What’s Going On In There?

Have you ever looked at a closed door and wondered what is behind it? Or maybe a cabinet that is very high and said, “If I only had a ladder.”

For years we veterinarians wondered the same thing about dog’s and cat’s mouths! Well specifically, what is going on in there? Guess what, we found the ladder!

So you’re saying, “Dr. Steve, what in the world are you talking about?”. Over the last several years, dental radiographs or x-rays, have become available. And thanks to modern technology, regular and dental x-ray machines are now digital. When we as humans go to the dentist, we often have x-rays made of our teeth. What are the dentists and us vets looking for?

We are looking at the present condition of of the tooth roots and bone that support and anchor our pet’s teeth. And we are also looking at the future of your pet’s mouth.

According to the American Veterinary Dental College, periodontal disease ” is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult dogs and cats, and is entirely preventable.” ( https://www.avdc.org/periodontaldisease.html ) Statistics show that by 3 years of age, most dogs and cats have signs of periodontal disease. Let that sink in: “most common clinical condition” and “3 years of age”. Is that shocking to you?

If you think about it, for the average dog and cat, 1 year of age is equivalent to 7 years for humans. (That is an average. Dogs in particular age at different rates based on size, breed, and sex) At what age do we start brushing our children’s teeth? At what age do our children start going to the dentist? Hopefully not at age 21!

So back to the matter of dental x-rays for dogs and cats. Many of our pets can suffer from hidden tooth root damage and periodontal bone loss. This can result in a tooth that is dying, or severe infection, and pain. And many of our pets never show us the pain. And when they do, the problem is advanced and requires immediate action.

A case in point is Emmy, my own 12 year old Miniature Schnauzer. She had a routine dental performed in June of this year. Dr. Mark Plott and his team performed dental x-rays. Emmy’s right upper canine tooth was basically dead. She had shown no obvious signs of pain and discomfort at home. When they cleaned the tartar from that tooth, there was a slight discoloration near the gum line. Without the x-rays we would have never known about the advanced nature of her problem and her pain. The recommendation was to remove the tooth. Once she healed from the extraction, she was like a new dog. She was playing often and hard with our new puppy. Even acting like the puppy herself!

My point is, we never knew Emmy was in that much pain. And to make matters worse, she was in a position to develop an abscess that would have created more pain and misery and could have potentially seeded her blood stream and body with infection.

All dental cleanings performed at Foster Animal Hospital now receive full mouth x-rays. Yes, this has increased the cost of the procedure. Unfortunately, the digital dental x-ray machines are not cheap. But we feel as the advocates for your precious family members, the benefits and value of this step are definitely worth the cost. And Emmy agrees!

There is probably not a more important procedure to have done for your pet. You never know what is behind that door!

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All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

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I’m Back!!

Well I haven’t really been “gone”. I just haven’t blogged in a while. Thus, I’m Back!

Through this forum, I hope to share news and happenings from Foster Animal Hospital, Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons, and Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center. If there are topics you are interested in, please feel free to email me at: sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com.

Just like the world we live in, Veterinary Medicine is rapidly changing. I began practicing in 1985 and much has changed over the last 31 years! Here at Foster Animal Hospital, we were once a Mixed Animal practice that helped all species of animals but now we are a Small Animal practice that only helps cats and dogs. We used to have a full service boarding and grooming facility, but 24 months ago converted that space to full time Canine Rehabilitation and Conditioning. For 50 years we operated solely from our main hospital at 730 Concord Parkway North. In 2008, we opened an Out-Patient Clinic at 3805 Concord Parkway South. We now offer specialty services such as Canine Rehabilitation and even have a Board Certified Surgeon and a Board Certified Radiologist that come and provide specialized surgeries and specialized diagnostics at our main hospital. What the future holds is exciting!

So please join me on this “journey” as I share information and topics about and from Foster Animal Hospital, Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons, and Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center.

And lastly, all of us here wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

 

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