Meet Rocky Road . . .
Rocky is a 5 year old Cocker Spaniel who came in for his dental cleaning. During his last physical exam his teeth were a dental grade of 1 (minimal tartar with the most tartar on his upper canines). His owner was worried that she had seen a bad tooth in the last couple of months and wanted to make sure he got a good cleaning. We discussed that dental xrays were recommended and his owner agreed. Once the dental cleaning began the tartar was removed from his Upper Forth Pre Molar, and we saw that it was completely fractured. You couldn’t see the fracture very well with the naked eye, but it was very obvious on the xray.
Rocky Road had what is called an Upper Forth Pre Molar Slab Fracture. This is when the tooth cracks while chewing on something hard most of the time. Depending on the fracture the pulp may be exposed. Just like people, dogs have a blood vessel and nerve, called the pulp cavity, which runs in the middle of the tooth. When the fracture extends into the pulp cavity, pain results. Since the pulp cavity is also exposed to the air, bacteria can travel up the canal and cause a tooth root abscess, which cause more pain and can go elsewhere in the body. A fracture should be addressed as soon as possible.
What you should watch for signs of a fractured tooth in a dog:
- Changes in the tooth shape, color or position
- Localized facial swelling or pain
- Reduced biting pressure during play
- Reluctance to eat or refusal of food, especially hard food
Brushing your pet's teeth is the best thing you can do for them. Three to four times a week is best to help prevent tartar and plaque buildup. If you are unable to brush your pet’s teeth there are other things that may be used to help, such as dental diets and dental bones, treats or chews. Even with daily teeth brushing some pets still need a professional cleaning every year or so.
During dental month all of our dogs and cats that have a dental procedure go home with a goodie bag that includes:
- Hill’s T/D (tartar control food)
- CET Dental Rawhide Chew
- Hand out to help with brushing at home
Rocky’s gums healed great and his owner will be cautious about what she gives him in the future. To help prevent fractures hard bones should be avoided. Good alternatives are “Nylabones and “Kongs” or any softer chewing toy.
Bruno is a 11-year-old red Chow Chow. Every year since he turned 8 his owner has brought him in for a Senior Work Up. Each year we are
able to track any changes in his health with this in-depth diagnostic testing. If any changes occur, we make a treatment plan
to increase the health and longevity of Bruno’s life.
Traditional Senior Work - Up
Radiographs are taken to look at the internal organs and bone structures. The doctors can diagnose arthritis, fractures, irregular organ shape(s) and foreign bodies.
Blood Pressure Screening is important to detect a high/low reading in senior pets. Medications can be prescribed to adjust your pets’ blood pressure to ensure regularity.
Urinalysis is utilized to help identify a number of problems such as diabetes, infection and kidney disease.
Glaucoma screen is performed by taking Inter Ocular Pressures. Elderly pets are more likely to get glaucoma or cataracts just like elderly humans.
Neurologic Exam is an examination that assesses the communication between the brain and the rest of the body.
Lump Check: A fine needle aspirate, using a needle to collect cells from the lump, is performed to examine cells under the microscope ensuring there are no unusual cells. This test helps the doctors distinguish between a lipoma (fatty tumor) vs. a cancerous tumor. The doctor then can determine if the lump needs to be removed.
Comprehensive Blood Panel shows if organs are functioning properly and a complete blood count. It helps determine your pet’s health status and causes of illness accurately, safely and quickly. It also lets us monitor the progress of medicinal treatments.
Hoffman Estates Animal Hospital celebrates senior pets in January to help bring awareness of older pet diseases and lifestyle changes. Diagnostics preformed during a senior work up will help individualize a health care plan for your senior pet in their golden years.
Karen Corey, Lead Technician
Eliza one of our clients was on Facebook and came across a post from a woman in Algonquin that had been feeding a stray cat since July and was searching for its owner. However, she was not having any luck finding the cats owner. She made several attempts to place the cat into an adoption facility where he could be placed in a foster home but they all told her they had no room due to the holidays.
With winter fast approaching her last option was a shelter. She did not feel like placing him in a shelter, so she thought someone would adopt him by making a post on Facebook. Eliza was interested in adopting him. Eliza went and picked him up and brought him to our hospital for an exam. During every initial pet examination, we scan the new pet to check for an existing microchip. It was during this exam that we found his microchip number. We were able to obtain that the microchip was a Petlink Microchip and it was registered to Second Time Around Animal Rescue. We then called Second Time Around Animal Rescue they said that the owner had reported to them back in the summer that he had gone missing and his name was Maurice! The rescue gave us the information of the owner. We then gave the information to our client, Eliza who then called Maurice’s owner and arranged to bring Maurice home. Maurice has been reunited with his owner and she is so happy that he is back at home with her.
Microchips are very important, and we recommend all pets should have one. Microchips can help in getting your pet back to you if they go missing. We have the Avid Microchip. We always recommend placing a microchip into any puppy or kitten at the time of their spay or neuter while under anesthesia. However adult pets can also be microchipped at any time as well.
Many animal shelters, animal hospitals and police departments carry a universal scanner that can pick up most microchips. There are many microchip companies now, that have different chip numbers and frequencies.
If you ever come across a stray dog or cat you should take them to an animal shelter, hospital or police department to get them scanned for a microchip. Microchips are inserted between the shoulder blades, but stray pets should be scanned across the front shoulders and back. If you travel internationally it is a requirement that your pet has an international microchip. If you travel with your pet in the United States it is not a requirement, but it is still a good idea to have them microchipped with the standard microchip. International microchips have 10 to 15 numbers and before you travel you want to check and see if that country requires a 10 or 15-digit international microchip. In the United States our Microchips numbers can range anywhere from 9 to 15 digits numeric (numbers only) or alphanumeric (letters and numbers) it all depends on the manufacture of the microchip. When your pet has a Microchip placed in them, that Microchip is registered to the rescue, shelter or animal hospital that placed the chip. It is the responsibility of the owner to contact the Microchip company and have the pet registered to them. Each company has a small registration fee. It is important to call the Microchip company and have the Microchip registered to you, this will help get your pet back to you as quickly as possible in the event of your pet being lost.
There are several Pet Recovery Databases on the internet that you can use to search a Microchip number after a lost or stray pet has been found that has a Microchip.
1) www.petlink.net PetLink24/7/365 Pet Registry and Recovery Service
2) www.petmicrochiplookup.org National database run by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) that searches most (but not all) database in the USA
3) www.petmaxx.com International database that searches more that 30 international pet recovery databases
In Maurice’s case it was a happy ending. He was found his way back home to his original owner. Sometimes when a stray dog or cat is found with a Microchip they are not always placed back to their original owner. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes it’s because the original owner is unable to be reached or the original owner was reached but no longer wants the pet and in this case then the pet will be placed into a new home with a new family. Maurice is happily back at home with his family just in time for the holidays.
Tina Gasior, Technician