VisioCare launches Puppy Tooth Census - Veterinary Practice
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VisioCare launches Puppy Tooth Census

VisioCare is calling on veterinary professionals and puppy owners to take part in its Puppy Tooth Census to find out how dental conditions are changing

Veterinary digital services company, VisioCare is calling on veterinary professionals and puppy owners to take part in its Puppy Tooth Census, an exciting dental health initiative that seeks to find out how dental conditions are changing with regard to prevalence.

The data from this online survey of puppy dental health will be shared with industry experts, to help advance understanding of this important topic and evaluate the future impact on veterinary practices.

The Puppy Tooth Census initiative will run from 31 March through to end of June. Veterinary professionals can also sign up for a free webinar on puppy dental disease led by Head of the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Department at the Royal (Dick) Vet School, Ingrid Tundo on 28 April at 7.30 pm.

There are very few studies that address dental disease in puppies and a lack of current data. During the COVID-19 pandemic, veterinary professionals faced many challenges in providing veterinary care and combined with a lack of owner awareness, puppy dental disease may have been under-diagnosed.

Affected animals frequently show no outward signs of pain or discomfort and dental abnormalities will only become apparent with a veterinary examination. Undiagnosed dental disease can have negative painful consequences for welfare in the short term and retained deciduous teeth may affect the development and eruption of permanent teeth with lifelong consequences for oral health.

Small animal veterinary surgeon, blogger and TV presenter, Cat Henstridge says she is seeing more misaligned teeth, often with an apparent breed predilection. “I’m very pleased to be helping to raise awareness of the VisioCare Puppy Tooth Census and this important issue,” she said. “It is so important for all of us in the profession to be helping to identify disease patterns and the scale of the problem.

“It also provides us with a great opportunity to involve our clients and start discussions about the importance of good dental care.”

Recent changes in the demographics of the UK dog population may be contributory factors behind an apparent rise in dental conditions and retained teeth in puppies. The pandemic pet boom created a very “puppy heavy” canine population. Within this puppy population, the popularity of certain breeds such as the French bulldog soared to new record highs. Due to skull conformation, brachycephalic breeds have a higher incidence of overcrowding and more potential for retained teeth. There is also a suggestion that Poodle crosses may be over-represented when it comes to dental conditions.

The Puppy Tooth Census only takes a few minutes to complete and can be filled in for individual cases or healthy puppy mouths. Every veterinary respondent will be given access to a free pack of educational materials to use in the consulting room. This includes state-of-the art digital animations and dental images that can be used to enhance client communication around the topic, together with explainer videos and puppy owner fact sheets and leaflets. In addition, each month for the next three months, responses will be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a £50 John Lewis gift voucher (Terms and conditions apply).

For further information or to complete the census for a case, veterinary professionals can find out more at the VisioCare website.

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