Donald H. DeForge, VMD
Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry
The New England and New York Animal Dental Helath Services
Oral Pain in Our Pets......
Idenitfy and Treat!
The Key is Comprehensive Oral Diagnostics and Treatment [CODAT]
It is 2017 and we are well into the New Millennium and there is still a reluctance on the part of many pet advocates to believe that oral pain is real and........... that it must be identified and treated!
In the photo above a small breed patient has lived with the pain of advancing end stage Periodontal Diseases for months. There is little hope for this patient without referral to an animal dentist for Comprehensive Oral Diagnostics and Treatment [CODAT]!
CODAT allows identification of pathology and a proper treatment course to be employed. The key to all oral diagnostics is a complete oral exam and digital oral radiology under general inhalation anesthesia.
No teeth should be removed from any companion-i.e. dog or cat-without complete oral radiology of all affected quadrants.
The signs of ORAL PAIN in the dog and cat before referral to an animal dentist can include any of the following:
Changed patterns of contact with the pet owner-i.e. not wanting to play; not wanting to go for walks; sleeping excessively
Disturbances in sleep patterns
Reduced grooming in cats
Changes in eating patterns
Preferrng soft food to hard foods
Swallowing food whole
Tossing food into back of mouth and not chewing the food
Chewing on one side of the mouth only
Reluctance to eat favorite hard treats
Smacking of lips
Blood tinged or pustular discharge from nostrils
Swelling anywhere in proximity to the upper and lower jaws
Frequent nose bleeds
If you observe any of the above, please call your local doctor of veterinary medicine immediately for an examination. If your local doctor does not have dental x-ray availability......please ask your doctor for a referral to an animal dentist. Do not put off this exam.
Dogs and cats can live in "bad pain"! "Bad pain" is constant low level pain with periods of significant pain excitement--i.e. severe oral pain! The pet lives with "bad pain" until they can take no more of it; at that point they just give up and stop eating. If this point is missed, the patient can develop a cascade of medical problems.
What can be causing your pet's oral pain?
Advanced Periodontal Disease
Endodontic Disease-opened pulp canals with tooth root abscesses
Oral Masses and Cysts
Impacted and Luxated Teeth
Cavities in dogs
Crown/Root resporption in cats
Pulpitis-i.e. the tooth with the abnromal colored crown-gray, red, maroon, brown, yellow, or blue. These colors are a sign of hemorrhage from trauma inside the tooth and must be addressed. Never ignore a discolored tooth.
In complete extractions with retained abscessed reactive roots
Jaw fractures-jaws can fracture spontaneously from advanced periodontal disease affecting the bone--- in the mandible-lower jaw--- especially. Trauma to the jaws from impacts of many types can lead to acute fractures.
Pain Control is Essential:
It is important to treat pain before dianostics are performed; and after treatment has been completed. Pre-emptive pain control programs should follow detailed pre-anesthesia assessments. This is especially important in the geriatric patients that could be already affected with aging heart and lung disease.
See your doctor about detailed pre-anesthesia testing prior to any general inhalation gas anesthesia. The type of pre-anesthesia testing is based on the life stage of the patient and any pre-existing medical problems.
Do not proceed with any general inhalation anesthesia without in-depth pre-anesthesia discernment to allow a safe journey.
Modern Gas Inhalation Anesthesia:
Modern animal general gas inhalation anesthesia is very safe as long as pre-anesthesia testing has been performed; and the patient is monitored by a veterinary nurse technologist with a doctor present at all times.
Discuss this with your veterinarian before proceeding. Some patients need pre-treatment with specific medicines, after the pre-anesthesia testing has been completed, before undergoing anesthesia.
Never worry...... but be concerned and follow the simple steps outlined in this report before beginning your journey in Comprehensive Oral Diagnostics and Treatment. [CODAT]
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