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Innovative doggie dentistry gets Abby back catching Frisbees

By on December 28, 2016 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Thom Lancaster and Abby at the park.

By Thom Lancaster

My wife, Peggy, and I own a six-and-one-half year old Border Collie named Abby.

When Abby was about six months old, we decided to channel the energy of this high-energy dog by introducing her to Frisbee.

She and her Frisbee became inseparable. Most of the time, it was me out in the field, tossing Frisbee after Frisbee as Abby jumped into the air and caught them.

Once, my daughter visited us and brought her dog with her. She has a Labradoodle that is bigger than Abby. Abby would get the Frisbee and drop it in front of my daughter’s dog and then look over her shoulder hoping that the dog would throw the Frisbee so Abby could chase it.

But after playing Frisbee for over six years, we started noticing her lower canines had been ground flat and the dark nerve centers were showing.

We had never thought about the abrasiveness of a dirty, spinning Frisbee being caught in her mouth… but it’s really not much different than throwing her a disc with sandpaper on it.

We contacted several local veterinary clinics throughout the state that professed to do doggie dentistry only to find (much to our dismay) that the kind of problem Abby had could only be fixed by giving the tooth a root canal or extracting the tooth.

Neither choice was acceptable remedies for a dog in the prime of her life.

One day, going in for my own dental appointment, I talked with our family dentist, a remarkable, innovative young man. He said, “Bring her on in.”

He examined her and assessed the damage and formulated a repair plan.

Prior to her exam by our dentist (who for insurance reasons wishes to remain unnamed), we had Abby’s teeth cleaned at the Countryside Veterinary Clinic. A young veterinarian named Dr. Alyson Mitchel performed the cleaning and examined her tooth damage.

I approached Dr. Mitchel about an idea of a veterinarian and a dentist teaming up to reconstruct Abby’s lower canine teeth.

She was enthused. “We do not routinely do tooth restoration in veterinary medicine based on the lifestyle of many dogs (chewing hard things),” said Dr. Mitchel. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it has been done somewhere else but it is very uncommon and has not been done at this clinic before.”

On Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, our dentist did a composite rebuild on Abby’s lower canines while Dr. Mitchel sedated and stabilized Abby during the procedure — I like to think that advanced doggie dentistry was born in the Wenatchee Valley and history was made, thanks to the cooperation from two separate fields of medicine.

They have provided our Abby with a lovely smile once again.

And, she still enjoys running down a Frisbee — only now we use a softer canvas disk to protect her teeth.

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