Veterinary Dentistry and Other Aspects of Veterinary Pet Care



There have been many advancements in Veterinary Care, one which is now commonly considered instrumental to the longevity of our pets.  Over the years this aspect of care has become one of the cornerstones of routine care.   Dental equipment such as ultrasonic teeth scalers, equipment for polishing and drills for repair and extraction are part of my practice at the Manchester Animal Hospital.  Additionally, special x-ray equipment is employed to routinely examine teeth for their health beneath the surface of the gums in order to evaluate areas not seen by a routine exam.  Veterinary dentistry is an integral part of veterinary medicine and can be necessary for the health and well-being of animals.  Here are a few reasons why veterinary dentistry is considered important:

Oral health impacts overall health: Just like in humans, oral health is closely linked to overall health in animals.  Dental issues such as periodontal disease, tooth decay, oral infections, and oral tumors can not only cause discomfort and pain for animals but also have systemic effects on their overall health.  Dental infections can potentially spread to other organs in the body, leading to more serious health problems.

Preventive care: Veterinary dentistry focuses not only on treating existing dental issues but also on preventive care.  Regular dental check-ups, cleanings, and preventive measures like dental scaling and polishing can help maintain oral health, prevent the development of dental diseases, and identify any potential issues early on.

Pain management: Dental problems can cause significant pain and discomfort for animals.  Animals may have difficulty eating, experience oral pain, or exhibit changes in behavior due to dental issues.  Veterinary dentistry aims to diagnose and treat these problems, relieving pain and improving the animal's quality of life.

Improved lifespan: Proper dental care can contribute to a longer and healthier life for animals.  By addressing dental issues promptly and maintaining good oral hygiene, veterinarians can help prevent complications that may arise from dental diseases, allowing animals to lead healthier and more comfortable lives.

Specialist expertise: Veterinary dentists are veterinarians who have pursued additional training and certification in the field of dentistry.  Their specialized knowledge and skills allow them to diagnose and treat complex dental conditions and perform advanced procedures such as root canals, orthodontics, and oral surgeries.  Veterinary dentists are particularly valuable when dealing with complicated cases or when specialized dental care is required.

In addition to improvements in routine dental care, there have been advancements in many specialties.  These are available at medical centers like Angell Animal Hospital in Boston.  These specialized services include:

Advancements in diagnostic tools: Veterinary medicine has witnessed the development of advanced diagnostic tools and techniques, including imaging technologies like X-rays, ultrasound, CT scans, and MRI.  These tools aid in the accurate diagnosis of various conditions, allowing veterinarians to provide appropriate treatments.

Specialized care: Focusing on specific areas such as dermatology, cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, and more.  This specialization enables them to provide specialized care for animals with complex medical conditions.

Other aspects of veterinary care include:

Preventive care and vaccinations: There is an increased emphasis on preventive care in veterinary medicine.  Veterinarians recommend regular check-ups, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and dental care to maintain the health of animals and prevent diseases.

Pain management: The recognition and treatment of pain in animals have improved significantly.  Veterinarians now have a better understanding of pain management techniques and the importance of controlling pain in animals undergoing surgeries, treatments, or suffering from chronic conditions.

Rehabilitation and physical therapy: The field of veterinary rehabilitation and physical therapy has gained prominence.  These therapies are used to help animals recover from surgeries, injuries, or neurological conditions.  Rehabilitation techniques may include exercises, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and more.

Integrative medicine: There is an increasing interest in integrative medicine approaches, which combine conventional veterinary medicine with complementary therapies such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, chiropractic care, and rehabilitation.  These integrative approaches aim to provide holistic care for animals.

One Health approach: The One Health concept, which recognizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, has gained importance in veterinary medicine.  Veterinarians play a crucial role in monitoring zoonotic diseases (diseases transmitted between animals and humans) and collaborating with human health professionals to address public health concerns.

Telemedicine: The use of telemedicine has grown in veterinary medicine.  Teleconsultations allow veterinarians to provide remote advice, monitor animals' conditions, and make recommendations.  This technology has been particularly useful in rural areas where access to veterinary care may be limited.

Dr. Lamb is the Veterinarian at the Manchester Animal Hospital.

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