be in pain. I called the Vet to book an appointment to get this looked at. The Vet did a biopsy and sent that away. The results came back as Plasmacytoma which is a benign tumour that is very fast growing and had the possibility of impacting the bone. This news was very scary. I wanted the best for Luna especially because she was only five years old. I got referred to a dental specialty clinic for a consultation and the treatment of choice was to remove her top right and left canines and all teeth in between. The teeth and surrounding tissue was sent to a histopathologist and Luna was diagnosed with gingival hyperplasia and lymphoplasmacytic gingivitis. That means that her gums (gingiva) were swollen and red because of a reaction to the tartar on her teeth.
After the surgery Luna was sent home with some pain medication, soft food, and oral rinse. She had to eat soft food for a few days so that her stitches would not rip out. After Luna's stitches dissolved I was instructed to brush her teeth using the oral rinse they gave me. Luna did not enjoy this process but she never growled and I knew it was going to help prevent this happening again. She got used to me brushing her teeth faster then I would have thought. It is a good idea to start brushing your pet's teeth early in life so then they get used to it. It also prevents dental disease which is extremely painful. Having your pet used to it's mouth being handled helps the Veterinarian when they need to look inside their mouth during any regular physical exam and if your pet ever needs to take pills.
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