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Friend in Training
Friend in Training

Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi all, just getting it out of my system about my soon to be 9 year old pup and her appointment tomorrow.

Last week I finally booked an appointment for dental cleaning for my dog at My Pets Vets in Leigh.

Quick catch-up: A few years back she cut her cheek and the vets glued back a small piece of her cheek flap. After which the vets commented about noticing plaque on her back tooth on either side of her mouth. I had intended to follow up on it but life got in the way and it kind of fell onto the backburner, plus I was not too keen putting her under.

Her teeth even now doesn't seem bad. Nothing wobbly and the plaque is still there on those back teeth, but I do know appearances can be deceptive and I figured it's best to get on top of it now instead of when she's even older and her teeth got worse. In the time since, I did train her to be receptive to teeth cleaning (I use a silicon finger brush and Virbac toothpaste), and I sort of kick myself now for not starting it sooner, but in her younger age she could be aggressive about such things and so I always put it off.

Well, I decided to pull the trigger on it last week, and the appointment is due in 10 hours time. Thing is, since I booked it I've been worried sick and especially tonight unsure about going through with it. I know the risks are very small, but that is of little comfort to a worrier such as myself.

When I booked the appointment I had asked about a blood test to see if she's ok with the anesthesia but the receptionist's response made me feel stupid for asking because it seemed like she had no idea what I was talking about (even though I have read online about a pre screen blood test).

Has anyone else gone through the dental cleaning with her pup? What was it like? I guess I'm looking for words of comfort to settle my worries, because damn... I am worried, lol.

Thanks for listening.
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Friend for Life
Friend for Life

Joined: 04 Sep 2010
Posts: 4090
Location: Wirksworth, Derbys

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have never felt able to post on the health site before, and I can't allay anyone's fears about dental cleaning by the vet. But what I can do is share my experience of cleaning my dogs' teeth.

Years ago I would never have thought it necessary but when my vet commented on a dog beautifully groomed but with dirty teeth it woke me up to the fact that I had to do something about it. At the time I had Megan, aged 5 and my ex re-home Hartley, aged about 7. I started with one of the finger devices but it was not very efficient - soooo I had a radical thought - why not teach them to acccept a proper tooth brush, and why not an electric one.

So I bought a brush, not a well known make but one a little quieter than my own and I simply followed the standard process of gradually introducing it with suitable rewards. I started holding it quite a long way away, silent to begin with, then actually working. Every step was minute and the process was slow but eventually we got to the stage where Megan tolerated it - I mean, a sausage is a fair old treat. And so I continued, feeling very relieved and I must admit, well pleased. One dog, beautifully groomed and with nice clean teeth.

Then, of course, I had to think of Hartley who had watched with interest. Feeling rather apprehensive I started the process fully expecting him to say, "NO way, Jose" but to my surprise he soon tolerated it and so it became the norm for them both.

Many years later when Millie came to live with me I planned to try the same system with her. Now she is a lot more self willed than the other two and her first year had left her with many undesirable habits, not the least being that she really did expect to have all her own way and initially was prepared to be aggressive if I approached her food. Hardly surprising when considering her early life.

The first stages went quite well,( she certainly enjoyed the sausages!) but the live brush in her mouth was another thing. I remember tolerating a wriggling, growling body for a while then quite without thinking I snapped, "Now , sit still. You are having it - like it or not!" I had had need to be very firm with her over a food issue when I first had her so maybe it jerked that memory and there seemed to be a "UH OH" moment for she decided to sit still and in went the brush. And so we worked on that, and bit by bit it became simply part of her grooming. She doesn't enjoy it but she accepts it.

It might not work with your dog, but it might be worth a try; it certainly makes the job easier.

Good luck

Joy and Millie

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Friend for Life
Friend for Life

Joined: 20 Apr 2011
Posts: 9192
Location: East Kent, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Now I'm a worrier myself, especially where the dogs are concerned but what I do know is that anaesthetics are very much safer now than they were in the past. The main thing that needs checking is the heart that is far more important than pre anaesthetic blood tests which are actually a bit of a con. So if her heart is ok then normally there wouldn't be a problem. I have had to anaesthetise my now 13 year old spaniel (she was 12 at the time) who has a grade 4 heart murmer (long story but she needed an MRI scan) and she had no problems at all even with the heart condition.

Hope this helps a bit.

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Senior Friend
Senior Friend

Joined: 07 Aug 2010
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

You are right to be worried. The decision to have your dog have an anaesthetic or indeed any operation should not be taken lightly.
Firstly if you do not think you dog’s teeth are too bad then you may want to cancel the appointment. Some plaque on her back teeth is probably nothing to worry about. At her age it is probably expected. Are her gums okay? Hopefully her breath does not smell either. If you decide to cancel then maybe you could slowly and gently work up to a cleaning routine yourself, with a brush and very carefully with a tooth scaler. Make sure no plaque that comes off is swallowed by her though because of the bacteria.

If you do decide to go through with the appointment then you may want to find out a few things first. By the way is this your usual vet? It is best to have the procedure done by a vet that knows your dog’s history. I am surprised that the receptionist did not know about having a blood test first. It is best for your dog to have a check over first but also, if they have not recently had one, to have a blood test done prior to the procedure. The test will enable your vet to make sure there are no health problems regarding the blood cells or things like kidneys and that she is healthy enough for the anaesthetic and procedure.
The anaesthetic itself, as you know, is a worry. There are a couple of things you need to make sure your vet knows. One is the MDR1 gene mutation. Acepromazine (tranquiliser and pre-anaesthetic agent) and Butorphanol (analgesic and pre-anaesthetic agent) are both on the list of drugs known to cause problems for dogs with the MDR1 gene mutation and so should be avoided. Also, it seems, that, usually, Beardies do not need as much anaesthetic as other breeds. Apparently some Beardies are slow to induce to anaesthesia so the vet gives them more and then they can take longer to recover.
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Friend for Life
Friend for Life

Joined: 04 May 2012
Posts: 4518
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 4:02 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I was looking at these. Around the price of a GA (but cheaper than the whole vet bill probably)

Forever in our hearts, our boy Rummage, our lovely girl Ina & our gorgeous Tao, & floofy Barney & Princess grumpy Sally, playing together at Rainbow Bridge.
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