Hailey is a beautiful golden retriever who came to Dr. Niemiec of Southern California Veterinary Dental Specialists for bad breath without obvious gum disease. The only way to accurately assess and diagnose any pet dental condition is under anesthesia and with radiographs.
So, Hailey was placed under anesthesia and initial examination revealed a stick across her palate and wedged between the big chewing teeth on the upper jaw. This was a bit of a surprise and further questioning of the owner revealed that Hailey loved rose bushes and would occasionally chew on them. Examination of the stick confirmed that it was indeed a piece of a rose bush. Unfortunately the stick had created significant gum and bone damage in the area between the roots of the major chewing teeth.
Veterinary dental radiographs were taken and then the surgical process begaan. Dr. Niemiec removed the stick and then elevated the palate tissue to expose the areas between the roots of these important chewing teeth. After the roots were cleaned, bone grafts were placed in the area to help regrow the lost bone. She did lose one smaller molar due to the advanced disease, but this will not affect her life.
At two week recheck, she is happier and her breath is much better. There is now a new fence around the rosebushes!
When you notice something suddenly different, like increased bad breath, it’s very important to find a veterinary dentist to evaluate your pet. You never now what the problem could be.
For veterinarians seeking more information about periodontal surgery, order Dr. Niemiecs text book “Veterinary periodontoliogy” here.