by Kimberly Wade
In honor of National Pet Dental Health month, we’re extending a big thank you to the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry and Dentalaire. Recently, the Foundation began donating time, resources, equipment and expertise to treat shelter animals across the country. Nevada Humane Society was lucky enough to be part of this nationwide campaign, the “Make Me Smile” project, where a group of dedicated veterinarians and Board-Certified Veterinary Dentists from the Foundation visited us with the goal of ridding shelter pets of dental disease and making them more adoptable. In addition, we received a generous donation of a brand new, state of the art, digital, dental x-ray machine from Dentalaire, along with special training for our staff, and we couldn’t be more fortunate.
Lady, a 7 year old Chihuahua, was one of our first homeless pets to receive a dental examination under the “Make Me Smile” project. She was treated like any other dental patient. Her tiny teeth and gums were examined, radiographed, charted and cleaned. The brand new x-ray machine allowed us to get a closer look too—which then allowed us to treat Lady appropriately, “make her smile,” and send her on her way into a loving, new home.
That’s not all! Thanks to the Foundation, our veterinarians had an in depth course on dentistry with local expert Dr. John Koehm, DVM, FAVD from Sierra Veterinary Specialists and other certified veterinarians from around the country. I think I speak for everyone here when I say that we are honored to have been given this opportunity and to have received such an incredible donation from the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry and Dentalaire.
According to Dr. Barry Rathfon, the “Make Me Smile” project chair, the idea came about to help make animals more adoptable and to reduce the number of pets with dental disease—which affects about 85% of all animals. Did you know that the cause of dental disease in pets is basically the same as in people? The difference is that people take care of their own teeth, usually several times daily. Pets do not, and The American Veterinary Dental Society estimate that 75% of cats and dogs have gingivitis by age 4.
As I just had a dental done on one of my own dogs, and am taking another in later this month, I can attest that everyone will be happier when your pet smiles. It’s good for them and it’s good for you (because really, do you want to them to lick you with their stinky tongue?). And, just as my vet does, many veterinary clinics offer reduced pricing during the National Pet Dental Health Month, so call yours today.