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Coming in 2017: Dental Care Guidelines for Vets

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association is working on the first Global Dental Guidelines.


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Standards for diagnosing and treating dental issues in pets are under development at the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, which expects to release the first Global Dental Guidelines in 2017.

Oral and dental disease are easily the most commonly encountered medical conditions seen by companion animal veterinarians the world over, said Brook A. Niemiec, DVM, Dipl. AVDC, Dipl. EVDC, FACD. But because animals can’t complain, “I have a toothache,” their dental problems often go untreated.

“In addition to the problem of a lack of perceived pain, dental education in the veterinary curriculum is limited, and it is a subject clouded by myths and misinformation,” said Dr. Niemiec, who chairs WSAVA’s Dental Guidelines Committee.

The guidelines, to be released in September 2017 in Denmark during the 42nd World Congress, will serve as the “gold standard,” Niemiec said.

“We will also suggest minimum standards of equipment and care … in parts of the world where companion animal practice is still developing,” he said. “As part of the project, we plan to develop a simple, objective way to score oral disease in a repeatable fashion and to create educational resources, tools and continuing education for WSAVA members.”

Other members of the committee are:

  • Jerzy Gawor, DVM, Dipl. AVDC, Dipl. EVDC, FAVD​
  • Marco Gioso, DVM, Dipl. AVDC​
  • David Clarke, DVM, Dipl. AVDC​
  • Cedric Tutt, DVM, Dipl. EVDC​
  • Ana Nemec, DVM, Dipl. AVDC, Dipl. EVDC​
  • Gottfried Morgenegg, DVM
  • Marge Chandler, DVM, Dipl. ACVN, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ECVIM-CA​
  • Paulo Steagall, MV, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVAA​
  • Rod Jouppi, DVM

WSAVA also is busy forming the Global Guidelines for Animal Wellness and Welfare. A different committee has been tasked with developing recommendations for veterinary teams in the clinical care given patients, from arrival to checkout.

The guidelines are set for release at the 2018 Congress.

“Animal welfare science is a new and rapidly developing discipline and … many veterinarians may not be completely up to date with contemporary animal welfare concepts,” said Shane Ryan, BVSc, committee co-chairman.


Originally published in the December 2016 issue of Veterinary Practice News. Did you enjoy this article? Then subscribe today! 

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