Oh my! What big teeth you used to have!

Any given day at the office is full of excitement. My daily schedule offers a variety of healthy and sick pets to keep the day interesting. Every pet is examined from nose to tail at every visit. The mouth is one of the first areas examined.  This one area alone can be be very dangerous to a pet’s health if not cared for properly.

Examining the mouth can be tricky. Not every pet accepts a stranger prying open their mouth. On a good day, I get licked by a happy puppy while examining the mouth. On a bad day, I can only get an eyeball view from afar of a snarling dog or hissing cat.   Despite some resistance at times, I still get a good view of  the mouth and what I see can often be shocking and even heartbreaking.

Gone are the days when I expect to see pearly white teeth.   Those are reserved mainly for puppies and kittens.  Now 1 of every 3 patients has bad breath, plaque and/or gingivitis. Often times I know what to expect the stinkier the pet’s breath.   Heavy amounts of bacteria will cause stinky breath and can lead to dental disease.  Sometimes the level of dental disease can be so severe the teeth actually fall out.  Surprisingly, I have had a pet’s tooth fall out during an exam.  Can you imagine the shock from that owner?  Can you imagine the pain that pet was feeling?  Likely a silent pain, without any obvious clues to the owner.   This is the reason why professional dental cleanings are recommended.  Unfortunately, I am not  always able to convince owners to clean their pets teeth in the early stages of disease.  Before tooth loss is the end result.

Professional dental cleanings are an essential part of a pets dental health care in addition to home care.   Home care includes daily brushing or frequent use of dental treats.  Even with diligent home care,  some pets still build plaque and develop gingivitis.  A professional cleaning is the only way to effectively clean the teeth above and below the gum line.  Delaying a dental cleaning until the teeth “look really bad” can be too late.  This was the case for a recent patient.  After the cleaning and dental x-rays were performed, I had to tell the client that their dog would be losing 17 out of 42 teeth.  Sadly, I have to make a call reporting the need for a tooth extraction far too often.

February is dental month but technically every month should be dental month.  Dental care is essential to keep your pet healthy. It helps your pet avoid heart, liver and kidney disease. And allows your dog and cat to retain all their teeth as long as possible.   Please visit your veterinarian to get an exam to assess your pet’s dental health.  If a dental cleaning is needed, please schedule without delay.

                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh my! What big teeth you used to have!

Any given day at the office is full of excitement. My daily schedule offers a variety of healthy and sick pets to keep the day interesting. Every pet is examined from nose to tail at every visit. The mouth is one of the first areas examined.  This one area alone can be be very dangerous to a pet’s health if not cared for properly.

Examining the mouth can be tricky. Not every pet accepts a stranger prying open their mouth. On a good day, I get licked by a happy puppy while examining the mouth. On a bad day, I can only get an eyeball view from afar of a snarling dog or hissing cat.   Despite some resistance at times, I still get a good view of  the mouth and what I see can often be shocking and even heartbreaking.

Gone are the days when I expect to see pearly white teeth.   Those are reserved mainly for puppies and kittens.  Now 1 of every 3 patients has bad breath, plaque and/or gingivitis. Often times I know what to expect the stinkier the pet’s breath.   Heavy amounts of bacteria will cause stinky breath and can lead to dental disease.  Sometimes the level of dental disease can be so severe the teeth actually fall out.  Surprisingly, I have had a pet’s tooth fall out during an exam.  Can you imagine the shock from that owner?  Can you imagine the pain that pet was feeling?  Likely a silent pain, without any obvious clues to the owner.   This is the reason why professional dental cleanings are recommended.  Unfortunately, I am not  always able to convince owners to clean their pets teeth in the early stages of disease.  Before tooth loss is the end result.

Professional dental cleanings are an essential part of a pets dental health care in addition to home care.   Home care includes daily brushing or frequent use of dental treats.  Even with diligent home care,  some pets still build plaque and develop gingivitis.  A professional cleaning is the only way to effectively clean the teeth above and below the gum line.  Delaying a dental cleaning until the teeth “look really bad” can be too late.  This was the case for a recent patient.  After the cleaning and dental x-rays were performed, I had to tell the client that their dog would be losing 17 out of 42 teeth.  Sadly, I have to make a call reporting the need for a tooth extraction far too often.

February is dental month but technically every month should be dental month.  Dental care is essential to keep your pet healthy. It helps your pet avoid heart, liver and kidney disease. And allows your dog and cat to retain all their teeth as long as possible.   Please visit your veterinarian to get an exam to assess your pet’s dental health.  If a dental cleaning is needed, please schedule without delay.

                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Month Is Spay/Neuter Month At Foster Animal Hospital!

 

 

For years, many of us veterinarians have used certain months to promote services and items. Some still do. These promotions could include- spay/neuter, dentistry, wellness tests, etc. In 2012, we at Foster Animal Hospital designed and implemented our Dental Cleaning Promo that proved to be resoundingly popular. Many clients liked this promo because we designed it as a single price that fit every dog or cat regardless of the “state of their mouth”. In fact, the Dental Cleaning Promo was so popular, we declared every month at Foster Animal Hospital as Dental Month.

Due to the Dental Promo’s popularity, we have designed our Spay/Neuter Promo as well! The Spay/Neuter Promo is designed to include: the spay/neuter itself, pre-operative bloodwork, fluid therapy under anesthesia, complete monitoring of all vitals, and a Capstar flea pill. (To see the details, click on the link below. Also with the link there is a pdf file that shows the prices and the Promo details.) As you will see, there is “one price that fits all”. The age and weight of your pet does not affect the price! By including the pre-operative bloodwork and fluids, you don’t have to sacrifice quality. We hope all can see the value recieved in our new Promo!

 

 

So why spay/neuter?

  • The most obvious reason is population control. The number of feral cats and unwanted puppies and kittens in Cabarrus County is staggering. Some estimates place the feral cat population in the hundreds of thousands. Many unwanted puppies and kittens are euthanized each year or are abandoned for an unknown fate. Controlling the over-population is crucial.
  • Behavior. Plain and simple, hormones influence behavior. When an animal is spayed or neutered, the source of hormones is removed: the ovaries or the testicles. Unwanted male behavior includes aggression, roaming, urine marking, excessive libido. Most puppies taken to Animal Control are done so because of behavioral issues. Most are never adopted.
  • Health. Studies show that spaying female dogs or cats before their first heat cycle, results in an almost 0% chance of developing breast cancer. The old wive’s tale of letting them go through the first heat is wrong. Spaying is recommended at 6 months of age. Females also cannot develop ovarian disease, uterine disease, or pyometra once they are spayed. Males have a much reduced risk of prostate infection/inflammation once neutered. (neutering doesn’t have a profound effect on limiting prostate cancer however). Many non-spayed and non-neutered dogs and cats develop problems in old age. Couple the older age with a severe uterine or prostate infection, and you have a patient that is not a desirable surgical candidate.

I hope this helps you understand the importance of spaying and neutering your pets. Every dog and cat I own has been spayed or neutered. All were done by 6 months of age. Please click on the link below to learn more about Foster Animal Hospital’s new Spay/Neuter Promo.

Link: https://www.fosteranimalhospital.com/news/

 

All the best,

Steve Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital

Concord, NC

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

www.fosteranimalhospital.com

www.facebook.com/fosteranimalhospital