Dental month is coming. To be honest, I hate dental month. You know why? Because EVERY month should be dental month! Dental disease is the one disease that affects ALL cats and dogs, at some point in their lives. In some cases, the dental disease is so severe that we are having to take teeth out. Worse... when the teeth are falling out.
I had a dental booked for today. A senior patient who I suspect never had a dental cleaning, and didn’t have any home care. After the x-rays were taken and teeth were charted, I expected to remove nine teeth. I called the owner to let her know. She was shocked and said - but she’s still eating! Of course she is, because eating is survival and she needs to eat to live. Pets will eat through their dental pain. The owner was horrified and said had she known it was that bad, she would have done the dental sooner.
Sadly, owners still let their pets suffer with severe periodontal disease. We had one vet from another clinic call in a welfare case on an owner because the owner refused to have her dog booked in for a dental. The owner came to us looking for a second opinion. Fortunately, we offer wellness plans that cover dental care. It doesn’t cover the extractions necessary, but at least everything else - anesthesia, cleaning/charting and x-rays. It makes the dental a bit more affordable for owners.
The best dentals are when the pets come in and get a clean with NO extractions - but those are rare. Our goal is to educate owners in learning when they need a COHAT, and get them booked in as soon as is necessary.