This month’s featured pets are Winston and Tonka. Besides both being sweet dogs from the same family, these two boys unfortunately had another thing in common – dental disease!
We first met Tonka when he came in because his owners noticed bad breath, thick tartar on the teeth and red gums. Similar to most dogs with severe dental disease, this did not stop him from eating and playing, but his owners were concerned for his oral comfort.
After bloodwork showed him to be a good candidate for general anesthesia, Tonka received a comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment (COHAT). This involved scaling and polishing the teeth to remove the thick layer of tartar that had built up over the years as well as full mouth dental radiographs to assess to roots and pulp of the teeth. The assessment determined multiple teeth needed to be extracted due to bone loss and root exposure caused by periodontal disease. When all was said and done, Tonka walked out with 21 less teeth in his mouth, but a significant improvement to his oral health!
Tonka did so well after his mouth healed that, a month later, little Winston came in for a similar treatment. He only had 6 teeth left in his mouth as the others had all fallen out over the years. These teeth were unfortunately on their way out and were also extracted for his comfort.
Despite Tonka losing 21 teeth and Winston losing his 6 remaining teeth, both dogs are now doing extremely well. They are definitely more energetic and eating better! Our goal at Markham Veterinary Clinic is not to maximize the number of teeth, but rather to promote a pain free mouth. It can be difficult for owners to recognize symptoms of periodontal disease because dogs and cats are able to hide it so well. Schedule a no charge oral health assessment with one of our veterinary technicians today to see if there is anything that needs to be done to help improve your pet’s oral health!
Dr. Cathy Leung DVM