Dog Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is long, but please read! I really need lots of opinions. Thank you.

My chihuahua needed a teeth cleaning last year so we scheduled an appointment in November. But then 2 weeks before the cleaning appointment, she had a bad episode of neck and back pain (it never happened before and it has not happened since). We asked her vet if it was still okay for her to get a cleaning and then his face turned bright red, he seemed suspicious, and said it was fine if she got the cleaning despite her neck and back problems. We did not feel right about his reaction so we decided to wait 2 months. I felt like it was a sign that she should not get her teeth cleaned. But then a disease I have got much worse and now every second of the day is spent tending to me. My dog still has not had her teeth cleaning because we are very busy with my health. (Also hundreds of dollars are spent on my health every week.)

My dog's vet was stressing the importance of teeth cleaning, but now my dog has a new vet who didn't make is seem like an immediate danger. I feel like her old vet was a better vet and more experienced but when his face turned red I felt like he was withholding some important information from me. Also my dog threw up after taking quadriguard and the vet did not tell me it was a reaction; I had to figure that out on my own when she threw up the next month. I felt like I could not trust my dog's old vet so I switched vets but her new vet does not seem as experienced and I just don't trust those new vet technicians with putting my dog under. I can't trust the old vet either because of his face turning red and him acting suspicious.

My dog has only had her teeth cleaned once before, when she was 3. Now she is 7 and I feel like she is over due on her cleaning. Her bottom teeth look white, but her top teeth have orange-ish brown stuff on the outside by her gums. Her breath started to smell bad about a year ago. My neighbor's dachshund got her teeth cleaned for the first time when she was 9, so it didn't seem like such a big deal to me if my dog went a few years between cleanings.

After my dog got her teeth cleaned the first time, I read stories about the horrible dangers of anesthesia for small dogs (and some big dogs, but mostly small dogs). People were warning against getting teeth cleaned because it is not worth the risk of losing your dog. I have read many stories of healthy dogs who got pre-anesthesia blood work done that died while getting their teeth cleaned, died right after, or became paralyzed. But then recently I have been reading about the horrible dangers of not getting a dog's teeth cleaned. I read articles saying the dog can get heart disease, a broken jaw, and abscessed teeth.

I just don't know what to do. Is my dog in more danger getting put under to get her teeth cleaned or is she in more danger having plaque on her teeth?

If I do end up getting her teeth cleaned it probably won't be for a few months or maybe even a year because of everything that has to be done to keep me well. Can anyone give me recommendations of teeth cleaning products I can use on my little dog until she gets her teeth cleaned by the vet (if I end up getting her teeth cleaned).


Thank you for replies! If you could also share any articles or refer me to any websites, I would appreciate it!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,819 Posts
The risk depends on how healthy the dog is. If you are concerned ask for the blood work to be done along with a full physical to make sure she's healthy. Also check around and find a vet who is good with small dogs.

The health dangers she faces if she has bad teeth are the same as the ones a human would face.

Since you are not comfortable with both your former and current vet then you should check around for another one. Go where pet owners congregate and ask around, places like the park, pet shop, outdoor cafe.

For now I'd try brushing her teeth if she'll tolerate it, give her a RAW chicken neck bone to chew on (they MUST be raw cooked bones splinter and can kill a dog), and raw baby carrots a couple times a week. The crunchiness of them should help clean her teeth. Also try using TropiClean Clean Teeth Gel on her teeth, it's supposed to loosen tartar and brushing isn't required, but does help, with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
I went through 2 very depressing months trying to convince myself that it was the best thing for my pup's health and that it would be selfish to let his oral & general health deteriorate just because of my fears.

I did it, he was fine, but went through a lot of uncomfort because I took the safer route. If I had to do it again, first I'd pick a better vet (a more wealthy one with better & cleaner tools), make sure he uses general anesthesia instead of a lighter one (so it's more comfortable for the dog), IV catheter and monitor his heart rate every step of the way.

Bottom line, it's worth it, bad teeth hurt dogs as much as it hurts us. But you should do your best to find the best vet possible, I would've gladly paid 3x the price I did for better quality treatment. Lesson learned.

Also, after getting his teeth cleaned by a vet they'll be more easily stained than before, so you might want to start brushing him regularly to avoid this particular dilemma in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am now remembering why I am so nervous to get my chihuahua's teeth cleaned and why I began researching the dangers four years ago. Something negative or bad did happen when she got her teeth cleaned when she was three. I can't remember exactly what happened, but there was a concern.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,819 Posts
I am now remembering why I am so nervous to get my chihuahua's teeth cleaned and why I began researching the dangers four years ago. Something negative or bad did happen when she got her teeth cleaned when she was three. I can't remember exactly what happened, but there was a concern.

If her teeth aren't that bad, and none are rotten, then what I advised before
For now I'd try brushing her teeth if she'll tolerate it, give her a RAW chicken neck bone to chew on (they MUST be raw cooked bones splinter and can kill a dog), and raw baby carrots a couple times a week. The crunchiness of them should help clean her teeth. Also try using TropiClean Clean Teeth Gel on her teeth, it's supposed to loosen tartar and brushing isn't required, but does help, with it.
may be enough and she won't have to get a cleaning. If any are rotten, abscessed, or she has really bad tartar, then she needs dental work and you really cannot get around it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
As Rain suggested, chicken necks will clean your dog's teeth. Just replace her dog food with chicken necks or wings. The teeth will be cleaned from the chewing. I think there is also something going on with the chemical change in her mouth when chewing raw meaty bones that are good for the teeth. My border collie is almost 12 and even the vets say his teeth don't need cleaning. They are getting discolored now, but they are healthy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,819 Posts
As Rain suggested, chicken necks will clean your dog's teeth. Just replace her dog food with chicken necks or wings. The teeth will be cleaned from the chewing. I think there is also something going on with the chemical change in her mouth when chewing raw meaty bones that are good for the teeth. My border collie is almost 12 and even the vets say his teeth don't need cleaning. They are getting discolored now, but they are healthy.

I'm pretty sure you don't mean to suggest to only feed her chicken necks.

Just to let the OP know, replace a meal once, maybe twice, a week, do not only feed her chicken necks or wings since that wouldn't be a nutritionally correct diet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
In an otherwise healthy dog, the risk of anesthesia is actually quite low, and the benefits of professionally cleaning her teeth far outweigh the risks. Periodontal disease is the single most common disease affecting domestic pets today and it can lead to significant systemic diseases, in addition to quality of life issues if left untreated. The calculus on the surface of her teeth is merely the 'tip of the iceberg'. Professional periodontal treatments are aimed at treating the tissues below the gumline and treating teeth that are potentially posing a risk to your pets comfort and health. Chicken necks may help keep the crown of the tooth clean, but they do nothing to address the disease below the gumline.

I would encourage you to find a vet that you are comfortable with and enquire further about having your pets dental needs addressed. Alternatively you can request a referral to a board certified veterinary dentist and oral surgeon - a specialists who has advanced training to deal with issues such as these. You may pay more to see a specialist, however you can be sure you will receive the best possible care.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top