Tigger- A Case Study About Sticks

Tigger was recently adopted from the shelter by his mom. He was found as a stray, and he was very wary of new people and afraid of new things. Little did Tigger know he was now part of a family who will give him the best life possible.

His mom, Penny, noticed that his breath had a bad odor, and was concerned that he may need a dental cleaning so she made an appointment at Animal Hospital of North Asheville for a dental cleaning earlier this month. We found a surprise during his oral health assessment – a stick lodged between his upper carnassial teeth (the large back chewing teeth)!

This is the stick that was lodged in Tigger's mouth:

After removing the stick, we found a large eroded area on his upper palate, and two large holes where his teeth meet his skull (abscesses with draining tracts). This was incredibly painful for Tigger, and mom thinks this might have been there for quite some time, unbeknownst to her. After we extracted the abscessed, painful teeth, Tigger has been reported to be a much happier dog, and is feeling much better!

This is a quite common occurrence in our pets! Chewing on sticks, rocks, bones, hooves, antlers, and other hard materials can often be known to fracture our pets’ teeth, but breaking a stick and having it lodge between the upper back teeth happens much more commonly than you would think. The pressure on the palate and the infection at the base of the teeth makes this problem quite painful! We have seen antlers lodge between the teeth and cause dental issues as well.  We recommend annual oral health assessments for your pet to maintain proper health all around, but if you are noticing odor, discomfort, increased drooling, or difficulty eating you should contact our office for an appointment for an oral exam.

Click Here to learn more about what is considered safe chews for dogs.