UF Small Animal Hospital to offer free dental screening exams to service dogs on Aug. 23

Dr. Amy Stone performs a dental procedure.
Dr. Amy Stone performs a dental procedure on an animal at the UF Small Animal Hospital. (File photo)

The University of Florida’s Small Animal Hospital will offer free dental screening examinations to service animals Aug. 23 as a part of the American Veterinary Dental College’s new national oral health care examination program.

Service animals typically include guide dogs, disability-assistance dogs, detection dogs, police dogs, search-and-rescue dogs and formally trained and certified therapy dogs.

Only active working animals that have been certified by a formal training program or organization, or that are currently enrolled in a formal training program, qualify to receive the exams.

Dr. Sharon Hoffman, a Jacksonville-based veterinary dental specialist, will perform the examinations and the UF College of Veterinary Medicine’s Dr. Amy Stone will assist. Examinations will include screening for signs of periodontal disease, fractured teeth, discolored teeth, oral masses and other oral and dental diseases that can cause pain or discomfort for dogs.

“Although no treatment will be offered as part of the screening exam, if any oral or dental abnormalities are found, a treatment plan will be laid out that the owner or handler can choose to pursue at a later date,” said Stone, a UF clinical assistant professor and dental resident with the American Veterinary Dental College. “We also will provide information about the benefits of preventive oral health care.”

Online registration is mandatory and must be completed before Aug. 15. To register, visit www.avdc.org.

“Once registered, the owner receives a registration number and a form they will need to print and bring with them to the exam,” Hoffman said.

After completing the online registration, owners should make appointments directly with the UF Small Animal Hospital by calling 352-392-2235.