(Dental Tips provided by Paul Camilo of Veterinary Consultation Services)
“I suspect a fracture in the molar.” That is all I really heard. Everything else was mumbled – something about hard objects, slab fractures, radiographs, plaque, periodontal disease, coming back for another appointment …. The doctor was looking at me, waiting for my response.
My first question, “How much is this going to cost?” Then I asked, “How long can I wait?”
The doctor reviewed the treatment plan and costs and told me the sooner I can schedule the better. “The longer this goes on, the more risk of damage and chronic pain – let me show you.” And with that, the doctor jumped back in order to avoid a painful bite … oh, not from me … from my dog, Lucy. Her mouth was rather painful due to a suspected fracture of her molar.
As I scheduled Lucy’s procedure, I voiced my concerns to the receptionist – remembering the medications, the appointments, the aftercare. She told me that I needed an assistant and introduced me to an app they use to communicate with their clients. A few minutes later I had downloaded BabelBark onto my phone and connected with the practice.
She told me that Lucy’s blood work results would be shared with me via the app – and it was a great way to keep all of Lucy’s medical info with me since she traveled with me. I gathered up my receipt, appointment cards, and pre-dental antibiotics. The receptionist told me I can easily review Lucy’s medications and set up reminders when they are due to be given.
Once home, I started to “play” with the app and entered the medications. True to her word, the blood work results were sent to me and I was able to look them over and call with a few questions. (I wondered if a test result close to the high-end of the normal range was serious). On one particularly hectic day, I forgot about the antibiotic – but thank goodness my phone alert went off and reminded me to dose. Also, knowing that the practice can see my compliance to medicate was an additional reason to remember. No one wants to be called by a doctor and scolded for not following recommendations!
What happened next stopped me from going to Dr. Google to read up on everything. My own veterinary hospital sent me links to a video that prepared me for the upcoming procedure and a handout with an overview of my role in the process.
According to Paul Camilo of Veterinary Consultation Services, many veterinary hospitals are using client education videos to prepare pet parents for the dental experience. A video sent within 30 minutes of arriving home after the visit gives the pet parent a clear overview of the important things to do in the dental care experience.
Lucy’s procedure and recovery went great. During the days following the procedure, I documented Lucy’s activity and eating habits in the app’s journaling feature. I snapped a few pictures of Lucy’s teeth (and the area where a tooth was removed) and sent them to my veterinarian (since Lucy won’t b
ite me, it was easier for me to do this). After reviewing the photos, my journaling notes, and my compliance with post-op Chlorhexidine therapy, my veterinarian called to discuss Lucy’s recovery and confirm the post-op appointment date and time.
In addition to Lucy, I entered my other pet, Jewel, in the app. The doctor recommended a dental diet and it was easy to find the diet on the BabelBark App and set up feeding reminders. In addition to the diet, I received information on brushing, oral gels, oral solutions, and mechanicals for dental disease. I purchased some dental wipes for cleaning the teeth, an oral solution for the drinking water, and appropriate dental treats and toys (the mechanicals) to help out.
“BOOM,” as Paul Camilo @vetconsultant likes to call it, is a great way to explain dental prevention to pet parents. BOOM = Brushing, Oral Gels, Oral Solutions, and Mechanicals. He likes to tell pet parents to choose one product out of the 2 or 3 categories of BOOM. He also directs pet parents to www.VOHC.org for products that have been tested and approved by the veterinary dental college.
A nice thing about the app is that I now receive information about dental care for both the cat and the dog, and I can take advantage of promotional offers regarding diet and care. What I thought was an awful situation turned out to be informative and helpful for the ongoing care of my pets – thanks to my veterinarian and the BabelBark mobile app.