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Posted on 02-29-2016

When veterinarians graduate from school and begin practice we take an oath to do a number of things regarding animal health and welfare.  One part of the oath goes like this:

Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for…the prevention and relief of animal suffering...”

Though I don’t take any part of my oath lightly, that particular passage has always been the focal point of my thirty years of practice.  The prevention and relief of animal suffering.

So what’s that got to do with Pet Dental Health Month?  EVERYTHING!  I hate to say this but every single day I see animals with oral disease in the form of broken teeth, gum infections, loose teeth, bone loss.  Rarely do I see outward signs from the pet that anything is wrong.  But I KNOW there’s something wrong, I know they are in pain, I know they are suffering.  And just because they aren’t complaining, their suffering is ignored or just not important enough for many pet owners to be willing to do something about.  

I’m certain if the cat or dog was moaning or crying, or if there were no lips covering the huge hunk of calculus rubbing against the bleeding gums, most pet owners would be demanding I do something immediately.  Unfortunately for the pet, they’re just too darn quiet about it.

I might say I’m sorry to have to tell you this (but my oath says I have to), your pet’s oral health and relief from pain are more important to me than that vacation in Hawaii or that new I-Phone 35.  

Here’s a link to more information on pet dental pain from the American Veterinary Dental College.  Take a look at it and as soon as you are ready, get your pets in for a complete dental health evaluation.  They’ll really thank you for it.


Dr. Rene Gandolfi, DVM

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