Veterinarian looks below the gum line to help furry friends

Veterinarian looks below the gum line to help furry friends

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - Dr. Billy Scott's typical day starts with rounds to examine his patients.

"We will start with doing routine dental cleaning, dental X-rays," Scott said.

He said depending on what he finds from the X-rays, he prepares for surgery. His first patient of the day isn't a person; it's a dog.

"Good oral health care is important for prevention and control of heart disease, kidney disease and liver disease," Scott said.

As a veterinarian dental specialist at Petal Animal Clinic, a dog's dental care is paramount to Scott, but don't call him a doggy dentist.

"Some people do, but basically I am a veterinarian who has advance training in veterinarian dentistry," Scott said.

He explains it's about a lot more than dentistry.

"I use the term 'COHAT', which is Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment," Scott said.

He added it's beyond cleaning teeth. He said he uses anesthesia and X-rays to search for a complex disease that could have a dog suffering in silence.

"Periodontal disease is just a disease of the apparatus that holds the teeth in," Scott said. "You got gums, teeth, periodontal ligament, all the structures that hold the teeth in to the bone. So, it's a disease that basically chips away at that mechanism that holds in those teeth."

Scott said 85 percent of his patients have periodontal disease, and that means he can do four to seven surgeries a day to correct the issue. The problem can be genetic or not brushing your pet's teeth, and the cure is complete oral care.

"Some people will take their pets to their veterinarian to have their teeth cleaned, and they look better but they are not looking deep enough under those gum lines and doing those internal X-rays to be able to diagnose a deeper disease," Scott said.

Scott recommends taking your pet for an annual oral exam to find fractures, abscess and diseases that occur under the gum line. If you would like to know more of what Scott does, contact Petal Animal Clinic at 601-584-8441.