Our claim data tells some interesting stories about pets and their dental health. For instance, small dogs claim dental disease 72% more often than the average dog. The breeds most likely to claim for dental issues are Maltese, Yorkshire terrier, and Chihuahua. And, resorptive lesions are the second most commonly claimed dental condition in cats (behind dental disease). Maybe you’ve even seen similar stories in your hospital.
But, as interesting as this data may be,
the best stories come from those who’ve lived it. So, to celebrate National Pet
Dental Health Month, we wanted to share some of our best dental stories from
our very own veterinary professionals. While you educate your clients on the
importance of a healthy mouth, we hope you’ll enjoy these true tales.
“The mom of a two-year-old Maltese kept
complaining his breath smelled like poop, but for some reason was very adamant
that ‘he never eats poop.’ We finally do a dental procedure and discover bits
of diaper(s) wedged between some teeth and partially up under his gums. So,
yeah, he does eat poop, among other things!”
It Was All a Dream
“We had one client with a big Great Dane who was
not even remotely cooperative for brushing her teeth. Legit bit the owner one
time. She finally figured out how to brush her teeth using epic ninja skills.
When the dog was asleep, and she slept super deep, mom would slowly and
carefully lift up her lips and slooooooooooooowly brush her teeth. She
said any time the dog started acting like she was going to wake up she’d just
freeze and wait for her to slip back into her deep sleep. Mom ended up
developing some crazy ninja skills.”
Don’t Go Chasing Rawhides
“We had a little shih tzu come in, rubbing its face, freaking out after the owner gave it a rawhide. Shocker, the rawhide was stuck between a couple teeth and partially embedded in the gums. The owner refused to let the dog out of her sight so we pulled it out in the room with her. The doctor set it on the far side of the counter, the owner pulled the dog from my hands, hugged her, then promptly let her go….the dog immediately bolted for the rawhide and got it stuck in the same spot again.”
Doug’s Electric Toothbrush
“My 10-year-old Chihuahua, Doug, has
severe mitral valve disease (fairly severe grade) and therefore at a higher
risk for general anesthesia. I brush his teeth 2-3 times a week with a kid’s
electric toothbrush! It’s amazing how fast tartar accumulates in his little Chi
mouth! I’ve managed to keep away from a dental prophy now for three years. We
also use CET dental chews 1-2x a week and those work amazing on removing tartar
from his molars.”
“Weeble refuses to let me use a toothbrush with toothpaste to clean his teeth. He drools profusely and behaves as if I was sticking a fire poker in his mouth. Instead of using the toothbrush I have to use dental swipes and my fingers. He does not protest at all for this. He would make me use my fingers to clean his teeth instead of the tool which was designed for it.”
Keeping It in the Family
“Watson is a 10-month-old cutie patootie bearded collie whose first claim was for a broken tooth when he was about three months old. Normally not that great of a story but the part that always makes me laugh is that his owner is a technician at a dentistry specialty hospital. We always laugh about the irony of her dog making his first claim a dentistry one that she ended up doing the treatment for.”
It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s Flying Tartar!
“I was doing my first dental cleaning and I was scaling some canines with very heavy tartar. The doctor was leaning over to watch my technique and a huge chunk of tarter shot off and hit him right on his glasses. Luckily he found it hilarious! This is why PPE is so important!!”
Mairi brings her dog, Nox, to Trupanion every day, where she works on the marketing team and Nox supervises in between play time. She's a fan of superhero movies and must go into every bookstore that crosses her path. In her free time you can probably catch her reading, hanging out with Nox, planning her next trip, or binging a new show.