Clinic Stories

Put 'Em Back

Dental problems are seen on a daily basis by veterinarians whether from infections, broken teeth or just a large amount of tartar. There can be some tell tale signs such as swelling or bad breath, but most of the time it goes unnoticed until their pet is examined. Although it is not obvious, dental infections still cause discomfort and affect normal activities.

The dental disease in Bonnie, a Yorkie, was not subtle. Her teeth were completely caked in tartar, many of her teeth were loose, her gums were brick red and her breath smelled like composting manure. Her owners brought her in regularly for vaccines and nail trims and each time we would strongly recommend having her teeth cleaned. They would nod agreeingly then politely decline scheduling dental work. This went on for years and truly bordered on cruelty.

Finally, it happened- Bonnie came in for a teeth cleaning. Her teeth were cleaned and polished , eight teeth were extracted and she was sent home on antibiotics and pain medications.

A month later, Bonnie was back for a nail trim and I asked how she was doing after her teeth cleaning. "Terrible. She's driving us nuts, running around, playing all of the time. She won't leave us alone." I explained that she had been in constant pain and was so relieved she was acting like a puppy again. They were having none of it- "We liked her when she laid around all the time. Can't you put some of those old teeth back?" We didn't do that but Bonnie never had her teeth cleaned again.

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