Pets’ oral health problems can be difficult to identify

MarleyVeterinarian Marty Becker and his team of experts say advanced dental problems can occur beneath a pet’s gum line with no obvious signs of a problem other than a mild change in behavior. A thorough physical exam coupled with sedation and oral radiographs finally helped identify a tooth-root abscess in Dr. Becker’s feline patient who presented only because her meow changed. “It’s up to us as owners and veterinarians to be aware of changes in behavior that could signal pain or illness and to look beneath the surface for potential causes of problems,” Dr. Becker writes. This article also relates a discovery by the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine that has implications for spinal dysraphism in Weimaraners and spina bifida in children.

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