Dental health to Dash’s Rescue – a story of love and fresh breath

0 Comments Wednesday, August 6th, 2014.

Dash’s dental procedure

February is National Pet Dental Health month. Pet oral hygiene and dental health is about more than bad breath. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of dental disease by age three. Plaque and tartar buildup can not only lead to gingivitis but, if left untreated, infected gums can lead to pain, tooth loss, and life threatening health conditions. Because oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream, poor oral health can lead to systemic problems involving the heart, lungs, kidneys, and nervous system. Since pets can’t explain that their mouths hurt, they need regular check-ups. Some signs and symptoms to look for include disinterest in food, tender mouth, and discolored, loose, or tartar covered teeth. Even something as nonspecific as unusually grumpy behavior may be due to dental disease.

Dash's body condition prior to his dentistry

Dash’s body condition prior to his dentistry

A great example of the importance of pet dental hygiene is Dash, a five year old Greyhound rescued by Kim Gazso in 2010 from Connecticut Greyhound Association. A former racer, his career was cut short after his tail was closed in the gate and had to be partially amputated, rendering him gate shy. When Dash first arrived at his forever home in New Hartford he was in rough shape. Scrawny and skittish, he would jump whenever he was approached and would cry when his head was touched. Not only was he malnourished but he seemed hesitant to eat. Upon examining his mouth, veterinarian Corey Shagensky discovered tartar and advanced gingivitis. After a full dental procedure, partnered with easy at home care, Dash is a happy boy with a healthy mouth. 

Like all greyhounds, continued at home care is critical to maintaining his dental health. Dash’s dental routine includes a combination of brushing, Healthy Mouth oral rinse, the occasional Tarter Shield dental chew, and daily application of TDC. Below, you can see the difference TDC has made in Dash’s gum health. The first picture shows his red inflamed gums prior to starting TDC treatment. The second picture shows pink healthy gums 5 days later.

After the TDC application

After the TDC application

Before the TDC application

Before the TDC application

Greyhounds are known for their speed, reaching 35 miles per hour in just 3 strides. They have little endurance however. Most greyhound races are over in less than 45 seconds. Dash loves short walks and taking a few quick laps around the yard, but he is truly a couch potato at heart. He even wears pajamas to bed and a coat outside when it is cold to stay cozy warm.

Dash is incredibly fortunate to have been rescued by his loving family. With patience, training, and lots of love, he has transformed into a sweet, affectionate family dog. Generally a quiet dog, he has been known to use his paws to demand attention. He loves a good belly rub, and even at 80lbs, sometimes tries to be a lap dog. He has become the confident leader of the Gazso pack. The once head shy boy now rubs his head against his owners to demand attention and loves to lie with his head in a lap. In observance of Dental Health Month this February, Progressive Animal Wellness (PAW) is offering 10% off routine dental care complete with a complimentary dental health kit filled with the tools you need to keep your pet’s smile bright. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call the clinic at 860-325-2124.

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Corey Shagensky, DVM, is the founder and owner of Progressive Animal Wellness (PAW) in Avon. He has been practicing veterinary medicine since earning his degree from Cornell University in 2004. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association, the Avon Chamber of Commerce, and the Connecticut Alliance for Business Opportunities. His areas of particular professional interest include dermatology, endocrinology, oral health, and preventive medicine. An avid road bicyclist and gardener, Dr. Shagensky also enjoys cooking, baking, sailing, playing guitar, and trying to read as many classic books/novels as he can. He lives in West Hartford with his wife, Jen, their two children, and Gertie, a mix he rescued from the SPCA while at Cornell. Connect with PAW on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram too. 


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