Jon’s got a tooth ache


  Written by Vet Jade (pictured below).

head and shoulder photo of vet Jade in her green vet uniformMy dear colleague Jon (the vet) has tooth ache. He ate all of his lunch today but then has since started grumbling about THE PAIN! He can’t sleep; when he’s not popping pain killers the only way of controlling the dull ache is to swill icy water over it, and the effect is only temporary because he starts wincing ten seconds afterwards.

But if Jon was a dog*, how would I know his tooth hurt? He’s eating normally, he’s drinking just slightly more, he’s not crying, but if you know him well he’s a little less jokey today and slightly grumpy. Unless he had told me, the changes were so subtle I would never have known.

It is the exact same for our pets. It is genuinely difficult to detect these subtle changes in their behaviour and attribute it to such a tiny part of their body, but tooth ache is terrible! Animals will keep eating and drinking, and will not cry out if their teeth are diseased, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t hurting them.

So how does your vet know that your animal has tooth ache or dental disease? We aren’t mind readers but we are sympathisers. When we look into your pet’s mouth and we see red, inflamed, recessed or swollen gums, tooth roots exposed and sensitivity over one side of the mouth, we know that despite them seeming to be well, that without a doubt it hurts. And the proof? I can recount hundreds of owners saying how much better their pet has been after having a tooth removed, that they are so much brighter, happier, and friendlier since their operation.

So if you notice a subtle change in behaviour, smelly breath, difficulty eating (especially hard food), dribbling, rubbing or pawing at the mouth, red, swollen and bleeding gums or pus around the gum line, book an appointment to see a vet, and believe us when we say it hurts, Jon definitely knows.

The nurses at Didcot and Cholsey will be running free of charge dental check-up appointments this month. If you would like to book in with them then please phone the surgery you wish to attend.

*He’d be a labradoodle of course.