Crunch, crunch, “ouch!” crunch, crunch “OUCH!!” Hi it’s Kit here. This was me a few weeks ago when I was having lunch with my Pomeranian friend Zsa Zsa Dogbor. Eating had become painful and was losing its appeal. I didn’t know what was wrong but Zsa Zsa had an idea. She felt the same way a few months ago and it turned out it was her teeth! She suggested that I visit Dr. Woodbury and have a dental exam done. The next day I got the news: I had a resorptive lesion, and infected gums.
“Oh Dear!” said Zsa Zsa when I told her that evening. How did Dr. Woodbury diagnose your problem?
“Well”, I told her, “It was a wonderful visit, and thank goodness I went in”
“Cindi the Dental Technician met me at the door. After listening to my story about how painful my mouth was, she took me into the office and had a chat with me. She placed me on the exam table, turned on the light and then lifted my lip to look at my teeth. She winced when she saw what a state my teeth were in.”
“She told me that my bad breath was not just because I ate that piece of salmon I snuck off the owner’s plate the day before. It was much more than that. Cats and dogs should not have bad breath, and because I did, it indicated I had infected gums. My infected gums were red and red gums HURT.”
“Then Dr. Woodbury came in to see me. He wrinkled his brow and he patted my head
“Poor Kit’ he said “You must be in a lot of pain. It has been a few years since you had a dental cleaning. That’s what happens when you don’t have yearly dental check ups. Bad things happen to a pet’s teeth the same way they happen to other parts of a pet’s body. It’s easy to tell when a paw is sore because you start to limp. But when a tooth is sore, it’s not as obvious. You did the right thing coming in to see me today.’”
Zsa Zsa Dogbor looked very concerned when she heard what Dr. Woodbury said.
“What did he do next?” she asked
“Well”, I told her, “He suggested that I have an anesthetic (so it wouldn’t hurt) and that he clean my teeth and get all the tartar off. Then he said he would do some x-rays so he could see underneath my gums to see if there were problems there that couldn’t be seen just by looking.”
“So I came back in the next day and Dr. Woodbury and Cindi the Dental Technician gave me a full dental procedure. When they got a closer look at my mouth, they were able to diagnose tooth resorption. This is when a tooth is dissolving in the tooth socket. To stop the pain and cure the infection, they took out the tooth and they cleaned the socket really well. Now the infection will go away and I won’t have any more pain.”
Zsa Zsa was wide-eyed and looking at me with great concern.
“I’m so glad that you are not hurting anymore Kit. It must have been a relief to get that taken care of. It is horrible to have a tooth ache.”
I nodded. “Thanks’ Zsa Zsa.” I said. “It was a relief to no longer have a tooth ache, but as it turned out, having an infected tooth is also serious for other reasons. Dr. Woodbury explained that if I hadn’t gotten rid of the infection in my tooth, the infection could have spread to other parts of my body and infected my brain, my lungs, my liver, my kidneys or my heart!” That could have been a life threatening problem!”
“Oh Kit!” exclaimed Zsa Zsa with tears in her eyes. “Thank Goodness you caught it in time! I would be heart broken if anything happened to you! You’re my best friend!”
I smiled at Zsa Zsa showing her my sparkly white clean teeth.
“Aw, gee Zsa Zsa, I love you too.”
I told her “That’s why I wanted to thank you for sending me to Dr. Woodbury. I also want to remind you to get your dental check up done soon as well. Dr. Woodbury told me that up to 50% of cats suffer from tooth resorption at some time during their life. I know you are a dog and not a cat, but it is still really important that you go. Periodontal disease is the most common condition diagnosed in both cats AND dogs! AND, up to 70% of dogs and 80% of cats have infected gums by two years of age! Even if you don’t have brown tartar on your teeth, your gums could be infected. So you need to make sure you get your dental check done every year. You know the old saying: ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’.
“I’ll make my appointment right away” she told me. “It’s Dental Health Month!” It’s a perfect time for me to phone PetFocus and get Dr. Woodbury to examine my teeth right away.”