Did you know that most pets have some form of dental disease by the age of three?   

That is not so surprising since unlike humans, they cannot brush their own teeth and do not get semi-annual professional cleanings. And, since our pets can't speak, they can’t tell us if they are in pain...and they will even try to hide pain because of their innate survival instincts.

Regular wellness exams for your pets will include a check for evidence of gum recession, infection and sensitivity.

Here are a few signs of oral and dental disease in dogs and cats that you, the owner, can look for, as noted by the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC):

  • Bad breath (open their mouth and take a whiff!)
  • Loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • Red gums (lift a lip)
  • Shying away from you when you touch the mouth area
  • Drooling or dropping food from the mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight (Note: This combination can result from diseases of many organs, and early veterinary examination is important)

Not to be outdone by their human counterparts innovation and technology for pets is beginning to offer groundbreaking treatments and conveniences. Dr. Bryant recently attended The North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Florida and saw many of these exciting advances in person. While these innovations are in the early stages of use, we hope to see them move to the mainstream in the near future. 

One of the most amazing advances is the use of 3D printing. Life-changing and lifesaving prosthetics created by 3D printers are already in use. If you want to see the incredible results for yourself, see this video on YouTube: Derby the Dog: Running on 3D Printed Prosthetics. Derby, a husky born with no front paws and deformed front legs, is now able to run and play like a normal dog, thanks to the new “legs” made for her with a 3D printer!

Another success story is a toucan whose beak was broken in the course of illegal trafficking. She was given the ability to eat and function normally again after a custom prosthetic beak was created for her. This customizable process has a vast range of uses. Printable, netlike casts for broken bones are lightweight, strong, impervious to water, and can be created to fit individual animal's’ specific needs.