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Does anyone else feel like some--if not most--vets have gone completely big pharma?

Recently in the vets office with my dog the vet mentioned that in the next couple of years I should have her teeth cleaned. She had a bad reaction to anesthetic during her spay (I didn't own her then but its in her records) so I was concerned and asked about that. Even with that he insisted that it was safe and refused really acknowledge the risk.

I asked about how long the cleaning would keep her teeth good for and he said that even if I waited a couple of years, she'd probably be good for a couple more. I asked what I could do to keep her teeth healthy since she is 10 after all.

This was just the tip of the iceberg. Between the extra shots, special chewy pills, shampoos, treats and other things he suggested I would expect that I would not only bankrupt me but cause her to absolutely glow with chemicals.

I do as little shots as possible, use basic anti-flea and tic meds, and use a local food. Is this now considered bad? :confused:
 

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The teeth push has really been picking up speed in the last few years and will likely continue because of the lengthened and improved quality of life it gives.

I can elaborate more when I'm home later tonight and have a real computer to type since I'm just on my phone right now.
 

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It sounds like you may want what is called an integrative veterinarian.

These are DVM's that are board certified, real doctors. But they use and are educated on more than just modern medicine. They are usually in favor of limited vaccines and also incorporate the use of herbs, supplements, acupuncture, and other forms of ancient Chinese medicine. They tend to be very big on feeding natural diet and using diet as a means of preventing and managing common health problems. They aren't about a bunch of woo and homeopathic methods that don't work. The stuff they use WORKS, and they also know when to involve things like chemo, antibiotics, real pain meds etc.

As for the teeth, don't be afraid to get a second opinion. Dental care is extremely important, and poor dental care can lead to other health problems. There are other things you can do to maintain your dogs dental hygiene, like brushing, maintaining a good diet, providing raw meaty bones, using water additives or supplements. A lot of these can deal with current tarter and plaque buildup if it's not too bad. But if she needs a dental cleaning now, then putting it off until it gets worse is not a good idea. The longer you wait, the longer the cleaning will take and the longer she will have to be under to get it done. If she is sensitive to anesthesia, then you want a doctor who acknowledges that and can assure you of what measures they will take to minimize risk.
 

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Cindy is 9 and have been asked multiple times for a teeth cleaning. The only reason i refuse to do it is b\c i have heard small dogs going under anesthesia did not make it, especially if they are older and have breathing issues.
 

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Cindy is 9 and have been asked multiple times for a teeth cleaning. The only reason i refuse to do it is b\c i have heard small dogs going under anesthesia did not make it, especially if they are older and have breathing issues.
Small dogs are at the same risk as big dogs. The things that increase risks are heart conditions, and just an individual sensitivity or reaction to anesthesia or any of the pre-medications used. You should talk to your vet about specific risks regarding your dog, not listen to random myths from people who don't actually know or have experience.

If her teeth need cleaned, you should definitely have it done. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for her. Dogs suffer when their teeth are bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Even the vet said that for a 10 year old her teeth are in excellent shame and he acknowledged that they don't need to even be done for a couple years. However, he handed me a fancy flyer and said I could always do it earlier. Which, given my concerns about anesthetic, was ridiculous. I felt like I was catching him in a lie/sales pitch that wasn't in the best interest of my dog. No, my dog did not need this service but he wanted to sell it to me anyway because everyone does it now. NO NO NO!!!!

She eats plenty of raw meat bones (in fact she's chewing on one now) and I check her teeth often for any noticeable build up (there's none)
@TiggerBounce how do I go about finding one of these integrative vets?
 

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this person posted a question on here b\c they wanted to hear what others had to say. They also mentioned talking to a vet and obviously did not want to go that route, instead wanted to hear a community response which is why i replied how i felt about dogs going under anesthesia. What i said about dogs who did not make it when going under is not a myth. There are numerous stories out there, one of which who was my neighbors dog that passed away when getting a routine cleaning. please be careful what you say before judging someones response. thank you
 

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this person posted a question on here b\c they wanted to hear what others had to say. They also mentioned talking to a vet and obviously did not want to go that route, instead wanted to hear a community response which is why i replied how i felt about dogs going under anesthesia. What i said about dogs who did not make it when going under is not a myth. There are numerous stories out there, one of which who was my neighbors dog that passed away when getting a routine cleaning. please be careful what you say before judging someones response. thank you

Ozzy, I do appreciate you "defending" me. One of the reasons that dogs succumb to anesthetic during a cleaning is because diseased teeth can cause heart trouble. I'm not against cleanings in general, just the total lack of taking my dog's age, past history and current good health into account when making a medical recommendation.

As with humans, dental health is important. Cleaning is a way to do that, but to me it should be a last resort, not the go-to and most certainly not considered routine. Primary because of the anestetic. Human anestistestics are some of the most well-paid and vigiousrly trained dr's in the hospital, even above brain and heart surgeons. The average vet does not have the same expertise and dogs and their physiology vary even more than humans from little tea cup poodles who are barley 3 pounds, to 180lbs great pirneeses to collies with sharp pointy noses to pugs with brasilific snouts.

I am forever battling not getting the newest heart worm pill or completely untested digestible flea and tick medicine. Her biospot works fine for her and has worked for 8 years...I'm NOT changing what works because some pharmaceutical company made a pill.

I also looked into the lyme vaccine but when I asked about the effectiveness rates was completely appalled at the results. They may as well be selling snake oil.
 

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this person posted a question on here b\c they wanted to hear what others had to say. They also mentioned talking to a vet and obviously did not want to go that route, instead wanted to hear a community response which is why i replied how i felt about dogs going under anesthesia. What i said about dogs who did not make it when going under is not a myth. There are numerous stories out there, one of which who was my neighbors dog that passed away when getting a routine cleaning. please be careful what you say before judging someones response. thank you
I'm a vet tech and have monitored anesthesia for hundreds of pets. I'm not disagreeing that there is risk. I'm disagreeing that the size of the dog is the biggest factor. It's not. Heart disease is often one of the biggest risk factors, as well as drug reactions or sensitivities to the gas or pre-meds. Age is also a risk. But for the most part, anesthesia IS safe. Very few dogs die under anesthesia, and most who do are KNOWN to be high risk patients. Vets and veterinary technicians don't want their patients dying. We take every precaution we possibly can.

I've had patients who were in for dentals who reacted poorly to anesthesia. One had owners who put off the dental until they were forced to. The elderly dog quit eating because it's mouth was that painful. It was basically either do the dental, or the dog, who was otherwise in good shape and still had many years left, would have to be put to sleep. This could have been avoided by completely if the owners had opted to do a dental cleaning or two when the pet was younger and healthier, before the risk went up so high, before the teeth got so bad. When his heart rate dropped dangerously low, we immediately stopped the dental, got him off anesthesia and on O2 only, reversed the premed and gave him injections to raise the heart rate. He recovered. We tried again with a different anesthetic gas, no premeds, and we were able to save the dogs life.

I'm all for managing dental care at home if it's possible. My dogs have never had dentals because they just don't need to. There is no tarter buildup. It's the biggest favor I did for my oldest, who is now 14 and has developed a heart murmur, the early stages of congestive heart failure.

I just don't encourage putting off dentals if a vet says one is needed. If you're not sure, get a second opinion. If you want to try to up dental hygiene at home to see if that fixes it, that's fine too. But if it doesn't work in a set period of time, a professional cleaning should be seriously considered.
 

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Don't get me wrong. I am all for oral hygiene. I do try my best to prevent Cindys teeth from getting tarter build up by brushing them which she dreadfully hates! and i buy her 100% beef, grass fed bully sticks. There is some tarter that i cant remove myself. Can i get her teeth cleaned professionally? Absolutely, yes but i feel the risks outweigh the benefits in her situation.
you also mentioned Lyme vaccine. Lyme disease is very serious in dogs. Cindy got Lyme a few years back and i thought she was not going to make it. I actually did not know she had it until i took her to the vet b\c she was not eating nor moving much. She got prescribed doxycycline and made a full recovery. I personally wouldn't do the vaccine, but that is up to you. You do what you feel is best for your little one.
 

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Ozzy, I do appreciate you "defending" me. One of the reasons that dogs succumb to anesthetic during a cleaning is because diseased teeth can cause heart trouble. I'm not against cleanings in general, just the total lack of taking my dog's age, past history and current good health into account when making a medical recommendation.

As with humans, dental health is important. Cleaning is a way to do that, but to me it should be a last resort, not the go-to and most certainly not considered routine. Primary because of the anestetic. Human anestistestics are some of the most well-paid and vigiousrly trained dr's in the hospital, even above brain and heart surgeons. The average vet does not have the same expertise and dogs and their physiology vary even more than humans from little tea cup poodles who are barley 3 pounds, to 180lbs great pirneeses to collies with sharp pointy noses to pugs with brasilific snouts.

I am forever battling not getting the newest heart worm pill or completely untested digestible flea and tick medicine. Her biospot works fine for her and has worked for 8 years...I'm NOT changing what works because some pharmaceutical company made a pill.

I also looked into the lyme vaccine but when I asked about the effectiveness rates was completely appalled at the results. They may as well be selling snake oil.
Yup, I don't use flea treatment either, nor do I get the lyme or lepto vaccines. My vets are "big pharma" vets where I worked, but even they generally don't recommend those vaccines unless the dog is at seriously high risk of getting the diseases. Most aren't.

May I ask what state and general area you are in? Are you willing to travel? I'll see if I can look one up for you. You might have luck if you google "Integrative veterinarian" or "holistic veterinarin" and your city/state. You can call and ask questions or peruse their website to find out more. I learned about integrative vets from a webinar during the Raw Roundup last year by Dr. Marty Goldstein. He is highly respected, and has critical patients come see him from across the country. One of the questions posted to him was if he had any integrative vets he recommended for people on the west coast, and to my surprise, they were only 2 hours away in the same city as my grandmother. I was ecstatic. This vet actually started investigating Dr Goldstein and wanted to find enough evidence to report him to the board because he didn't believe the medicine he practiced was ethical; he thought it was a bunch of crock. Well he met and interned with Dr. Goldstein and saw how well it worked and totally turned around LOL.
 

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@seashoreduck, I'm with you on these. As for the flea treatments, have a look at Brewer's Yeast. I started my dog on it for anxiety and a great side effect is that fleas hate it. She hasn't had a flea shot since June and I keep being told how terrible the fleas have been since the summer, but Fin's had none. I'm happy if they never need another of those shots.
 

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@TiggerBounce, do you have any personal recommendations for anything that can help eradicate tarter? Our new 4 year old has brown teeth. I took him to the vet assuming he'd need a treatment in the next few months, but he said it isn't really that bad and wait at least a few years.

Jav hates having me touch his mouth at all. I managed to rub some of that anti-plaque gel on his front teeth when he was new here (and extremely docile!) and between that and some chews much of the plaque has come off, but he is terrified of the gel now. He couldn't eat crunchy food when I got him, he can now but prefers soft. I hate the idea that his teeth may hurt or cause issues later. I've heard of a liquid additive to food/water but also some complications from it, so no dice there. Any ideas would be appreciated.

And, if you have a database of holistic vets, if it includes Canadian vets, I'd love if you could pass any Vancouver names my way, please. :)
 

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@TiggerBounce, do you have any personal recommendations for anything that can help eradicate tarter? Our new 4 year old has brown teeth. I took him to the vet assuming he'd need a treatment in the next few months, but he said it isn't really that bad and wait at least a few years.

Jav hates having me touch his mouth at all. I managed to rub some of that anti-plaque gel on his front teeth when he was new here (and extremely docile!) and between that and some chews much of the plaque has come off, but he is terrified of the gel now. He couldn't eat crunchy food when I got him, he can now but prefers soft. I hate the idea that his teeth may hurt or cause issues later. I've heard of a liquid additive to food/water but also some complications from it, so no dice there. Any ideas would be appreciated.

And, if you have a database of holistic vets, if it includes Canadian vets, I'd love if you could pass any Vancouver names my way, please. :)
I'm not sure how comprehensive this directory is, but you can check it out! http://www.civtedu.org/canada/

I checked the CA list and there are integrative vets that I know of that aren't on the list. So I'm sure if you do some digging, you might find more. Remember you can always call somebody farther away and see if they have references for your area. I have a suspicion that integrative veterinarians tend to keep more in contact with one another, just because the community is smaller.

As for teeth care, I personally have seen incredible results from feeding a raw diet. Idk how feasible that is for you. If you can't do all raw, you can always do partial, and include large meaty pieces for your dog to chew and gnaw on. The perk of this is that it doesn't require you to actively handle your dogs mouth. Good items would sorta depend on how big your dog is. But turkey necks, chicken necks, chicken wings, sometimes chicken drumsticks or leg quarters, pork ribs, lamb heads. Also beef cheek meat is VERY thick and my dogs have to really work on a big chunk of it. It's not just about the bones, it's just the chewing/rubbing in general. Raw meat also contains enzymes that some say help.

All three of my dogs are on raw and have been for 8 years now. My oldest is 14. Tarter is VERY minimal and the vet (a normal modern vet) was very impressed. Especially given that she is a small dog, and small breeds are notorious for bad teeth. My second oldest is turning 10 in March. No tarter at all. Their mouths are very healthy and I think it's a combination of good genes and the raw diet.

I also have a cat on raw too. He was 4 and already had tarter buildup. Nothing that needed a dental right then. But it was what I would call a moderate amount. At the time, he was kibble fed. When he had a urinary blockage, I started looking into raw as a possible alternative to prescription diet. I made the switch and within 6 weeks, the tarter was completely gone. I wish I had taken photos.

If you do provide some meaty pieces and bones, then it would buy you time to counter condition your dog to having his mouth handled so you can use gels and supplements that help work.
 
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