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Dental Prophylaxis



Prophylaxis- Today your pet had a dental prophylaxis which involved cleaning, polishing and a complete dental exam. Please keep in mind that softened food may need to be fed up to two weeks if there were extractions. Pain medication was used prior to the procedure so despite the possibility of discomfort, it will be minimal with the prescribed medication.

I.V. Fluids- Your pet had an intravenous catheter placed into his or her leg to allow us to administer I.V. fluids throughout the dental procedure. The use of fluids helps to minimize risk, maintain blood pressure, and gives us a quick intravenous route to administer medication if the need arises. Please discourage excessive licking of the shaved area where the catheter had been. We have many suggestions that can help you minimize excessive attention to the area, please feel free to call for assistance. You may also find that your pet may need to urinate more often for a day or so because of these fluids.

Anesthesia- Your pet had anesthesia, you may find that your companion will be sleepier than normal and less able to manage stairs. We recommend you restrict activity until you are convinced that your pet is able to get around satisfactorily. Vomiting can occur as well as a decreased appetite, if this should go on for more than 12 hours, please call.

Extractions- If your pet had extractions today you may see a small amount of bleeding, especially when eating or drinking. We recommend softened food for 7-14 days depending on how many and which teeth were extracted. The softened food can be your pet’s normal dry food mixed with hot water and allowed to sit for at least 20 minutes before serving. It would be best to remove chewing toys and rawhides for the next two weeks as well, if there were extractions. We recommend that you start brushing teeth the day after the dental procedure, just try to avoid those areas where teeth were removed.

Oravet- If you chose the option to apply Oravet, we applied this product to your pet’s teeth as the final step in the dental procedure. This is a product that should be used weekly starting 7 days from today. Do not brush teeth for 24 hours following the application of Oravet. The best time to apply Oravet would be right before bed after brushing.

Doxirobe- An antibiotic compound is used in areas where the gingival tissue (gum tissue) has deep pockets that was formerly filled with plaque, now removed and filled with the Doxirobe. This product helps the gum tissue regain its healthy state and reconnect to the tooth; it remains in place for 10-14 days. Teeth that have Doxirobe applied should not be brushed for at least 10 days.

If at anytime you have any questions whatsoever pertaining to the Dental procedure or anything else, please don’t hesitate to call The Foley Blvd. Animal Hospital at 763-755-3595.

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Dental Care--"Clean As a Hound's Tooth"

Clean as a Hound's Tooth

By Rodger Barr, DVM
Fall 1998

If given the opportunity to alter this ‘nearly perfect’ breed of dog, the greyhound, what would you change? Perhaps you would wish for an abundance of fur on the thighs and chest, and no chance of becoming hypothyroid. Not a bad idea. What else? How about flexible bones that bend, but never break? Now we’re cooking! That would be great at the track as well as in adoptive homes. What would you think about the non-existence of separation anxiety? Just think about all the drool you’d be missing, not to mention other body by-products. All these improvements would be fine and dandy, but if given this rare opportunity, there is only one thing I would change: I would give this fabulous breed a perfect low maintenance set of teeth.

The reality of the situation is quite the opposite. This wonderful breed is eminently prone to a lifetime of dental disease. There are many hypotheses to explain the huge amount of painful, putrid, decaying plaque, which these mouths harbor (not to mention the gingivitis and pyorrhea). Suffice it to say that the combination of limited gnawing and chewing opportunities, combined with a high quality but stew-like diet, lends itself well to plaque formation at a very early age. Once the plaque has a chance to take hold, it can result in gum recession and concomitant gingivitis, infection, and ultimately, the untimely loss of teeth, often a large number of teeth.

Assuming that when your newly adopted family member arrives his or her oral cavity has been properly managed, the burden of care now lies squarely on your shoulders. If either you or your pet is reluctant to brush or be brushed, the inevitable will be halitosis and the need for regular dental prophylaxis, expensive veterinary bills, anesthesia risks, and the loss of non-replaceable teeth. All these are avoidable, but require unwavering commitment and dedication.

There are no shortcuts! Many gimmicks are available. Rawhides have value but can cause gastrointestinal upsets. Bones are good if your dog will chew them, but they can easily break or crack teeth. Milkbones, bones, t/d, etc. are helpful but cannot stand alone to win this battle. There is only one way to maintain a greyhound’s mouth and that is with a minimum of daily brushing. Twice daily is twice as good. Once a week is useless. Twice weekly is half as useless. A commonly used adage by your own dentist states: “Only brush the teeth you want to keep.” This is true for greyhounds also. Everyone has their own style of brushing and their own preference of brushes. It is best to use what you feel the most comfortable with. Make dental care a routine. Do it at the same time every day and DO IT WITHOUT FAIL. This is a very small price to pay for unconditional love, don’t you think?

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A Stitch in Time

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

By Rodger Barr, DVM
Spring 1999

Preventive Medicine is the order of the day when dealing with greyhound medicine and surgery. From the time greyhounds are puppies, the emphasis is on prevention. Regular worming programs, which can be as often as every two to three weeks, are aimed at preventing intestinal parasites. Vaccination programs, again, starting as early as three weeks of age, are aimed at preventing viral infections. Until they reach three to four months of age, these are the major issues young developing greyhounds face.

At three to four months the pups start to hurt each other. They have always been competitive, but now their teeth and strength are capable of doing damage. Some kennels being to separate litters at this point, and animals may begin to wear muzzles, not because these animals are mean, but because they are highly competitive. The only devices greyhound pups have to interact effectively with each other are their mouths and teeth. Major lacerations can occur at this time. As these young greyhounds begin to exceed their bodies’ tolerance levels, they can break bones by sheer speed alone. At this age, some fractures can be repaired and a racing career still salvaged – but not all.

Toe injuries are totally dependent on the type of surface used in the runs. Clay surfaces can provide enough resistance to break and dislocate toes. Sand surfaces generally discourage this kind of injury but, by its lack of impact, it tends to allow for more major hock fractures later in life. Such fractures occur from the lack of bone density, which is directly related to the amount of impact a bone receives over the course of time.

Life is pretty happy-go-lucky at this stage. Play is the order of the day, and the major activity, in good weather, is challenging adjacent runs to a race to the end of the fence line and back. (Words of advice, though, whatever you do, keep your tail and ears on your own side of the fence!) Training is a pretty innocuous time. There may be an occasional fractured quarter bone (metatarsal or metacarpal), but for the most part, injuries are not common.

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The Stink Starts at the Pink

The Stink Starts at the Pink

By Rodger Barr DVM

Strange title? Not really, it refers to the source of mouth odor beginning with the first stage of oral disease gingivitis. Gingivitis refers to the pinkish red inflammation around the teeth often caused by the presence of plaque and bacteria. If allowed to persist, Stage 1 gingivitis will progress to Stage 4 Severe Periodontitis. Periodontitis refers to extensive infection and deterioration of the oral tissue often resulting in unbelievable mouth odor and ultimately tooth lose, not to mention potential heart, kidney and or liver disease. Periodontal disease is the most common disease among dogs. It affects more than 9 out of 10 greyhounds over the age of 3 years old.

Nothing takes the place of daily effective tooth brushing, but as so often is the case, when a problem is complex and difficult to manage, new weapons are always being developed to fight the battle, with the goal being ultimate eradication of oral disease. Until the condition is totally managed, new ways of combating the problem are always being developed. You may currently be using daily brushing in addition to weekly Oravet in combination with Breathalyzer in the water. All of these methods have value, but they do not, by themselves, permanently resolve dental disease. The newest weapon available is Pfizer’s new Porphyromonas Bacterin. This is a two shot series vaccine followed by yearly boosters designed to combat the three most common oral bacteria responsible for periodontitis.

The ideal use of the vaccine is to start with a clean mouth, although if you dog is unable to have an appropriate dental under anesthesia it still does have value. This vaccine does not allow us to reduce frequency of brushing; it is merely another option to add to the arsenal in our total dental care package. Side effects can be similar to any vaccine, soreness at the vaccination site, listlessness, swollen face, reduced appetite, etc. It remains to be seen how useful this vaccine will be, but it appears to have the potential to represent a major contributor to improved oral health.

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