Creating a dental treatment plan can be frustrating. As with other veterinary disciplines, dental diagnosis and care is one-third recognition of disease, one-third understanding anatomy and medical principles, and the last third performing needed care.
You know the routine all too well: Mr. Smith visits with his rambunctious English springer spaniel, Burt, and all goes well until you mention Burt's oral health. Enter the blank stare. Or the anxious shifting from foot to foot. Or even the hasty, "Oh, he's fine!"
Symphyseal fracture repair in cats has been performed traditionally by placing a ligature wire circumferentially around the anterior mandible and securing the right and left mandibular bodies by tightening the ligature wire. This method is not only invasive, but often results in an unstable symphyseal reduction because of the faculty of ligature wire to stretch over time.
Practical knowledge of veterinary dental anatomy and physiology is essential to the veterinarian and veterinary technician involved in providing quality oral care to their patients. Quality surgical skills are only attainable with a thorough understanding of these concepts.
The primary objective of veterinary orthodontics is to provide a comfortable bite for companion animals. Cosmetics are often improved, however orthodontic care is never provided for deceptive purposes. Our ethical priority is to provide genetic counseling to avoid future problems associated with malocclusions. Traumatic malocclusions are painful for pets and painfully expensive for owners.
There is no universally accepted definition of old age and as we are all aware, some people and animals age better than others. Because of advances in veterinary medicine, the average lifespan of cats and dogs has increased and according to recent AVMA statistics, about 30 percent of the owned pet population in the United States is considered geriatric (Wise et al, 2002). As senior care becomes a significant component of companion animal practice, we must be aware of the special anesthetic requirements of this population.