Millie a 6 year old cattle dog arrived at our surgery with an extremely red and swollen eye.
Her owner was amazed when we informed him that the problem was nothing to do with her eye – but was instead a nasty dental abscess.
Dental disease affects an estimated 85% of dogs and cats over the age of 4. Some cases, like Millie, give you obvious clinical signs, but in the majority of cases dental disease is an ugly and insidious process.
Chronic bad teeth cause scarring on the heart, liver and kidneys, and increase the risk of infections, especially in the nose, throat and lungs.
Bad breath is usually the first symptom. A physical exam with your vet will let you know the extent of the problem. A scale and polish (under general anaesthetic) is often the best way to return teeth to a clean, hygienic state. You can maintain clean teeth by feeding special dental diets, or appropriate bones.
Millie needed multiple tooth extractions that day, but went home a transformed girl – for the first time in months her mouth was pain free and her big toothy grin returned to sparkling splendour!