Have you ever walked into a room when your nose detects a very unpleasant odor, like dead fish and you instantly begin to wonder, where is it coming from?
As a nose detective you start smelling everything from the garbage can, to the sink, the disposal, pillows, rugs, etc. then …………...THE DOG!
“OMG your breath is horrendous” you exclaim, as you gently pull back the lips to take a peek.” OMG! you are unable to see the TEETH because they are covered with black and green tartar and the gums are red and swollen. Your dog winces in pain as you explore its mouth. Your heart suddenly feels heavy from guilt because you remember the veterinarian telling you year after year : your dog needs a dental cleaning. Now you realize how bad your pets mouth truly is. You immediately take action and make an appointment to haul your dog into a Waterford Veterinary Hospital for a dental consult.
“OMG- HOW MUCH? I can’t afford that!” you explain as they give you an estimate on the needed dental care. You totally go into a paralyzed state of mind. You are no longer comprehending a word the veterinarian is saying. When you return to the present, the veterinarian is explaining your pet is suffering from periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an advanced stage of deep pockets of infection under the gum line. The infection destroys the ligament that holds the teeth into the socket. The loose teeth are painful to touch.
How did this happen? How will my dog eat if they remove the teeth? What happens if I don’t do anything? These may be just a few of the question you ask the veterinarian.
Here are some answers:
1. Periodontal disease is from the failure to provide proper oral hygiene and care. Dogs don’t have the ability to brush their teeth, so plaque builds up from the bacteria growing in their mouths. Infection develops and spreads under the gum-line causing abscesses and tooth loss.
2. Having the infection under the gum-line is painfu. Every time your dog touches the gums with food or toys, it hurts. So, your pet is most likely not properly chewing their food but instead swallowing it whole which can lead to stomach problems.
3. If your pet’s periodontal disease is not treated the infection will continue to spread to other organs: kidneys, heart and liver. You can’t imagine losing your pet to this disease.
Periodontal disease treatment involves having your pet’s mouth examined under general anesthetic so that full mouth X-Rays can be performed. The X-Rays will show which teeth need to be extracted because of the underlying pockets of infection around the roots. The infected teeth are surgically extracted after a local nerve block is performed. Nerve blocks as well as additional pain medication are given to your pet so they can recover from the procedure as pain free as possible.
While under general anesthetic, your pets will have a thorough examination of all teeth, ultrasonic scaling (cleaning), polishing and fluoride treatment of the remaining teeth.
At Pet Authority Animal Hospital, this procedure may take as long as 3 hours depending on how many are extracted. As with any major surgery, we require all patients to have current blood work & an EKG to be sure your pet’s organs are healthy for sedation. Fluids are given (IV) during the entire procedure to keep your pet’s internal organs hydrated. Your pet is also monitored throughout the procedures by electronic cardiac/respiratory/temperature monitors as well as Licensed Veterinary Technicians. On discharge, you will receive instructions on how to care for your pet’s teeth to avoid further periodontal disease as well as antibiotics and pain medication. Follow up visits will also be scheduled.
The cost of a periodontal procedure may range anywhere from $700 to $1200.
“But how can I afford this?” you ask.
Pet Authority Animal Hospital offers CareCredit. This is a wonderful, EASY way to pay for your pet’s dental care. Once you qualify for this extended credit, you have 12 months INTEREST FREE to pay CareCredit. Ask our staff for details.
From the other side of the exam table,
Dr. Gloria Williams