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Teeth cleaning/brushing
  • wliu003wliu003
    Posts: 222
    Hello everyone. couple of weeks ago when i was at the vet, i met this nice lady that told me that "people dont realize how important teeth cleaning is, it really lengthens their lives."

    im not really familiar with this procedure, but she said that it would take a whole day and that her dog really hates it. in fact her dog was actually shaking while we were chatting. is it just called "teeth cleaning?" and what does everyone think about the procedure?
  • TeamLaikaTeamLaika
    Posts: 188
    A proper dental cleaning is done with the dog under general anesthesia. The teeth are cleared of plaque and tartar with ultrasonic scalers. The gums are checked for any deep pockets. Teeth are inspected for fractures or wear that might expose the pulp cavity. Radiographs may or may not be taken depending on the results of above. If teeth are loose, fractured, or have evidence of decay they may be extracted. The teeth are then polished and mouth rinsed.

    Your dog can't "hate it" since he's not awake. He might or might not dislike being at the veterinary clinic in general. "Anesthesia-free" dentals are a poor concept. There is not a good way to access all the tooth surfaces (think of the part near the palate and tongue). Scalers and probes are sharp instruments and if the dog makes a sudden movement, gum lacerations are possible, and it is hard to clean under the gumline when the dog is awake (would be cosmetic only). The endotracheal tube prevents aspiration of all the tartar material, bacteria and water from rinse. *Dogs have not been taught to rinse and spit.

    What did your vet say about your dog's mouth during the visit?

    Yes, it can be a good idea. Envision the pain of a fractured tooth, exposed roots, exposed nerves and a bunch of bacteria with ready access to the bloodstream.
  • wliu003wliu003
    Posts: 222
    during the general checkup, the vet said that kellys teeth looked to be in great condition. What age is typically recommended for this procedure and how often?
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    I'm petrified to put my dogs under for anything, let alone unnecessary stuff. A good chew helps keep proper dental health.

    I think some dogs get something like periodontal disease if their teeth aren't cared for. Dogs fed solely canned or kibble tend to have dental issues.
  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    I give my pups raw meat and bones on a regular basis and that keeps their teeth sparkly clean. They don't even have dog breath! During general check-ups, the vet should take a look at the teeth. If the dog is eating and chewing comfortably, they don't have foul breath or visible signs of decay, and the vet says the teeth look okay, I would just keep up with the raw bones.

    Personally, I'd only put the dog under if it had really bad teeth caused by age, a genetic problem, or neglect of proper dental care. I think a dog's teeth should remain healthy his whole life under normal circumstances (no abnormal disease and proper care).
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    If you have a heavy chewer dental damage can occur particularly if nyalbones and chew hooves are provided. Many more dogs now get slab fractures and have cracks due to the heavy duty plastic chews on the market.

    If you can feed raw bones (never cooked) the dog is better off. Brushing helps too but having a regular check helps to make sure that the enamel has not sheered off. It is difficult to see since if generally happens further back on the 4th premolar at the top. Here is some info


    Dr. Pitcairn

    additional info about dental disease in pets and what to do.
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    I didn't want to specifically say raw... but now that you mentioned it :)

    Pigs feet are pretty awesome, as are turkey necks (both are fully edible/digestible for a 18-25lb dog). Though, at first a kibble fed dog might not have a clue and try to inhale the parts, so its beneficial to hold one end and let her gnaw at the other while she gets the hang of it.
    Shiba + Pig Foot:

    To prevent any stomach upset, try feeding any raw about 12 hours before or after a kibble meal. The bone content will bind the stool pretty well, but there is always a chance for potty issues the first few times a dog eats raw.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    With my old boxer we had to do some teeth cleanings after going through Katrina her teeth went pretty bad we always brushed her teeth, but her teeth would always get bad after that.

    I didn't really think about the nylabone we've had so much trouble finding a good chew toy for Bella we got a nylabone which I don't really like that much, but can't do rawhides my past dogs would fight over them eat them then puke them out. I might have to look into giving her bones we got a local butcher around so I'm sure they got some bones.

    I didn't know pig's foot were ok to get dogs I might have to try those. It's great that the raw diet is so good for their teeth right now I don't think I'll be able to do it, but I plan to try it one I'm able to intill then I'll do my research on it..
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    I also believe just as in some people the teeth and dentition issues are somewhat genetic. It's a crap shoot which dog will have an ultimate problem. Certain medications can affect the teeth and gums so read package warnings if you are giving items for IBD or cyclosporine.

    Whatever product you get for your pets to chew on it should have some flex. Something that you can stick you fingernail into and it gives. I have heard (but haven not tried) that soaking raw hide before giving them works for some.

    The dental vet indicates that the enamel on dogs teeth are not thicker than on a humans so they do have a propensity to sheer if the dogs are given too hard of an object. A dental repair can cost a lot of money!! No point going there if you don't have to. We give chews in the crates so there are no dogs fight. One of ours can not have rawhide for digestion reasons and we are investigating the raw knuckle bones.

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2009-06-21 12:14:54
  • shirapup32shirapup32
    Posts: 100
    I'm a little confused about the 'raw' bones talk. Can you get these from a grocer with a section for bones that you use for cooking, such as making soup? On the other hand, my father was a chef and has access to a lot of bones he could bring home, but I know that our old German Shepherd dog would splinter even bones from beef. Is this more likely to be because they weren't the right kind to give to a dog or because she was allowed to chew on them for too long? My parents said they just gave the bones to her until they splintered and I'm thinking that was a very bad idea.
    Post edited by shirapup32 at 2009-06-21 12:15:22
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814

    I believe it is the type of bone ....I understand that Knuckle bones are good. However, I am going to let Jen answer this one until I get more info. I am told that raw bones have some flex along with cartilage and that is better than cooked where the bones actually become desiccated and splinter and can cause multiple digestive problems for some.

  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    Shira is small enough that a beef marrow bone (soup bone) would be safe-ish for her. I would caution that they are called wreck bones for a reason, because left unattended with the bone the dog may start to gnaw at the bone itself and it will splinter and there will be tooth damage. You have to get the right kind of raw marrow bone and monitor your dog (especially the first time). I posted about it, with pics, here:

    The only thing I want my dogs to get out of marrow bones are the marrow and gnawing at the meat/tissue on the outside of the bone. As soon as they start gnawing at the actual bone to break it off, I take them away. The beef bones are far too hard and will cause issues, even when raw.

    Jess - As shira probably still has her puppy teeth, these are probably ok for her to gnaw on FROZEN, give her gums and jaw a good workout. If you are interested in other raw digestible bones (chicken/turkey), let me know. I can walk you through it :)

    SnF - I know a lot of people who prefer pork hocks/knuckles for medium sized dogs because the dog can get a full benefit from the skin to the tendons to the meat to the actual bone (digestible). Pigs feet are a great way to start if your dogs aren't particularly used to chewing on a raw pork part, then work up to a knuckle. Our pups have a blast with feet!

    Really the mantra is appropriately "know thy dog" when it comes to eating kibble, chew toys or raw. You have to determine the safety level of things based on your dog's propensity to inhale food or if they are a power chewer...
    Post edited by tsukitsune at 2009-06-21 16:43:00
  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    There are varying opinions on which bones are safe and which are not, but knowing your individual dog is the most important thing. If you're just starting out, it's probably best to just start with raw meat, no bone, see how that goes, then you can try something pretty easy to chew, like chicken necks.

    Rakka chewed through a beef marrow bone once, so apparently her jaws are monster strong.
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    Edible raw bones are a stool binding agent in a raw diet, dogs fed mostly just raw meat usually have a bowel issue until they are used to it if not fed edible bones at the same time.... at least mine did/do.

    Rakka must have incredible jaws AND teeth - no damage at all after that?
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Just to throw out there, when we took Tikaani to the vet dentist (he had Base Narrow Canine) the price for just the visit was $140. Price for a regular vet visit for us is $35, so that's a pretty big difference when it comes to just being looked at.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    I heard of 1 vet in Cali that did an anesthetic free dental cleaning years back, supposed to be "stress free". I don't know how it would be possible to do a thourough cleaning without restraint or a general anesthetic.

    Some breeds and types of dogs are much more prone to tooth decay. We see a lot of greyhounds and rescued racers with absolutely horrid teeth. I thought it was because of how they were fed initially at the tracks, a 4-D mush that was slurpable thru their basket muzzles which they always wore. It seemed that even after full p+p's and consistent daily oral care the greys still have severe dental disease throughout their lives. It's a huge challange for the owners.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • Reilly is a lurcher (half greyhound) - has never seen a track- and her teeth are very soft and not exactly pearly white, so I think its a greyhound thing. (Her bark really IS much worse than her bite...) She has eaten good quality kibbles for dog food all her life, and she enjoys chewing hard things like bones and nylabones, bullysticks, rawhides, but has worn her poor teeth down to little Berkshire hills, unlike the Grand Tetons in Sage's mouth. I have often wondered if I had begun her with raw bones if it would not have gotten as bad as it is. However that said, her breath is not foul, and my vet examines her teeth at every checkup but he says she has lots of wear and discoloration but no actual disease, tartar or inflammation or gum problems and that it is not medically necessary to put her under and scrape. I think her teeth are just soft and prone to discolor because she has so much greyhound in her. Sage eats what Rei eats, but is not a chewer, yet his teeth are still sparkling white.
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    For what its worth, there are a few members of dogster's raw forums with greyhounds (rescues) who say nothing has ever been better for their overall health but still have it's a constant battle to fight back the calculus even on raw.
  • So I don't know where this belongs but thought I'd share. I know @sunyata can't have Bella? (or was it Nola?)'s teeth cleaned by going under, and maybe others have this as well.

    I stumbled across who claim to have a procedure that doesn't involve anesthesia.

    Hope it's helpful.

  • BragiBragi
    Posts: 33
    I have a question here. My 10 month old teeth are all white and perfect, but recently in the past week I noticed that he has some mild tartar/plaque on his canines close to his gums. He always has a bully stick, antler, nylabones and things to chew on and I brush his teeth right now only once a week. Should I up the brushing to once a day? will that remove the plaque on the two top canines? Or should I take him in for cleaning?
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    If it has already formed tartar it might be hard to remove by brushing, but I would start by brushing more often and maybe use a better "tooth paste". At least you may prevent more buildup.

    Juni recently had her teeth cleaned. She gets plaque very easily since she doesn't like to chew on anything hard. I am trying to remember to brush her teeth daily now as per the vet's recommendation. She said tartar builds up in a week roughly. We bought a tooth paste called Stomadine LP that contains chlorhexidin but still has a nice taste that we should use 2-3 times a week and is effective for killing bacterias.

    I would put off cleaning until it is worse than just a bit of tartar, it is still a procedure where the dog needs to be sedated etc.
    Post edited by Juni at 2015-10-08 00:49:57
  • BragiBragi
    Posts: 33
    @Juni Thank you.
    Just an update, after he finished is last meal today i brushed his teeth and the majority of the tartar close to his gum just fell off, there was really light blood, I used a tissue to wipe his teeth after I was done and there was a barely noticeably spot of red/pink. Should I take him to see the vet immediately?
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    No. It bleeds when you brush your teeth too sometimes doesn't it? If it bleeds regularly when you brush his teeth it may indicate an infection but I would start by trying to brush or rub with something that kills the germs, that should solve the problem in a few days I think.
  • Does anybody use oratene in the water bowl? It seems to be working well for Otto. He has clean teeth and doesn't have bad breath.
  • @Ottotheshiba-I have been using Oratene in Quake's water bowl. It seems to be working.
  • BragiBragi
    Posts: 33
    @Antoinette do you still brush his teeth or is that all he needs? Or what other products do you use?
  • @Ottotheshiba I also use Oratene in Dakota's drinking water (not every day, maybe every other). It seems to have quite amazing results -- and my vet said it was fine. Also try to supplement with brushing and the Virbac dental chews (veggie kind).
  • My vet also said is was safe. I was told it doesn't replace brushing, but it looks like it does. The truth is Otto won't let me brush his teeth. The only brushing that gets done is pretty ineffective.
  • @Bragi-brushing is very limited. He either runs away when I try to brush his teeth or he wants to take the toothbrush away and treat it like a chew toy!!
  • Midas, our shiba is 2.5 years old. We brush his teeth once per week but he really hates it therefore it does not turn out to be very thorough....we have noticed some tartar mild tartar build what age do Shiba's generally get their first dental cleaning?
    Posts: 48
    We brush our boy's teeth every second or third day. Sometimes the brushing is more thorough than other times :)

    On the other days, we use Nylabone Dental Foam. You might want to try that, as it is less invasive than brushing. You might be able to do that on some non-brushing days. It may help?

    That said, our boy is almost 3 years old and according to our vet, has at least a year before she'll recommend a dental cleaning. He does have minor tartar build up also, near the back molars.
    Post edited by EJH at 2017-01-06 00:02:12
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    Oratene water additive works well. Hooves, antlers, bully sticks too.
    Post edited by knnwang at 2017-01-12 03:30:03
  • MooseMoose
    Posts: 41
    Do any of your dogs try to swallow the bones whole? My mom's dog (pekingese) likes to do that, so we have to give super large bones so she can't swallow it... I'm terrified my Shiba will do that.
    Posts: 412
    @Moose - I've found that the shibas I've been around are generally dainty and nibble instead of just trying to inhale it. Supervise your pup first and see how they do with it, and gently correct them if they start trying to eat it to quickly or are too rough.
  • Ninu21Ninu21
    Posts: 14
    At what age should you start brushing their teeth? I've found puppy nylabones but haven't bought any yet because he hasn't started teething.
  • spacedogsspacedogs
    Posts: 361
    It's never too early to start desensitizing them to the process of teeth brushing! Even if they're gonna lose those puppy teeth, use the opportunity to bond and teach them that toothbrushes are good things and getting their teeth brushed is a rewarding and happy process.
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    I've tried to introduce teeth brushing since Mochi was young but she still won't let us anywhere near her teeth. I can't brush her teeth because she starts getting agitated when we try to.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 776
    I can get the toothbrush in--but then it becomes a tug of war XD He really loves the toothpaste, though.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1269
    I started "brushing" Ozzy's teeth very soon after I got him. There wasn't much brushing at the beginning. Mostly just letting him get used to it. Ozzy is a total pro at teeth brushing and nail trimming now, so glad he started early hehe.
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    @anjyil seriously though! Mochi thinks it's a game and I'm like uh uh little girl! One time she did the kill shake on the toothbrush and sent it flying away from us.

    @lilikoi I feel like Ozzy is so well behaved and such an angel because he takes good pictures, doesn't give you trouble on handling, and seems to listen to your commands ;)) I started with Mochi since she was 8 weeks (lots of treats and praise) and she still throws a fit at the smallest splash of water.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 776
    @Mochi920 oh dear! I can just picture the spittle and paste flying everywhere! lol
  • ObizaObiza
    Posts: 69
    My husband is still amazed Rusty lets me brush his teeth. He thought I'd get my hand bit the first time but he's so docile he just lays on his side for me.He never opens his mouth wide enough for me to get the insides of his teeth though. He also feels the need to lick nonstop the whole time so there's a lot of tongue action in the way. I think he's licking even more now that I switched to C.E.T vanilla mint toothpaste. He tried to eat the cap once when it rolled out of my reach... apparently he approves of the taste!

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