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How often do you get your dog's teeth cleaned?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Mingo, CGC

Where's the- ball?
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 21, '09 6:50pm PST 
The last time Mingo had his teeth cleaned by the vet (where they actually put him under anesthesia to do it) was about a year-and-a-half ago. Since then, I haven't been very successful in brushing his teeth, b/c he licks the toothpaste off before I can accomplish much. His teeth have a bit of a yellowish tint to them, so I feel like it might be time to have them cleaned again.

However, I'm hesitant to have him put under anesthesia too often, especially if it's not necessary. He has already had surgery twice this year for a foot papilloma that was causing him to limp.

So, my question--how often do you get your dog's teeth cleaned? How often is too often for a small dog to undergo general anesthesia?

Of course, these are questions I will ask my vet, but I thought I'd touch base here, just to see what you guys' experiences have been.

Thanks!
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Lilith

I'm a trilingual- dog!
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 21, '09 6:54pm PST 
We've never gotten the dogs' teeth cleaned, not even our 12 year old. They've all been tolerant of teethbrushing and raw helps them out a whole lot.

As for anesthesia.. well, I suppose if your bloodwork comes back clean, you could be put under every year or so.. Lilith was put under 4 times within 2 months just recently for surgery.. not something I would suggest but that's just an extreme case.
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Pippin CGC

King- Dingleberry!
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 21, '09 6:55pm PST 
I don't have my dogs teeth cleaned...I feed a raw diet & that keeps them sparkly white!cheer
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Mingo, CGC

Where's the- ball?
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 21, '09 7:03pm PST 
My guy eats high quality dry food, but I'm afraid raw is too complicated for me...thinking
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Pippin CGC

King- Dingleberry!
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 21, '09 7:10pm PST 
Mingo, Raw is a lot less complicated than it seems...Even if you just give a good meaty bone now & again it help greatly!...You'd be surprised!
Why don't you stop in over at the raw feeding forum & ask specifically about bones that clean teeth?winkcheer
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Tucker, CGC,- TDI

Bloggin' Dog
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 21, '09 7:28pm PST 
Mingo, to answer your question, my two current dogs (six year old Tucker, a PPuff Chinese Crested and two year old Phoebe, a Brussels Griffon/Yorkie mix) have never had their teeth professionally cleaned. Up until about five weeks ago, they were on a diet of premium kibble in the morning (Orijen, Wellness, Nature's Variety, etc.) and premade raw (Nature's Variety, Bravo, etc.) in the evening, and got a RMB (raw meaty bone) once a week for teeth cleaning and recreational chewing.

About a year and a half ago, my vet told me that Tucker's teeth could use a dental cleaning, but because I was uneasy about the anesthesia, I looked into other avenues. I was already brushing his teeth a few times a week, so I stepped up that effort and tried really hard to do it every day. I have been told that even taking a piece of sterile gauze and wiping the teeth and gums can go a long way. I started giving a RMB two or three times a week instead of once a week, and I started using Petzlife spray, which I found an ad for in Animal Wellness magazine. (They also have a gel.) I'm not sure exactly what to attribute the improvement to, but at his last checkup, my vet told me that there had been a significant improvement and that she felt a dental cleaning was no longer needed. Phoebe has been on this same regimen, and the vet says her teeth and gums are very healthy.

BUT - five weeks ago I switched my dogs to a completely raw diet, and I can already tell a positive difference in the condition of their teeth. I can't wait to take him in to his checkup in January and show the vet how clean and white his teeth are getting.

** I also had a Malamute mix for sixteen years who was on raw diet from about five or six months old. He had one dental cleaning in his life at age twelve or thirteen, when he was already going under anesthesia to remove a suspected malignant tumor, but even the vet said that it was not technically necessary.

P.S. You are adorable, by the way! smile
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Fritz

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 21, '09 8:18pm PST 
No one has teeth bad enough to need to be put under to be cleaned, not even Auda and he is ten.

Raw feeding or even a weekly raw meaty bone will go a long way toward keeping teeth white and clean. Fritz's teeth were done when his tooth was pulled because he was going to be under anyway. (no one else has ever had their teeth cleaned)

I would consider having the teeth done only if your dog is being put under anesthesia for some other reason unless his teeth are so bad, your vet recommend doing a cleaning.

As for tooth brushing, don't worry about the paste. It is the brushing that makes the big difference, as long as your dog will let you brush, licking off the toothpaste shouldn't make much of a difference.
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Delta Force- CGC RN NA- RL1

Raw Fed and- Happy
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 21, '09 10:20pm PST 
Honda was never on a raw diet and ate Nutro all her life. She never had a teeth cleaning and back when I didn't know better, I only brushed her teeth maybe once every two months. Lol I know... didn't really help much. But right before she died (when we found out she had bone cancer), she did go in for a dental. The vet said her teeth were in great condition for a dog her age and that she didn't really need one... but they were also going to xray and do r.o.m. on her hind quarters so we went ahead and did it.

Honestly, she always had something to chew on... and I think that's what does it....
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Byron

Small dogs can- have BIG jobs!
 
 
Barked: Sun Nov 22, '09 12:35am PST 
Some dogs are more prone to bad teeth and periodontal disease. So it depends on your personal dog... less so on what other people do. Byron eats raw and has his teeth done when needed... usually yearly. I brush his teeth nightly. You don't really need to use toothpaste. Just warm water on the bristles to soften them. It is less about the tartar you see on the teeth and more about the nastiness under the gums that can cause tooth loss and heart problems. So I think a vet visit is in order.
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Zoey

Zoom Zoom Zoom
 
 
Barked: Sun Nov 22, '09 5:57am PST 
I've had my teeth-cleaned several times, however since I am a high anesthesia risk (hydrocephalus) mom just scrapes them while I am awake, and follows with polish and fluoride. She is going to get some of the Petz Life Oral Gel that can be found at Petsmart, as she's heard it works wonders. Mom is also looking into giving us RMB a couple times a week as us Chi's are very prone to tartar buildup. Mom had a Westie who had his teethcleaned about every 4-6 months for life under anesthestic with bloodwork every other time, and he did not have any ill effects from it. He would have been at higher risk for heart, kidney, liver issues from not cleaning his teeth, as the bacteria from their mouths travels through their system.
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