By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Consumer News | Issue: September 2006
Ready to ask and answer the question – L-R: Amber Williams Christine Collier, Dr. Jennifer Patton, Dr. Corinna Tressler, Dr. Lissette Wigton, Janice Holt
To keep your usually perky pup feeling, well, perky, it’s essential that his teeth receive their share of attention.
Green Country Veterinary Hospital considers your best friend’s teeth to be one of the primary considerations in evaluating his overall health. Dr. Corinna Tressler, Dr. Lissette Wigton and Dr. Jennifer Patton know there is a key connection between our pets’ comprehensive health and the quality of their oral health.
“Get in the habit of checking your dog’s gums and teeth on a regular basis,” explains Dr. Tressler. “And everyone should be aware that your dog’s bad breath could indicate a serious condition.”
“Consistently poor breath in your pet could reveal something serious and should not be overlooked or endured,” Dr. Wigton reminds. “Seeing packed tartar on Fido’s teeth requires immediate attention.”
“Just as we wouldn’t imagine letting our kids grow up without scheduled tooth exams, we should practice the same care and consistency for our pets,” Dr. Tressler says. She points out the importance of doing basic, routine maintenance such as brushing our pets’ teeth.
The Doctors encourage their clients to make use of a variety of available products which can make pet mouth hygiene so easy that it easily becomes common practice. There are pet toothbrushes, even those resembling the “finger brushes” humans use, and toothpastes specifically formulated for pets.
Dr. Wigton warns against using a human toothpaste as the fluoride it contains could be harmful to pets. “The products available for pet use are specifically formulated to treat their unique needs,” she confirms.
At Green Country Veterinary Hospital, a dental exam is part of every doggie check up. Janice Holt is responsible for the initial oral exam during each visit to the clinic.
Drs. Tressler, Wigton and Patton encourage questions and expect patrons not to take any part of the exam for granted. According to Dr. Tressler, there may be parts of a basic health exam that the customer does not understand and they are encouraged to ask questions about anything they don’t understand.
One frequently asked question is, “What all is involved in an oral exam for my dog?” There will be a thorough examination of all teeth, noting any loose or mobile ones, while observing the gums for any abscesses or tumors and noting the source of any abnormal mouth odor.
The doctors will evaluate the exam findings and recommend scheduling a dental appointment if work is recommended. Dr. Tressler reminds that an examination is only as thorough as the pet will allow. Some of our canine friends, like humans, find it difficult to refrain from movement during a dental exam!
A more thorough dental exam and treatment may be recommended and is accomplished by sedating the pet. Your doctor will advise you if there is any concern that the pet may not be healthy enough for anesthesia. If there is any reason for doubt, the pet’s blood work and heart work will be analyzed to determine if there is abnormal risk for the pet.
Once you have approved anesthetizing your dog for the complete oral exam, SEVO gas will be utilized along with an I-V catheter which will provide essential fluids and easy emergency access if medicine is necessary. These necessities are safeguarded by a monitored EKG and two of the clinic’s medical staff will be beside your pet during the procedure.
Dental exams and procedures generally require about an hour. Dr. Wigton reminds us that not all dental routines are the same and each will depend on the extent and practical aspect of each procedure.
Each pet’s dental routine will include polishing and smoothing the teeth, a treatment which slows the formation of bacteria. A five minute fluoride treatment is given and then wiped clean from your pet’s teeth.
To ensure each pet’s safety, the clinic’s doctors are diligent in putting their patients on both pre- and post-treatment rounds of antibiotics. The reason is that untreated bacteria can migrate from the mouth to the heart and do damage, if not be fatal, to your pet. Antibiotics are an important safeguard to prevent any undue risk to the heart.
Drs. Tressler, Wigton and Patton encourage you to get to the root of your dog’s tooth health by scheduling him or her for a checkup today! Green Country Veterinary Hospital. You and your pet will be glad you called!
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.