Sparky is a 10 year old Fox Terrier dog who presented to the clinic with a large swelling on the right hand side of his face, under his eye. Sparky was examined by our Veterinarian Paula, who very quickly discovered a horrible rotten tooth at the back of his mouth on his upper jaw (maxillary molar). Paula also noted that the tooth was painful for little Sparky, who had obviously been hiding his pain well.
Sparky was sent home on antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the infection and swelling (which will also provide pain relief), and was to come back the following week for a dental procedure.
The following week, Sparky returned to the clinic and was admitted for the day. The swelling on Sparky’s face had significantly reduced in size and the infection seemed to be under control, so the go-ahead was given for Sparky’s dental procedure.
Once safely anaesthetised, a full assessment was able to be completed on Sparky’s mouth (it can be difficult to assess the back teeth on a conscious animal). On both the right and left side, Sparky’s two last maxillary (upper) molars had considerable gum recession and the roots of the teeth were obviously rotted. These teeth were extracted (four in total) and the rest of the mouth was checked for any further issues. The remaining teeth looked healthy, so he was given a full clean (scale and polish).
Sparky recovered well from his anaesthetic, and later into the evening was offered a small amount of soft food as his gums would be too sensitive for hard food at this stage. Without hesitation, Sparky happily and hungrily tucked into his dinner proving he was feeling much better already!
Sparky is a great example of why it is so important that we do our utmost best to provide our pets with preventative dental care where possible, and why it is equally important to have regular check-ups for them (ideally once yearly for younger pets, and every six months for senior pets). These check-ups may pick up on early signs such as tartar build up or inflamed gums; if dealt with promptly (i.e. possibly a dental scale and polish), these mild symptoms can be reversed, resulting in a happier and healthier pet and owner.
Remember, our pet’s dental health is essential for optimal wellbeing. If your pet has painful teeth or dental issues, this will prevent them from thriving, as well as reducing their overall quality of life.