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Success Stories

Sonny & Spice's stories

Sonny's Recovery from Gum Disease and "CUPS"

Sonny, a perky 8-year-old Maltese, had been experiencing dental problems for months. Over time, he had even developed enlarged lymph nodes under his chin and had begun to drool and rub at his face. Sonny's owners were concerned that he appeared to be in discomfort. Sadly, Sonny was not himself, and his owners couldn't understand why.

Sonny's primary care veterinarian referred him to Dr. Debra Fiorito, board-certified veterinary dental specialist at Brick Town Veterinary Hospital, for an evaluation. Dr. Fiorito determined that Sonny was suffering from multiple ulcerations, or sores, in his mouth, including along the edges of his tongue.

Sonny had also developed significant gum disease resulting in oral bone loss and loss of support around his teeth. Infectious bacteria, such as those responsible for bad breath, had overstimulated his immune system, provoking a syndrome known as Chronic Ulcerative Paradental Stomatitis or CUPS. Unfortunately, CUPS appears to be on the rise in the canine population.

Dr. Fiorito performed a comprehensive dental procedure including taking dental x-rays, performing selective dental extractions, along with biopsies and treatment of the delicate ulcerated tissues. She administered medical therapy aimed at quieting Sonny's overactive immune system. Within weeks, Sonny was back to normal again — barking, playing and interacting with his owners as before — so much so that Sonny's owner told us excitedly, "Thank you for getting our Sonny back!"

Spice's Story — Saving a German Shepherd's Fractured Teeth

One day Spice, a playful German Shepherd, was tossing her toy into the air and then catching it again and again with her mouth. After one missed catch, Spice's jaw came crashing down on the glass coffee table nearby. Spice's owners heard a yelp and found tooth fragments on the ground near the base of the coffee table. Spice had fractured two teeth in the process.

The family was referred by Spice's primary care veterinarian to Dr. Fiorito, who explained that similarly fractured teeth become infected within hours, and may abscess. These infections are frequently "silent" (85% of the time) with no visible signs of swelling, drainage, or obvious pain response from the pet. Infected teeth may eventually progress to heart, kidney, and liver problems over time.

Spice's family chose root canal therapy over extractions of the fractured teeth in order to address the potential for infection and also to allow Spice to keep the use and function of these teeth in the future.

Dr. Fiorito successfully performed root canal therapy on both teeth with subsequent restorations.  Spice is now back to playing and chewing again, fully recovered and feeling as good as new