The WSAVA plans to release new guidelines aimed at improving the standard of veterinary dentistry around the world.
Representing almost 200,000 vets from 101 associations worldwide, one of the WSAVA’s core activities is the development of global guidelines in key areas of vet practice.
Vaccination, nutrition and pain management are already served by WSAVA guidelines, with further work underway to create the first global dental guidelines.
The work is being undertaken by the WSAVA’s new dental guidelines committee (DGC), chaired by Brook Niemiec, a board certified specialist in dentistry of the American and European Veterinary Dental Colleges and a fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry.
The DGC aims to launch the dental guidelines at WSAVA World Congress 2017.
Dr Niemiec said: “Oral and dental disease are, by far, the most common medical conditions in small animal veterinary medicine. These conditions create significant pain and infection in the oral cavity, as well as the entire body – but because pets rarely show outward signs of disease, treatment is often delayed or not performed at all.
Myths and misinformation
“In addition to the problem of a lack of perceived pain, dental education in the veterinary curriculum is limited and a subject clouded by myths and misinformation.
“Our goal is to raise awareness of just how common dental disease is in small animals and highlight the local and systemic consequences if it is left untreated. We also hope to improve dental education internationally and promote the importance of vet dentistry.”
He added: “The WSAVA global dental guidelines will set the ‘gold standard’ to which all vets should aspire – but we will also suggest minimum standards of equipment and care for vets in parts of the world where companion animal practice is still developing.
“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.
“We are grateful to our sponsors, Addison Biologics, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, KRUUSE, Merial and Virbac for supporting this important work.”