Dr. Kressin’s Pet Dental Cases

Puppy Cleft Palate

Puppy Cleft Palate Repair

Puppy with cleft palate

Cecil at 8 months after cleft palate repair.

Five-week old Cecil, an English Cocker Spaniel, came for evaluation by Dr. Dale Kressin, of Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery Specialists, LLC in Oshkosh Wisconsin, for a severe cleft of the hard and soft palate. After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Kressin’s team recommended tube feeding Cecil to allow for growth and development and then to re-assess him after he was a bit older to determine the best treatment plan.

Cecil’s breeder was passionate about helping Cecil through the problem and followed Dr. Kressin’s recommendation for care and feeding of their puppy.  Approximately five months later, Cecil returned for further evaluation and treatment of the cleft palate.

Six weeks after the cleft palate repair, Cecil is doing very well, he continues to grow and is a typical hyperactive eight month old puppy, weighing in at 37.5 pounds. Cecil provides pure joy to his new forever family.

Key considerations for owners with pets having cleft palate problems:

  • Avoidance of aspiration (getting food and water into the respiratory tract) and secondary pneumonia.
  • Continuous support in tube or hand feeding.
  • Financial considerations with respect to cleft palate repair surgery.

Key considerations for veterinarians in advising clients with pets having cleft palate include:

  • Genetic and environmental causes for the development of the problem.  Cleft palate can be inherited, congenital, developmental or environmental.
  • It is important to help clients understand that cleft palate repair carries a good prognosis provided they can be appropriately fed during their early growth and development.
  • Operation of cleft palate requires an understanding of the anatomy, neurology, physiology, growth and development of these patients. Dr. Kressin recommends to wait to operate between the ages of three and seven months. Operating earlier or later can result in complication associated with growth and development.

board certified veterinary dentist offers the experience and specialized care that offers best possible outcome for a puppy with a cleft palate. Veterinary dentists work closely with our referring colleagues and provide detailed records and any follow up care recommendations.

Don’t Ignore a Pet Who Seems in Pain During Meal Time

208 clinical view.

208 clinical view.

A seven year old Beagle female named Tammie came to Dr. Dale Kressin, veterinary dentist in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Tammie’s owners had noticed she appeared uncomfortable while chewing food. Dr. Kressin examined Tammie and observed both the right and left upper fourth premolar teeth were fractured and had pulp exposure.  These types of fractures are referred to as “complicated” crown fractures.

In any case involving a pet dental condition or injury, Dr. Kressin’s first course of action is always to recommend dental radiographs with periodontal probing to establish an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. The owners scheduled the procedure for the following week, however three days after the initial consultation, the left side of Tammie’s face swelled up, her eye was closed and appeared extremely painful.

Tammie was admitted to evaluate the teeth with probing, dental radiographs as well as having all of her teeth scaled and polished. During the examination, Dr. Kressin noticed the crown of the left upper fourth premolar had an unusual appearance. The normal cusp had a separation that extended from the crown cusp to the gingival sulcus. The periodontal probe extended 11mm below the gingival margin and a purulent discharge was observed. Dental radiographs revealed bony lysis and the presence of five roots where only three were expected.

208 Extracted.  2 mesio-buccal, 2 mesio-palatal and one distal root of 208.

208 Extracted. 2 mesio-buccal, 2 mesio-palatal and one distal root of 208.

Dr. Kressin’s working diagnosis was that the left upper fourth premolar tooth was a gemination tooth with a periapical abscess. A gemination tooth develops as a result of incomplete twinning, meaning the tooth bud incompletely divides and the abnormal gemination tooth forms with extra roots. The treatment plan changed from an anticipated root canal therapy to dental extraction.

The extraction procedure went well and Tammie is now pain free and happily enjoying her meals again. If you notice your dog or cat seems uncomfortable while eating, it is important to take them for an evaluation by a veterinary dentist. Often there is a painful reason for their behavior.


Pet Oral Burns

Burns in pet mouths are certainly not entirely out of the ordinary. Pets presented with oral burns can be challenging problems to manage as the injuries can cause significant pain and tissue destruction.

If your pet experiences an oral burn it’s vital to have your pet evaluated as soon as possible by a veterinary dental specialist. A veterinary dental specialist will not only be able to treat the visible injury from the burn, but also do a thorough assessment of any damage that may not be initially visible due to the burn injury. It is important that your pet receives veterinary dental radiographs to determine the extent of the damage.

Recently, Dr. Dale Kressin of Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery Specialists in Wisconsin, treated a dog who’d experienced an oral burn after a burn that occurred from chewing an electrical cord.

Dr. Kressin’s initial priority was to do an oral examination and treat the initial source of the burn with copious irrigation of the injured area. A few days after initial treatment, the degree of injury was reassessed so that the full extent of injury could be evaluated and a treatment plan implemented. A tooth extraction was necessary because the burn destroyed the gingiva and the alveolar bone that supports the tooth. Surgical treatment is often the case with burns as there can be damaged, irreversibly damaged or dead tissue or bone that needs addressed.

Photos below show initial burn injury, damage caused and post treatment photographs and radiographs.

Veterinary Dentistry – Sharing Our Knowledge


Dr. Kressin, DVM, DAVDC

Dr. Dale Kressin of Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery Specialists and Dr. Niemiec of Southern California Veterinary Dental Specialties have teamed up with Animal Health International to teach weekend dental courses to general practitioners and technicians around the country. Most recently, both veterinary dentists taught a wide range of topics to 50 veterinary professionals at Globe University in Appleton, Wisconsin.


Dr. Niemiec, DVM, DAVDC

Saturday included a day of lectures. Dr. Kressin’s team taught dental radiology, periodontal therapy and regional anesthesia. Dr. Niemiec presented on oral pathology, periodontal disease and surgery, dental radiology techniques and interpretation, dental extractions, pain management, and increasing veterinary dental compliance.

On Sunday, students participated in a full-day, wetlab, which provided extraordinary hands-on experience with extractions, dental radiology, dental prophylaxis, bonded sealants and nerve blocks.

Read more about the event from Globe University.

Ella’s Malignant Oral Tumor

Ella nearly three years after surgery to remove malignant tumor.

Ella nearly three years after maxillectomy surgery to remove malignant tumor.

Ella was originally referred to Dr. Kressin of Animal Dentistry & Oral Surgery Specialists in December of 2010. She had been diagnosed with a malignant fibrosarcoma, an oral cancer, and was expected to live only 3-6 months.

A board certified veterinary dental specialist, Dr. Kressin takes great care in providing the best possible treatment plan for the pets with oral tumors requiring veterinary dental care. In Ella’s case, Dr. Kressin’s recommendation for major oral surgery was a success and today, almost three years later, Ella is living a happy, healthy life with her family. Dr. Kressin checked in with Ella’s owners recently and they are incredibly grateful for Dr. Kressin’s expertise and commitment that saved Ella’s life!

“I was referred to Dr. Kressin by a veterinary oncologist.   The diagnosis of an oral cancer, called fibrosarcoma, was devastating.  I love Ella, she’s an important part of my family, and I needed to understand if there were any treatment options.

Dr. Kressin explained what could be done, how it would affect Ella, and how it would benefit her.  He recommended a major oral surgery and other options.  I thought long and hard and decided to proceed with surgery and I’m very glad I did.

He performed a surgery called “Maxillectomy”.  He removed all of Ella’s teeth on the left side of her upper jaw and a major portion of the roof of the mouth.  Ella looks great and acts as though there was never a problem. It has been more than 2 ½ years since Dr. Kressin performed the surgery and Ella is living and doing very well.

Dr. Kressin takes the time to care.  He still calls me to ask how Ella is doing.  I absolutely would recommend him anytime.”

– Tim S.

Sparrow – A Special Dog Who Deserved Special Care!

Sparrow - Australian Shepherd Puppy - Wisconsin

Meet Dunham Lake Captain Jack “Sparrow”

Australian Terrier,  Dunham Lake Captain Jack “Sparrow” was born in 2012, without his front right leg, a birth defect was likely due to his mother being exposed to something toxic early on in her pregnancy.  Despite the missing leg, Sparrow continued to thrive, had a slight problem with his right eye (ulcerated cornea), but all other development seemed to be normal.

As he started to lose his puppy teeth, I noticed he would make a funny grinding noise with this teeth and his breath smelled like metal (blood). I watched him carefully, as I do with all my puppies. I had some concerns about the way some of the teeth seemed to be coming in on right side of his mouth, but I also thought, it would straighten out as the puppy teeth fell out.

Examining Puppy Teeth - Wisconsin Vet Dentist

Sparrow’s owner examining his mouth lead her to contact Wisconsin Veterinary Dental Specialist Dr. Dale Kressin.

On February 28, 2013, Sparrow was not acting like himself. I looked at this teeth again, they seemed okay, but the smell of his breath was even worse. I opened his mouth wide and then saw the problem. It appeared to me, that his bottom teeth on the right side were actually cutting into the roof of his mouth and creating an open bloody crevice on the right side of the roof of his mouth. There also was that one molar that I had been concerned about, which was protruding outward toward his check on the upper right jaw.  I decided I better put him on a pain killer and an antibiotic just to be on the safe side.

I was quite distressed about this and had planned to bring him into my vet, but decided that it would be better for him to see a veterinary specialist. My daughter quickly started googling Veterinarian Dental Specialist in Minnesota or Wisconsin and located Dr. Kressin’s Eden Prairie office and the University of Minnesota as two possible places that would specialize in Animal Oral Surgery.

I contacted Dr. Kressin who was very kind and he explained some options. I felt very confident that Dr. Kressin was the right vet dentist for Sparrow, but I was hoping that he could be seen in his Eden Prairie office, not in Oshkosh because that is a 6 hour drive from our home. Dr. Kressin explained that if we could get him to Oshkosh, he would evaluate his condition and he could begin treatment or surgery that same day. I told Dr. Kressin I would get back to him very soon, but I was also going to contact the U of M, since that is only 1 1/2 hours from my home.

After discovering that the U of M would not be able to begin any treatment or surgery on Sparrow until the end of the month at the earliest, the decision was easy. I contacted Dr. Kressin and we made an appointment for the following week to have him see Sparrow in Oshkosh.

Upon arrival at Dr. Kressin’s veterinary dental clinic, we were very impressed with Dr. Kressin and his staff, who explained everything to us in detail including what they had planned to explore and the costs associated with everything. As Dr. Kressin worked on Sparrow, he called me to give up dates, which was very comforting. We left Sparrow in excellent hands and we picked him up a few hours later. This experience couldn’t have been any better.

Sparrow - vet dentistry patient - wisconsin vet dentist

Sparrow recovered well after vet dental surgery with Dr. Kressin.

That evening in our hotel room, Sparrow was running around as if he had never had surgery. In just 11 days since Sparrow’s surgery, he continues to do well. His recovery has been on track if not ahead of schedule. I have great expectations that he will continue to improve and be as comfortable and normal as my other dogs.

We can not thank Dr. Kressin enough for his expertise, through diagnosis and decisions he made in the best interest of our little dog. His commitment and dedication to his patients is superb.

To see Sparrow’s videos or more photos, please visit his website at www.dunhamlakecaptainjacksparrow.com

Sparrow - Wisconsin Vet Dentist Patient