Tale of two dogs and their mouths!

Below are two different cases that we saw the other week.   They each demonstrate the importance of dental care in your pets but two different extremes.

lindsayFirst is Lindsey.  She is a thirteen year old silky terrier.  Mom requested that we put her picture up because she is VERY proud of her!   First of all, I will tell you that most dogs her size (including Chihuahuas, Yorkies, pugs, Schnauzers, etc) tend to me highly predisposed to periodontal disease.   What does that mean….well they almost always need extractions starting at a fairly young age (3-7 years) and you almost NEVER see one with ALL of their original teeth in double-digit years!

She has had her teeth cleaned almost every year and mom brushes her teeth every day!   She still has all of her teeth to this day because of the care her mom provides for her!   Here is a picture of her mouth before and after her cleaning.



Here are a few copies of her dental radiographs that we did – overall they look really good, especially for a 13-year-old girl but that is because of her frequent and thorough dental care:

The second case we will call ‘Max’ (name changed to protect the innocent).  He is a 10-year-old Schnauzer.  Now Schnauzers are also predisposed to periodontal disease.  Max however, has never had his teeth cleaned or brushed.  He came to us two weeks prior to this for a chronic cough and nasal discharge.  We suspected all of his signs were due to his teeth but took radiographs of his chest to be sure he didn’t have pneumonia too (those looked normal).   We started him on a short course of antibiotics and got him scheduled for a teeth cleaning.   This is what his mouth looked like (pictures don’t do it justice!):

He had severe periodontal disease and needed every tooth extracted except for TWO!   Both of his upper canine (fang) teeth were so rotten that the bone that separates the tooth root and nasal cavity had eroded away causing a oronasal fistula (a hole that  goes from the mouth to the nasal cavity and the cause of most of his signs).   Special procedures had to be done to close the very large holes that were present.

Here are some examples of his radiographs (compare to Lindsay above) – the blue line shows where his bone should be and the yellow line shows were it actually is – it has receded a LOT due to severe periodontal disease.

This is what his mouth looked like when we were done – unfortunately, lots of extractions due to the severity of the disease that had been left untreated for so long.

In two weeks both should have healthy mouths….one will  just have all her teeth and the other only has two!   The difference between these two dogs:  One had frequent high quality dental care with daily brushing and the other didn’t!

Brushing daily is cheap, easy, and works great….just do it!!!!!