Something is rotten in the world of veterinary practice, and this is what the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is now desperately trying to do something about. The result is a set of new and revised guidelines and dentistry rules that hopefully will enhance the dental health of our pets.
Dental problems in animals
We have all heard that good health begins in our mouths. But this has been largely ignored by the veterinary community. And the paradox is that oral and dental disease is by far the largest problem in the veterinary world. The causes are many, but at the end of the day, many leading veterinarians feel that the field of oral health in pets has not been treated with the respect it needs. Oral and dental problems may cause significant pain in the animal. And it is not always easy to understand the exact nature of the problem by examining the animal superficially. This in itself leads to these types of problems often being ignored.
In addition to these problems, the whole discipline of veterinary dentistry has been largely ignored by the veterinary community. Some explain this by pointing to the little importance veterinary dentistry is given at Universities. Some feel it is a field that is little understood and this is what the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) wants to change. There is now a lot more knowledge about animal dentistry. Information is a large piece of this puzzle, but the WSAVA will also define the minimum requirements for any veterinary practice. In other words, raise the bar and make sure pets are treated the best way possible – dentally speaking.
Veterninary Dentistry Guidelines
The WSAVA is also working on making a standardized way to identify and score dental problems in animals. This will help the profession in increasing the focus on these issues, but also make sure that all veterinaries practice the same level of service. Dental hygiene and health is extremely important in both human and pets. Humans already have a focus on this relationships, now this needs to be transferred to the world of animals. The hop is that more pets will be treated than today. And that the ways of treatment adhere to set rules. Dr. Brook Niemiec, the chairman of WSAVA’s dental committee concludes: “Centralized guidelines are essential in improving dental treatment in animals everywhere.” Which is excellent news for all pet owners out there. Remember that good health starts in the mouth, also when talking about pets.