I'm new to the forum but am looking for a little advice on my 12 yr. old German Shepherd, Jesse.
She's in really good condition for her age and hasn't had many health problems, *knock wood*. I've noticed in the last while that she doesn't devour her food with the same fervour that she used to. She still begs and wants her dinner, but she eats far more slowly and looks as though she's having difficulty. I got a good look in her mouth the other day and noticed that her 2 top molar teeth are both pretty rotten looking. One also appears cracked. I've never done any dental care for my dog such as brushing or professional dental care. She's always eaten hard food.
I will take her to the vets this week to get them looked at. We have a very nice vet but I'm not sure she's the most thorough or knowledgable. My question for the dogowners here is, what do you think I can anticipate hearing from the vet about what we'll need to do for her???
Probably a teeth cleaning and removal of any dead teeth. Dogs can get along pretty well without some of their teeth, though you may have to adjust her food if she's having trouble eating. (Premium quality canned foods are good for older dogs since they also contain more water, which is good for aging kidneys.)
Your vet will probably also do a thorough check of your dog's heart. Dental infections can be very damaging to a dog's (or a human's) heart. Knock wood there are no problems.