Mystery of Bear's Swollen Face

Written by Dr. Dunahugh on . Posted in RVVS Blog

Bear is a handsome, ten year old Chocolate Labrador that came to see us for evaluation of his swollen face. The entire left side of his face was puffy and uncomfortable. When we were unable to find a trauma or known insect bite we started treatment to decrease the swelling. The next day the swelling around his muzzle and eyes was better but a firm swelling/lump remained under his left eye. He is an older lumpy guy but this lump was new. The Mystery of Bears Swollen Face

The swelling decreased and he was doing better.  He was back to his normal routine when all of a sudden the swollen face returned. Treatment to decrease the swelling was started again, but that pesky lump under his eye remained. This was it. Time for a full oral evaluation.
Bear came for his full dental evaluation. Intraoral radiographs were taken and confirmed as suspected – his larger upper fourth premolar was broken and an abscess had formed at the base of the roots. This is one of the largest teeth in the mouth. It has three roots and is responsible for a large amount of chewing. Ideally we try to keep all the teeth but in Bear’s case his tooth was causing him problems, it had to come out! He is now doing great and has recovered from his tooth extraction.  His happy smiling lump free face says it all.
Like most dogs with tooth root abscesses; Bear was eating fine, he was chewing, he was happy.  The rest of his teeth looked okay.  Dogs and cats rarely show us dental pain. Routine at home dental care can help you see changes but deeper issues at the root of the tooth require intraoral radiographs (x-rays). Greater than 80% of dental disease is below the gum line where we cannot see it. 
At RVVS we take pride in our advanced dentistry. We strive to help with at home dental care options such as brushing, chews and treats. We also recommend routine dentistry when we can reverse disease before it becomes irreversible and spreads.  This helps your pets live a longer healthier life with as many teeth as possible. Please stop by if you have questions or would like to know more about a few of our  home dental care products such as our very own River Valley Veterinary labeled dental chews. 
Image Credit:  Adorable photos of Bear's face by Glossy Paws photography.

Persistent Protection

Written by River Valley Veterinary on . Posted in RVVS Blog

One of the most common questions we get regarding flea and tick preventives is whether they're needed year-round. The short answer is yes, but here's some explanation as to why.SO BL FleaTick04 MAR16 ECC08233 FINAL

It goes without saying that pet families who live in milder climates are exposed to the problematic parasites year-round as it rarely, if ever, gets cold enough to kill them. But even if you live in an area with harsh winters, it's a game of chance taking your pet pals off their parasite preventives. Although fleas will usually die after about 10 consecutive days of freezing temperatures, some survive by living in the warm fur of wild hosts (like rabbits, raccoons, etc.) or finding adequate shelter in foundations and outbuildings like garages or barns. Their eggs can also survive in these protected spaces. Ticks are even hardier and can become active when temps reach the upper 30s, which isn't uncommon during the day in many areas that experience winter weather. All it takes is one of these surviving pests or their eggs to get on your pets or be tracked inside by you, and the warmth of your house will enable them to thrive and multiply.

Of course the risk of flea and tick infestation is higher in warm weather, but it's a misconception to think that cold temperatures are enough of a reason to stop preventives. Anyone who has dealt with an outbreak in their home would tell you it's a game of chance you don't want to play. We're happy to visit with you one-on-one to discuss your furry friends' parasite preventive plans.