Category Archives: Important information

Open House!

open house


The staff at Long Meadow Vet Clinic would like to invite you to our all age first annual Summer Open House! Please join us Saturday, May 30th from 10 am to 3 pm for Fun, Food, Gifts, and Giveaways! All pets are welcome. During our Open House we will having all sorts of fun and exciting activities such as:


♦ Tour of the Clinic


♦ Professional Pet Photos


pet photo


♦ Meet and Greet the Staff


♦ Teddy Bear Surgery


Dr. Teddy

Dr. Teddy


♦ CPR Demo

♦ Animal Care Q & A


♦ Wellness Care in a Nutshell


Dog Vaccination


♦ Dental Care in a Nutshell


♦ Coloring Tables


♦ Gifts and Giveaways


dog gifts





lil caesars



♦ And More!



See you there!



Gingival Hyperplasia, Too Much Gums?



Have you ever looked in your pet’s mouth? Whether it was to smell their breath, look at their teeth, or to remove something from inside their mouth? If you have, did you pay any attention to the gums or gum line? Dogs and cats can have gingival diseases similar to humans. Sometimes, these diseases can be overshadowed due to the severity of other dental diseases that may be present. In this blog, we will be focusing on a very common condition of the gums, gingival hyperplasia.  We will be going over the medical definition, which species/breeds are commonly affected, and signs or symptoms of the disease. We will also cover the causes, diagnosis, as well as both medical and surgical treatments for this disease.


Gingival hyperplasia is defined as an enlargement of the gingiva due to an increased number of cells that is non-inflammatory. It may also be termed as gingival overgrowth or hypertrophic gingivitis, and it is sometimes abbreviated as “GO.”  The enlargement may affect the entire mouth or be localized to one or several areas. The surface might be smooth, rough, or appear in grape-like clusters. This overgrowth might be so mild that it is not detectable, or so severe that it covers the entire tooth. This disease occurs in dogs and cats, but dogs are more commonly affected.  Dog breeds that is more likely to have overgrowth of the gingiva include: Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, Collies, Dalmatians, Bulldogs, and most commonly, Boxers.  Siamese, Somali, and Maine Coon are all breeds of cats that are predisposed to this disease.


Example of a Doberman Pinscher

Example of a Doberman Pinscher


Example of a Border Collie.

Example of a Border Collie.


Example of a Somali.

Example of a Somali.


Example of a Maine Coon.

Example of a Maine Coon.


To owners that have pets with gingival hyperplasia, the gum may appear to be growing up over the crown of the tooth or it may look like your pet’s teeth are getting smaller as less of the tooth above the gum is visible when you look in the mouth. Other common signs may include thickening of the gums, increased height of the gum line, developing pseudopockets (deep pockets with in the gums), areas of inflammation on the gums, or growth/mass formation on the gum line. The inflammation that can be seen in many pets with this disease is often secondary to periodontitis, but is not responsible for the primary enlargement of the gingiva.  Bleeding upon brushing may also be evident. The overgrowth of the gingiva may also cause it to have a bright red or pink coloration, due to extra circulation. Sometimes the overgrowth can be so severe that the pet will start to chew on the tissue.  This is painful for the pet and could lead to infection or decreased appetite.


Gingival Hyperplasia in a Bulldog.

Gingival Hyperplasia in a Bulldog.


Gingival Hyperplasia in a Boxer.

Gingival Hyperplasia in a Boxer.


















There are several causes of gingival hyperplasia including: idiopathic, breed predisposition, or medications.  Idiopathic means that an underlying cause cannot be identified.  Unfortunately when the disease is caused by idiopathic reasons or breed predispositions it is very difficult to prevent reoccurrence even after treatment because the underlying cause cannot be changed.  Medications in the following three categories have also been shown to cause gingival hyperplasia: Immunosuppressants, Calcium-channel blockers, and anticonvulsants. Immunosuppressants are a class of drugs that are used to suppress or reduce the strength of the body’s immune systems. Drugs such as Cyclosporine, a common drug used for treatment of atopy/allergies in dogs and cats, are immunosuppressant’s.  High doses of steroids including Prednisone and Prednisolone are also an example of an immunosuppressant.   Another example from this category would be Clorambucil, which is most commonly used for chemotherapy to treat cancer. Calcium-channel blockers are medications that prevent calcium from entering cells of the heart and blood vessels. They are used in dogs for treatment of cardiac disease. Examples of this type of medicine would be Diltiazem, Amlodipine, and Verapamil.  Anticonvulsants are drugs used in the treatment of seizure disorders.  A few of these agents would be Potassium Bromide, Phenobarbital, and Levetiracetam (Keppra).


A complete set of Canine dental x-rays.

A complete set of Canine dental x-rays.



Diagnosing gingival hyperplasia is important because there are several other forms of gingival enlargement that you must differentiate. For example, productive tumors of bone and cysts may cause the same appearance. Tooth resorption disease is a condition commonly seen in cats that also causes expansion of the gingival bone, resulting in a similar appearance.  Gingival hyperplasia is by definition noninflammatory, but concurrent periodontal disease can cause inflammation to occur as a secondary process.  Dental x-rays are often needed in order to help rule out potentially serious underlying medical conditions.  A definitive diagnosis of gingival hyperplasia can be made only by biopsy and a microscopic examination.


There are two ways of treating gingival hyperplasia, medical and surgical. The simplest form of medical treatment is to stop any medications that are known to cause the disease. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases these medications are necessary to sustain a good quality of life in your pet, so it is less likely that your doctor would be able to simply discontinue one of these medications. Another form of medical treatment would be for your four legged friend to have an in depth dental cleaning with oral antibiotics. This will help eliminate the secondary periodontal disease which will reduce the gingival inflammation that causes swelling and enlargement, but it will not reduce the actual hyperplasia of the gingiva.  Surgical treatment is by gingivectomy – surgically removing the excess gum tissue. This procedure helps restore a more normal gingival shape, removes pseudopockets, helps control gingival infection, and promotes a healthier gum line for your pet. Gingivoplasty is a type of gum surgery used to reshape gum tissue around teeth, and to help them look more natural.  Traditional, electro, and laser surgery are types of techniques that can be used during these procedures.  These are relatively simple procedures, but can be very time consuming, and thus quite costly. Unfortunately, this condition usually recurs many months to years later, and a repeat procedure at that time is often necessary.




We do not want your pet to suffer with any oral/mouth disease that is uncomfortable and puts their overall health at risk. Do not wait! All pets should have a dental care plan, and it is never too late to start dental care. Come join us for Dental Awareness Month as we celebrate with 15% off the dental cleaning procedure. If you are unsure if a dental cleaning is necessary for your loved one, you can schedule a brief oral/dental consult for FREE during the month of February. If you would like to schedule a dental cleaning or consult, please give us a call, and we would be happy to assist you in doing so.


If you would like more information on gingival hyperplasia, you can visit these websites for continued reading:


Plants, Are They A Real Danger?


Dogs and cats are very inquisitive. Sniffing, smelling, and usually tasting almost anything in sight. For that reason, we commonly see pets ingest items that are not their food. Plants are among one of the top items a pet will chew on and/or swallow, but are they a real danger? Can plants cause any harm if ingested? Many may not be aware of the unknown dangers that come from ingesting some plants. Certain plants are very poisonous to pets, and can be deadly if left untreated. The purpose of this blog is to inform you of which plants are poisonous, the common symptoms associated with ingesting them, and to give you tips on how to keep your house danger free even with these plants present.

Smelling plants

There are several factors to take in account when determining the risk of toxicity to your pet. These factors include what plant was ingested, which part of the plant, how much of the plant, and whether your pet vomited some of the plant. Toxicity levels can range from mildly to extremely toxic depending on what plant your pet took interest in. The most toxic plants to pets would be, Castor Beans, Mistletoes, any type of Mushrooms, all Ivies, and Oleanders. Common types of other toxic plants would be Aloe Vera, Poinsettia, Azalea, Sago Palm, Dumbcane, Carnations, Tulip, Chrysanthemum, Daffodil, all types of Lilies, and Marijuana.  Not all parts of every plant are poisonous. Depending on the type of plant, the seeds, leaves, roots, petals, beans, bark, fruit, and stems may all have a different toxicity level. It has been demonstrated in some studies, that if a dog or cat vomits part or all of the plant within 30 minutes of ingestion, it can reduce the amount of toxic effects. We do not recommend trying to force your pet to vomit at home without consulting your veterinarian first.


Oleander plant

Example of an Oleander

Mistletoe Plant

Example of a Mistletoe

Sago Palm Plant

Example of a Sago Palm


Aloe Vera Plant

Example of an Aloe Vera plant


Chrysanthemum Plant

Example of a Chrysanthemum

Diagnosis of toxic plant ingestion is usually based on the information you provide your veterinarian. Sometimes a presumptive diagnosis is made based on your pet’s illness if the plants are present within the home even if you did not see your pet chewing on them. Symptoms of toxic plant ingestion can range from mild to severe and vary based on which plant is the culprit. Therefore, it is always good to identify which plant and which part of the plant your pet could have swallowed. If you are unsure of what kind of plant it is, you can take a picture or better yet bring in a sample of the plant to your veterinarian so they may help identify what it could be.


Symptoms of toxicity usually appear within 30 minutes to 48 hours after ingestion. Some symptoms can include excessive salvation, foaming at the mouth, caustic or burning effect in the mouth or throat, swollen mouth, trouble swallowing, oral sores, anorexia (not wanting to eat), excessive drinking, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinating, lethargy, and skin allergies. More severe symptoms could be sweating/fever, drunken walk, heart arrhythmias, rapid or trouble breathing, painful abdomen, tremors, seizures, acute kidney and liver failure, bone marrow depression, and even death.


Daffodil Plant

Example of a Daffodil

Lily Plant

Example of a Lily

Tulip Plant

Example of a Tulip







If you think your four legged family member may have ingested a toxic plant or if your pet is acting sick and you have toxic plants in your home, please contact your veterinarian and seek medical help right away.  Prolonged time between plant ingestion and medical help could worsen symptoms and make treatment more challenging. If you can’t immediately reach a vet, you can call the ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline at (888) 426-4435.  They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A fee of $65 may be charged to your credit card. Identification of the plant is critical. Have the plant itself and if possible the container, package or label available when on the phone or in the veterinarian’s office or the poison helpline. When contacting the poison control center, please also have this information ready:


  • Your name, address, and phone number.
  • If calling the 800 number, your credit card number.
  • The species, breed, age, sex, weight, and number of animals involved.
  • The poison your animals have been exposed to, if known
  • Information concerning the poisoning (the amount of poison, the time since exposure, etc.).
  • The problems your animals are experiencing.



Safe guarding your house for your loved ones is possible. One of many ways of doing so would be to place a fence around your garden. If larger breed dogs are present, a higher fence may be necessary. Another way to protect your pets can be to put plants in hard to reach places, such as hanging from the ceiling, on the top of a shelf, or on a window ledge. Obedience training has also been known to work. Training puppies about what areas are ok and what areas are not ok to play in. Providing your pet with plenty of toys and safe items to chew on can help keep them from nibbling on plants. Outdoor supervision would be necessary if you have one of these plants present in your yard.  Of course the only guaranteed way to protect your pet is to eliminate these plants from your pet’s environment.


Here are a few links if you would like to read more on poisonous plants: