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FORUMS > Health, Wellness and Nutrition < refresh >
Topic Title: yearly vet dental cleaning necessary?
Created On Thu September 07, 2006 5:34 PM
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berkeley_yogi
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Thu September 07, 2006 5:34 PM
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Hello,

I'm new to this forum and this is my first post. I apologize if this topic has already been covered.

A year ago I rescued an adult dog from a shelter. The vet guessed he was about 4 years old. His teeth really needed to be cleaned so I had the vet do the procedure. I just got a notice in the mail from my vet saying it is time for my dog's annual dental cleaning.

I'm wondering if it is really necessary for adult dogs to have their teeth cleaned yearly by the vet?

I give my dogs lots of chews, rawhides, bones, etc but I don't actually brush his teeth daily like I know I'm supposed to.

What do you think? Thumbs up on yearly vet dental cleaning?

Thank you!
 
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colliemom
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Fri September 08, 2006 10:38 AM
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My vet does not opt for yearly cleanings for my boys. He DOES check their teeth and inspect them at least twice a year. Then again, we brush the boys' teeth at least 3 times a week. With DOGGY toothpaste. They also get lots of things to chew on (vet recommended). They eat not a scrap of human food, and have a small amount (a stick-together amount) of vet recommended soft food in their kibble. They are collies, so good teeth are imperative for good social health, too, since they are long jawed and bad teeth and gums (rotten or smelly) would make them less attractive to and loved by humans, which would break their collie hearts.

It is sort of like the cleaning question for humans. Do you have the genetic benefit of a good bite, floss regularly, brush after every meal, eat right and never have red wine or blueberries or cigarettes or coffee or tea of any kind and do you never eat candy and do you not grind your teeth or clench your jaws and if you can answer YES, categorically, to all these questions then a dentist for humans will tell you that you can probably cut down on your cleanings/checkups. Same for doggies. AS dogs age, their potential for tooth and gum problems also increase. The good bite question is very important. Some breeds/types and any crosses or "Heinz 57" mutts have inherited tooth and gum difficulties.

So, the answer for you might be to have the vet do the dog's annual checkup (allover, not just the teeth) and discuss this with the vet in a more in depth sort of way. Most dogs require anasthesia for a vet cleaning, and that can be detrimental. That does not eliminate, however, the often sensible need for tooth cleaning.

Years ago, when someone told me she brushed her dog's teeth I thought she was crazy. I wish I could find her and apologise. It really helps them. My 6 1/2 year old still has gleaming teeth and pink gums and never has bad breath. He LOOOOOVES getting his teeth brushed. We regard it as a treat and so does he. The younger guy (still a pup) is in "training" for his toothbrusing, and is now at the point where he BEGS to have his teeth brushed when the older one is getting his done. We are still working on sitting still for the back teeth, though, because His Puppiness is still thinking that is weird. Then again, he hasn't had those huge back molars very long, so I'm guessing he's still getting used to having those giant molars in the first place. The vet will remind you about the brushings, sort of like when you go to the human dentist and get "the Lecture".
 
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berkeley_yogi
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Fri September 08, 2006 4:04 PM
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Thank you Colliemom! I appreciate your feedback.

Both of my dogs are heinz 57 mixes from a shelter. Yogi reallly doesn't like having his teeth brushed, although he loves the flavor of the doggie toothpaste! I need to work on that with him!

Thanks!
 
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Shiplesp
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Fri September 08, 2006 4:15 PM
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Is your dog a chewer? You can spread the toothpaste on a rope chew toy (something he can actually sink his teeth into) and let him brush his own teeth. Also some pet suppiers sell "flossies" that are rope toys impregnated with a bacteria killing tooth product for dogs. I think Pet Edge has one.

Susan
 
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berkeley_yogi
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Mon September 11, 2006 10:28 AM
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My dog is definitely a chewer, but he only seems to chew something he can actually eat (like rawhides, or Kong treats). I will try putting some toothpaste on a rope toy and see how he does. I've tried the rope toy with floss and my other dog loves it, but Yogi didn't seem to be interested in it. Maybe toothpaste in combination with the floss rope will work for him. Thanks for the advice Sussan!
 
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littlebuddy
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Sun September 24, 2006 5:17 PM
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how the heck do you brush the teeth of a small dog! i have a tiny havanese and although he sits while i attempt to clean his teeth,the small childrens toothbrush i use won't even reach the back teeth. i have had his teeth cleaned twice already and he's not even 3 years old yet. i hate having him put under. i brush a couple times a week, i even put orajet to seal his teeth, that doesn't help much. he only eats his dog food and treats, a few rawhides, no junk. any tips? remember, small dog, very small mouth!
 
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colliemom
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Mon September 25, 2006 7:37 AM
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There are these lovely little rubber tip things that you can get to fit over your finger -- in this case, your little finger -- that come in sizes. There are also "wipes". These might be less struggle than a baby tooth brush. Ask the vet, check the 'net.
 
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