Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dr Liz's Dental Discussion - Saving money

In my title of this posting, I have broken one of my cardinal rules that I had set
Dr Dean and Dr Doc - we save money by using
the same toothbrush (not). 
up for myself when I went out to write - there was going to be no mention of money, as I hate that the care a pet may receive get delegated to money.  But let's be honest - money is what makes the world go around, and who doesn't want to save money.

Really, the title should be - How To keep your pet's mouth healthy and in one piece, and save all of their organs too - but that isn't going to get you too excited (although it gets me really really excited... truly)

So, how can you save yourself $2500 plus? and stop your pet from suffering the pain which they hide from us?

Another way of asking the same question from your perspective.... How does spending money each year having my pet's teeth professionally assessed and disease treated save me  money?

I am going to ask two very very special pets who are part of the animalclinic family at Russell Vale Animal Clinic, to tell their story, and hopefully, answer your question.

Indi's story...

A summary of my day with Dr Liz my vet and Dr Christine from Sydney Pet Dentistry!
Hi, I'm Indi, and I am a very lovable, absolutely adorable Boxer dog.  Even though I am two years old, I  still act like a five month old... I love to play, jump, and race around the place.

When I first got the swelling on the right side of my face, that is what everyone thought I had done - run into something. Fair enough. It did settle down on the medication Dr Liz gave me... I didn't skip a beat - I was still normal, but my face looked a bit funny for a few days.

Three months later, though that swelling on the right side of my face came back. So, I had to have some awesome drugs, go to nigh nigh's, so Dr Liz could do her magic stuff.  The xrays showed a dental abscess on the right upper side of my mouth which Dr Liz went on to fix.

But.... during the dental charting process, Dr Liz found that there were gaps in my mouth where there should've been teeth.  So, she xrayed those areas.... and she found something which she had not expected... it was her first... she told me when I awoke how excited she was at finding her first dentigerous cyst, and how sad she was that she had found this cyst in me.

On the left lower jaw, where my first premolar should be, was nothing that you could see.  But the
A big cyst in my (Indi) lower jaw!
xrays showed a different story.  Underneath the bone and gum, was a bone eating cyst, which was caused by an unerupted first premolar. It was the size of the beak on a 5 c piece, but it caused the loss of three teeth.

I was very very lucky it was found as early as it was, as many times, the first sign that there is a problem is when the jaw breaks after it is so weakened by the cyst, it can't stay together.

Finding it early saved me alot of pain.  But the size of the cyst meant it needed to be removed by a veterinary dentist, so off I choofed to see Dr Hawke from Sydney Pet Dentistry.

So how could my owners have saved more money? If they only knew that special dogs like me should have their mouth xrayed from a young age, and especially if there are missing teeth.   Well, if I had my mouth fully radiographed at six months of age  then the missing tooth would have been seen and removed. Dr Liz says that is a procedure she has done many times, and it is easier than removing a retained baby canine.

Finding it when it was found though, when I was two, still saved alot of money, in that the cost of repair of a much larger cyst with a jaw fracture is multiple of thousands of dollars, not forgetting the pain that I would've been in during that time.

So, when Dr Liz (or any good vet) says your pet has missing teeth, and needs Xrays to make sure they are missing, take heed! She is saying that to save you money!

- Indi

Hannah's tale -

Good Evening.  My name is Miss Hannah, and I am a Pomeranian, and a Lady.  As a Lady, I shall not disclose my age, other than to say that I do remember the 00's fondly, as this was a time of my youth.

Dr Liz has been my vet through all of this, and it is through her hard work, that I still have 30 of my 42 teeth, when others of my breed and kind are lucky to have 5.

Of course, my mum or my dad brush my teeth every day - they have set up a roster -  because Dr Liz told them that it was important to brush  from when I was young.

When I was on the Pom Forum a few weeks ago, one of my  pom brethren (I shall call them Sim)  was complaining that they had to get most of their teeth removed (that wasn't the problem as they were now pain free and much happier ), but that their owner was whinging about how much it cost them.

So, I sat down I added up what my dad has paid over the past few years, and created an equation  to relate it to the number of teeth that were left.  And I compared this to what Sim's mum paid, and found that my dad had saved himself alot of money, and in the process, saved my teeth. Just be doing a little bit of work each year. He followed all (mostly) of Dr Liz's instructions  And kept me healthy in the process. How lucky am I.

 - Miss H

It's Dr Liz back now.... I have to thank Miss Hannah and Indi for giving us their side of the story.

As a vet, I am proud of my loving pet owners who choof their pets off to the vets twice a year for their free dental checks.... and the right age to start dental checks is as early as 8 weeks (to get the advise on how to brush and keep teeth healthy). 

August is National Pet Dental Month, where vets all over Australia are offering time out of their day to look in your pet's mouth.  The least you can do is take advantage of it, especially if your pet has not been to the vet in the past twelve months. 

As for all of us at Russell Vale Animal Clinic, every day is pet dental month, as we offer Free dental checks to all pets (new and old ) - and the biggest complaint we get - is that we give too much information - so if you are up to it, bring your pet in to us!

Yours for happy healthy pets (and teeth) - always!