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Cleaning your dog’s teeth(13 Posts)
Hi, we have a 12/13-year-old dog, whose teeth are fairly grim. We had a dental done at the vets a couple of years ago, and we clean them semi-regularly, but they’re now worse than ever. However, I’m reluctant to get another dental done for two reasons. One is cost - it’s upwards of £500, which isn’t covered by insurance, and we just don’t have it (but if she was desperate we would find the money). However, I’m more worried about the risks of the anaesthetic given her age. It’s also massively stressful for her to go to the vets, and the recovery afterwards takes her ages. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain, eating and playing quite normally, and I just wonder if it’s worth it?
£500? That's very expensive. Did that include extractions?
You're already cleaning her teeth so just start doing it every evening. It really is the only way to keep on top of it.
The best dog toothpaste to use is Logic, if you're not already using it. My dog loves the flavour and I find the finger brush they supply works fine for my dog.
@pigsDOfly I thought that! We’ve recently moved to a new vets and that’s what they quoted, but I’m sure it was closer to £300 at the last vet
I’ve never cleaned my 13+ year old Labrador’s teeth (or my late 14 year old Lab’s). I do, however, often give him a raw meaty knuckle or marrow bone to chew. His teeth are excellent, always have been and always get commented on by the vet each time they’re checked. Any chance you could try that periodically? NB Only under careful and close supervision and if he will let you remove it from him if necessary.
I have a cat rather than a dog and the vet recommended that we start brushing his teeth daily as he had lots of plaque and was developing gum disease. Well, that was highly unsuccessful and extremely traumatic for everyone involved so we started using plaque off which is ground up seaweed that you sprinkle on the food and a dry cat food designed to reduce plaque. The plaque off softens the plaque and dry food seems to remove it. We mix his oral-specific food 50:50 with a breed-specific food so aren't giving him the full amount we should. We also picked up a bottle of liquid from aldi that you add to their drinking water (a tiny splash in a bowl of water is all you need) to help reduce plaque too. Both the plaque off and water additive are suitable for cats and dogs and I'd imagine there are dog versions of the dry cat food too. On his check up a year later his teeth and gums were in perfect health and the vet was really happy with them! Brushing his teeth is absolute the best thing you can do if possible but I was amazed at how well these alternative options worked for us!
@MakingABoobOfIt I've recently move to a different, more expensive vet, so hate to think what they'd charge for teeth.
Admittedly, it was probably over two years ago that my dog had her teeth done at the vet, but I think it was around £380 and I think that included doing her bloods as well.
Once your at the point a dental is needed it's too late to sort it out through brushing. £250-300 would be standard for a small breed healthy dog. For a larger dog your looking at more anaesthetic costs, pre-anaesthetic bloods to ensure liver and kidneys are functioning well enough to be put under the strain of anaesthetic and possibly IVFT due to age especially if extractions are needed and therefore a longer GA.
Also be aware that bad teeth are not only painful but also impact the kidneys, depending on how bad the teeth are based on again it depends on how much quality of life is being impacted.
Tooth brushing works well to prevent dental disease but it doesn't treat it. So if your dog has thick calculus (the nasty brown stuff), red gums, bad breath etc. he needs a dental. If the vet thinks he needs extractions he Definitely needs a dental.
It's not fair on him to leave him with dental disease. Even those with the worst teeth in the world will continue to eat (the alternative is starving slowly to death) so this is no indication of pain levels. If you have had even one bad tooth, you know how painful it can be.
Age is not a reason to forego an anaesthetic. A large proportion of dentals are done on dogs your fella's age. Anaesthetics nowadays are done with gas and are incredibly safe. If the vet thought he was not a good candidate he would have advised you of this.
If money is an issue discuss this with your clinic. They may be able to forego non-essential that have been quoted for such as a blood test or oral x-rays. Some vets offer payment plans.
An alternative is to get an estimate from another local vet, which may well be cheaper.
Bear in mind if you don't have the dental done, his teeth will only worsen with time. He may develop abscesses, jaw infections etc. and then the treatment would be even more costly.
I brush my dogs teeth everyday, sometimes twice a day and I have a de scaler tool for scraping plaque off as well from amazon.
I think though that if the dogs teeth are sufficiently bad that he needs a dental and extractions no amount of brushing will help you.
Do the dental then brush his teeth everyday, once or twice a week doesn't really cut it in my opinion
I’ve never brushed a dog’s teeth. If they get raw food and/or raw bones their teeth stay clean. I also give lots of raw fruit and veg but don’t know if that helps, only they love them.
My mum's dog died aged 7 under anaesthetic having teeth removed.
I give mine carrot sticks to chew, use Logic toothpaste a couple of times a week and they have the aloe stuff added to their drinking water.
As the pp said Plaque off really works. I used it with my old lurcher (who are renowned for having crap teeth) after he had to have a dental clean at the vets and it never got anywhere near as bad again.
Was coming on to say plaque off also. My girl won’t let me brush her teeth -she’s a rescue. I give her either a whimzee toothbrush or pigs ear daily as well.
I’m hoping that’s enough as she had 5 teeth removed when she first arrived with us.
But she won’t let me near her teeth. So not much I can do.
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