CAT | Dentistry

Caudal Stomatitis

Thursday, September 11th, 2014


Caudal Stomatitis

Caudal Stomatitis is an oral disease seen most commonly in cats. Most owners will notice bad breath, heavy drooling, and some cats have a decreased appetite. These cats will have redness and swelling at the back of the mouth, ulcers of the gums and breakdown of the back teeth.

Caudal Stomatitis is the body having an over-reaction to the tarter and enamel on the teeth. Steroids and antibiotics can sometimes decrease the disease but the only way to cure it is to remove all of the back teeth.

This is Adam. He is a 2 year old Ragdoll cat with caudal stomatitis. He had severe bleeding ulcers at the back of his mouth and had stopped eating. All of his premolars and molars were extracted and the gums were trimmed and cleaned thoroughly.

stomatitis 1








stomatitis 2








One month post-surgery he is significantly improved. We will continue to monitor him to see any medications are needed.

 stomatitis recheck

Why Does My Dog’s Breath Smell?

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Just like with people, oral care is important to our pets overall health. Dogs and Cats can have just as many dental issues as we do, from gum disease to loose or cracked teeth and even infection. If your pet has an oral infection, the bacteria can cause damage to the kidneys, heart and other organs. It is not always easy to know when your pet is having dental issues, so it is important to have your pet’s teeth examined regularly.

A client brought their Chihuahua in complaining of bad breath. The dog was anesthetized and oral x-rays were taken. The x-rays showed the crown of the tooth had broken from the roots. Bacteria under the crown was causing the bad odor. All the teeth were cleaned and the broken tooth was extracted . Now the pet has a healthy smile.


In this image you can see the irritated gum line around the affected tooth

In this image you can see the irritated gum line around the affected tooth











This X-ray shows where the bacteria affected the tooth and caused it to break

This X-ray shows where the bacteria affected the tooth and caused it to break










Here are 10 steps from ASPCA for your dog’s dental health:  ASPCA


February is Pet Dental Health Month

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013


February is National Pet Dental Health Month

At Town & Country Animal Hospital we are very focused on dental health. We have an award winning facility that includes a dental suite to meet all of your pets’ dental health needs. We will gladly offer a tour of our entire clinic and explain what special equipment we have to perform complicated dental surgeries, extractions and endodontics (root canals, etc). Dental health is as important for our pets as it is for us.

Please see this press release from the AVMA for more information about keeping our pets healthy.


Want to save money on your veterinary bills?

During Pet Dental Health Month, the AVMA reminds pet owners that preventive dental care is always less expensive than oral catastrophes

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) January 30, 2013—It’s an integral part of your morning routine. Still half asleep, you step up to your bathroom sink and pick up your toothbrush. Unfortunately, many pet owners don’t make it a habit of providing good dental hygiene for their pets, too. Pet Dental Health Month, sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), is reminding pet owners that brushing their pet’s teeth can result in long-term savings.

“Good pet owners are concerned about their pets’ health and are careful to keep their vaccinations up to date, but may forget about the importance of oral health. Great owners know that this is a big mistake, as periodontal disease is the most common health problem that veterinarians find in pets,” explains Dr. Douglas Aspros, president of the AVMA. “Dental health problems are extremely common, and many are very painful and can lead to serious systemic conditions. I remind pet owners that an untreated dental infection can spread to the heart, kidneys and other organs, and suddenly become life threatening. Practicing good dental hygiene at home in addition to regular cleanings by your veterinarian is the most efficient and cost-effective way to extend your pet’s life, while keeping them comfortable and pain-free.”

“Correcting dental health problems can be expensive. If your veterinarian diagnoses your pet with tooth or gum disease, they may recommend that your pet’s teeth be professionally cleaned, x-rays may be called for, and it’s possible that a tooth or even multiple teeth may need to be extracted,” explains Dr. Brook A. Niemiec, a board certified veterinary dentist and president of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry. “Unfortunately, only about 1 percent of pet owners brush their pet’s teeth. Not only do more pet owners need to brush their pet’s teeth, but they should also use chew toys, treats and rawhides to help keep their pet’s teeth clean. There are a number of inexpensive and highly effective products available that can help keep your pet’s teeth clean between professional cleanings. If you have questions about the right products to use, consult your veterinarian.”

A list of Veterinary Oral Health Council approved products is available at

While regular dental checkups are essential to help maintain your pet’s dental health, there are a number of signs that dental disease has already started. If you notice any of the symptoms below, take your pet into your veterinarian as soon as possible:

*Bad breath—Most pets have breath that is less than fresh, but if it becomes truly repugnant, that’s a sign that periodontal disease has already started.

*Frequent pawing or rubbing at the face and/or mouth.

*Reluctance to eat hard foods.

*Red swollen gums and brownish teeth.

To help pet owners prevent periodontal disease, the AVMA offers a video providing step-by-step instructions on how to brush your pet’s teeth and a video on periodontal disease. The AVMA website also has a webpage on pet dental health that offers links to an informative podcast and other information resources on pet dental health.

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The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 84,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.

Dentistry Case #10

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

We had a very interesting case recently that highlights abnormal growth and formation of the teeth. “Coco”, is a 1.5 year old Pomeranian. She had a small congenital umbilical hernia but no other health problems. When she was in to have a routine dental cleaning, we noted she had several retained deciduous teeth.

Retained Deciduous Tooth

The second tooth from the left is the deciduous of the third tooth. It was never fully expelled.

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Dentistry Case #9

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Abnormal Gumline Due To Periodontal Disease

We are going to talk a little bit about the importance of complete extraction today.  Many people believe that if a tooth falls out it is the end of the problems for that tooth.  Unfortunately, this is not true.  If a tooth falls out due to severe periodontal disease the diseased tissue is still present.  The abnormal inflammation and infection will continue to affect the neighboring tooth.  This dog lost four of the front incisors due to periodontal disease.  The healed edge of the gumline does not have a normal appearance and continues to ooze periodically. 

Normal Bone Surrounding Incisors

The abnormality is even more marked on the radiographs.  The normal shape of the bone holding the incisors is convex with the incisors jutting out past the canine teeth. 
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Dentistry Case #8

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Our next dental topic is gingival hyperplasia. Gingival hyperplasia is when the gingival next to the teeth overgrows with no other pathology. While small amounts of hyperplasia is acceptable it can interfere with the ability to bite and chew normally or provide a space for bacteria to colonize. Our example today is “Turbo”, a six-year-old boxer. Boxers and other related breeds are more prone to developing gingival hyperplasia.

Turbo- before left canine

Turbo- after left canine

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Dentistry Case #7

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Today we will talk about oral masses. Oral masses come in all sizes and sometimes affect how the animal eats but most often not. There is no correlation between how a mass looks and if it is malignant or not. We have pictures of two recent oral masses we removed. The first patient is “Thomas”, a 2-year-old Labrador retriever mix. The owners noticed the mass two weeks before and that it seemed to be growing rapidly. Frequently, radiographs (x-rays) will help us to determine if the mass involves the surrounding bone. If it does, more extensive surgery is needed. “Thomas’” mass did not involve the bone so it was removed and sent for biopsy. The biopsy showed it was a benign spot of chronic inflammation.

Thomas- oral mass

Thomas- radiograph

Thomas- after resection

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Dentistry Case #6

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Malocclusion of Upper Incisors

Malocclusion Showing Gum Damage

Our next dental subject is malocclusion. A malocclusion is anytime the teeth do not sit properly in the mouth. Many dog breeds are bred to have a variety of malocclusions. While some of these do no harm most often they lead to an earlier progression of periodontal disease. At their worst they can cause damage to the adjacent teeth and gums, leading to infections and premature wear on the teeth. For malocclusions that affect the other teeth or gums we recommend a wide variety of treatments. These can include dental appliances, extractions and modifications of teeth (shortening). The age of the pet as well as the severity will determine which treatment works for that pet.
The case today is “Sophie”, a Chihuahua, who was seen for an underbite when she was 1 ½ years old. Her upper incisors where digging into the gums behind her lower incisors. For this type of malocclusion the treatment choices were vital pulpotomy to shorten the tooth length or extraction of the teeth. The owners elected to extract the teeth. She came in recently for her latest cleaning and she is doing very well with no further dental issues.

Dentistry Case #5

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Initial Root Canal Being Performed

2 Years After Root Canal

Our next dentistry subject is root canals. Many people have had root canals themselves but don’t realize that they are an option for pets. When the crown of a tooth has been broken in such a way that the pulp cavity (living inner portion of tooth) is exposed then there are limited options for that tooth. If it was a very recent injury a vital pulpotomy, where the top of the pulp cavity is capped, may work well. If the injury is a little older, but the bone structure around the tooth is good and there is no sign of infection at the tip of the root, a root canal is a great option. If there are any signs of infection at the tip of the root, extracting the tooth is the only option.
The dog in this case, “Gadget”, had an injury to a tooth that resulted in the pulp cavity being exposed. The bone structure still looked good and the injury was recent. Based on this he had a root canal performed on the injured premolar. This root canal was done over two years ago. His recent radiographs show just how well his root canal has held up. The bone structure still has a healthy appearance and the tooth is unchanged (no color change or fracture). When major bone structure is involved with a tooth a root canal can help to keep that normal bone structure and function of the tooth.

Dentistry Case #4

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Premolar with enamel loss

"Hole" due to enamel loss

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