February 16, 2012 at 8:20 a.m.
Chisago Lakes High School science students studying small animals got to learn all about dental care for dogs last week. Local veterinarian Dr. Pete Lukasik and Shelly, his veterinary technician, demonstrated dental procedures on George, a German shorthair.
Dr. Lukasik’s practice is the Lakes Veterinary & Surgical Center in Lindstrom. He’s been supportive of animal sciences at the high school for years, and often comes to talk and demonstrate veterinary skills for students, said science instructor Dave Skrupky.
Dr. Lukasik explained how the condition of a dog’s (or cat) mouth is assessed. There are levels of progression of dental diseases and problems within the mouth. He displayed and explained some products that assist in caring for a dog’s dental health.
Just as with humans; mouth care affects an animal’s overall body health. Poor attention to dental care can translate to organ problems and other issues.
Small dogs generally exhibit more dental problems than larger breeds do, Lukasik shared. Feeding animals wet or dry food doesn’t seem to make a singular difference.
Students also saw slides of various serious dental problems the practice has dealt with over the years and took questions from the class. The students enjoyed watching the approximately hour-long demonstration and having the dog in school.
Lukasik also commented that 80 to 85 percent of students enrolled in veterinary programs now are women.