Dental emergencies: Recognizing signs of oral pain in companion animals

dvm360dvm360 September 2021
Volume 52

Veterinarian and president of the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry (FVD) offers advice on how to effectively educate pet owners about the hallmark signs of dental emergencies.

In a recent interview with dvm360®, veterinary dentistry expert Jan Bellows, DVM, DAVDC, DABVP, FAVD, offered up invaluable guidance on how to alert and educate clients on identifying potential dental emergencies.

“There are very specific signs that [occur] if there is a very painful emergency,” Bellows tells dvm360 staff. “The animal will sometimes chatter—especially cats—and the [animal's] head will tilt and they will also paw at their mouths.”

Bellows recommends safely looking inside the patient's mouth to see if there are any signs of a fractured tooth with a dot (especially a red dot) in the center. He explains that this is a sign of an acute emergency and is extremely painful for the animal (even if the pet is still eating).

"Pets are taught not to show pain, or else they'll be eaten," says Bellows. "So, [even if] they don't show pain, they're in pain."

Watch the full interview below to discover more facts about recognizing dental emergencies in companion animals. To learn more dental tips from Bellows, register for our free live CE webinar about diagnosing, treating, and preventing periodontal disease on Tuesday, August 10, 2021.

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