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I have a question about…TEETH CLEANING
Posted By tdomf_d6e07 On January 14, 2014 @ 3:24 PM In Ask the Vet,Miscellaneous | No Comments
I am undecided about having my small dog’s teeth cleaned. She is about 8 years old and overweight at 11 lbs. Should I have my vet do it or can I go to my groomer who has someone come into her shop once a month?
The vet says the only way to get them cleaned is to put them out and do it properly. The other alternative is questionable to me due to the dog being awake and restrained and the wonder how thorough of a cleaning can be done. Also, my dog has a lot of anxiety.
The reason I hesitate on the vet’s office is the fact that I lost my last dog a couple of weeks after teeth cleaning. She was older but in good health but developed heart problems and
had to be put down. Besides causing me a lot of grief the cost was very hard on my budget and ended up costing me more then I could afford. I don’t want a repeat of that scenario. Please help me decide what to do.
Answer from Dr. Gaylord Brown:
I have written extensively about the importance of good dental health to your pet’s well being. However, I have also written that these procedures are far from minor! General anesthesia is a major procedure with inherent risks. All older animals should have blood work and radiographs of the chest before deciding to have dental work. Further, your pet should be treated with antibiotics in advance of the procedure. Health risk factors, such as being overweight, need to be taken into account. Advice from a veterinarian you trust regarding your personal situation is imperative. Unfortunately, the procedures generally performed at groomers and pet stores are rift with potential disaster. There is no way to remove bad teeth and dislodging the tartar may shower the blood stream with dangerous bacteria. Therefor, I cannot recommend you have your pet’s teeth cleaned at the groomer. However, without examining your dog I cannot say for certain that she is able to have the anesthetic procedure. I can say that we have have an extensive dental care program at the sanctuary and most that we treat are well over 8 years old with a variety of other health problems. By the same token, I have some patients that are clearly marked “Not eligible for anesthetic”. Using a safe inhalant anesthetic with careful monitoring is imperative to success. Seek multiple opinions if you have lost confidence in your veterinarian.
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