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Question about Tooth Problems

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.

  
joey

I'm working on- three toys!
 
 
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 3:05pm PST 
Joey has been licking his paws a lot (may be allergies, upset digestive system, OCD, boredom or something else) and also swallowing a lot. The vet isn't sure what's wrong, but thought there might be 2 possibilities for the swallowing (and occasional burping now - that's new). She said that he could have dental problems, or some distress somewhere (stomach or wherever).

I know that bacteria buildup on the teeth is not good. Joey's around 8 now, and I'm wondering if there is something wrong in his mouth. What I'm not sure about is how the vet can determine that. Do they need to do x-rays? Teeth cleaning?

Has anyone on here had dental problems diagnosed? if so, how was it done, and what symptoms did you notice for your dog?
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Dunkin

976216
 
 
Barked: Mon Nov 12, '12 3:36pm PST 
Some problems of tooth decay or gum disease can be seen by just looking in the mouth. I had one small rescue that had to have many teeth pulled due to problems with his mouth. They did no x-rays at all. But you may have something different them my little guy. I hope your dog feels better soon
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Savannah (In- Memory)

1248293
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 7:55am PST 
Savannah has been having similar problems, but only at night. I will wake up and she seems to be obsessively licking her forearms, lick-smacking, and swallowing. We have tried changing her food, feeding more frequent smaller meals, treats before bed, Pepcid, Zantac, SEB, different temperatures, I can't even remember what else we've tried with no luck. Bloodwork is OK other than slightly elevated creatinine, no dehydration, no observable GI issues, no signs of infection, no parasites, no skin irritation. Last vet visit the vet discovered she had a loose infected tooth despite us brushing regularly. At last we thought we might have found the cause of her nighttime licking. She had a round of antibiotics, then a dental (scary for mom since she is 13-1/2) where they did x-rays and ended up extracting two teeth, and another round of antibiotics. She healed up great, BUT... the licking continues! So I hope you can solve this, Joey, and help us out, too!
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Savannah (In- Memory)

1248293
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 8:08am PST 
Silly me, I didn't even answer your original question. Her dental problems were diagnosed just by the vet poking around in her mouth. A vet can diagnose tartar, gum disease, infection, abscesses, loose teeth etc usually just by looking and poking a bit. Savannah had x-rays while she was sedated for the dental to make sure there weren't any hidden problem areas. They get a better idea of what's going on in there once the pet is sedated. The antibiotics before the procedure were so that once the infected tooth was removed it wouldn't flood the bloodstream with toxins. Our vet uses isofluorane (sp?) which is a safer anesthetic gas, administers fluids during the procedure, and does pulse ox and BP monitoring throughout.
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joey

I'm working on- three toys!
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 6:23pm PST 
Well, this is really frustrating, Savannah, and I hope that we can both get it solved. I have also done countless things to try to get Joey to stop licking and swallowing - many diet changes, apple cider vinegar, fish oil, snack at night, pepcid, and even (on my own, based on what someone else here was told by their vet to try) given Joey Prilosec for a 1 1/2 week period. I even bought a cheap humidifier to see if he just needed more moisture in the bedroom - although I haven't used it enough to see if it helps. I'm also a bit worried about mold allergy, since early on I noticed the paw licking seemed to get worse on rainy days.

Nothing has really worked. I still wake up around 2:30 or 3:30 AM hearing him swallowing, and then later in early morning. I know it is dry in my house, especially my bedroom, now that the heat goes on, but between my allergies and his possible allergies, I have not tried to open windows and get a little more moisture in. Besides, the swallowing is not JUST at night, though it seems to occur more then than during the day.

The things I wonder about are: allergies (food or enviro), tooth problems, digestion problems, recurrence of the mast cell cancer he had 2 years ago (some dogs itch because of it), habit, boredom or just OCD, and sensitive stomach. I sometimes wonder if I should give him a low fat diet in case he's sensitive to that.

The vet doesn't seem too concerned, and I think he thinks I'm a big worry wart, but the paw licking has progressed to a lot of swallowing and some burping, so obviously I'm doing something wrong. I thought of trying Gas-X when another dog owner told me her vet had recommended that for her dog. I DO use it on occasion, but not routinely. I've decided that I HAVE to stop experimenting with new food, and just pick one and stick with it for at least 2 months in case Joey's stomach is confused by too many changes. I'm now feeding Nature's Variety Instinct limited ingredient diet (turkey and tapioca) and plan to stick with that. It was a little constipating before, but I can add pumpkin or brown rice to remedy that. I am also NOT giving Joey anything after 8 PM in case he has acid reflux. (I recently tried a very moistened small amount of kibble before bed with awful results, so I don't think the small snack at bedtime is a good idea for him.) I also tried Prozyme early on, but it didn't help with the paw licking. I recently tried a kibble that claimed to have digestive enzymes, but the licking increased with that, so I'm a bit afraid to try probiotics. Besides, it's hard to know which are actually live and active, and which are just marketing ploys.

I guess I'm just going to take him back to the vet, put my foot down, and ask for some basic tests (his vet generally doesn't believe in doing them unless there's a specific problem) and what the vet recommends. Of course, the vet will likely recommend prick testing for allergies, since when this 2 plus year journey started, we thought the paw licking might be due to allergies. I can't take it any more. I'll let you know if I discover anything. I DO know that some foods are more likely to cause gas than others, so if you think Savannah could be suffering from gas (burping or the other kind!) I can give you a good link to look at.

As for Savannah, maybe her dental problems were causing her to lick and swallow, and now she does it out of habit - maybe? Dry mouth? Post nasal drip? Dry skin now that you've (maybe) turned on the heat?

It's weird, because someone else on Dogster has a dog with the same night-time swallowing problem, and she also thought she had it solved after dental work was done. Then it started again....

Sorry for the blabbing and rant, but I'm very, very frustrated now.

Edited by author Tue Nov 13, '12 6:30pm PST

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joey

I'm working on- three toys!
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 6:31pm PST 
Meant to ask, Savannah: What is SEB?
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Scruffy- (RIP)

In Loving Memory
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 10:08pm PST 
Have you tried ginger? It helps with nausea. Sometimes dogs lick and swallow a lot when nauseous. You just grate a little bit of fresh ginger over the food and serve. Our vet recommended it recently for Scruffy and it seems to help.

Edited by author Tue Nov 13, '12 10:16pm PST

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Savannah (In- Memory)

1248293
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 8:11am PST 
Sorry Joey, it's Slippery Elm Bark, it's an herbal remedy for upset tummies. Savannah loves it when it's mixed with water to form a slippery gruel. Unfortunately it hasn't helped with the nighttime licking but it was great when she had a spate of vomiting to sooth her irritated GI tract.
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joey

I'm working on- three toys!
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 12:57pm PST 
Thanks, Scruffy. I hadn't thought about ginger in a long time. I will try that.

As to slippery elm bark, I think I tried that a while back and Joey licked even more (story of my life!) so I panicked and stopped using it.

I took him to the groomer today to get a bath (he won't let me do it), as that seems to calm him down a little bit when the paw licking is bad. Unfortunately, he has been licking this afternoon, so I don't know if it helped, but we'll see.

I also stopped in at a pet store while he was getting his bath. The sales clerk mentioned that while there isn't much pollen left this time of year, there IS a lot of mold due to all the leaves that are coming down, plus recent rain, and Hurricane Sandy's wetness before that. The clerk suggested that I continue the food I have him on for at least a month before making any changes - which I know I should do, but sometimes find hard to do.

Meanwhile, I just realized that I did NOT wake up in the middle of the night last night to swallowing, which is a good thing! Maybe I just slept sounder than usual, or maybe the increased humidity from a very-slightly open window helped, but in any case, I'm hoping it was because Joey's night-time swallowing is taking a short break.
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Member Since
11/20/2012
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 9:15pm PST 
Hello Everyone,
I hope someone can help me.My dogs canine is loose and will need to be extracted. I wanted to know if anyone could refer an affordable vet I live in montgomery county pa but I am willing to travel. I really need to find someone soon.
Thanks

Edited by author Tue Nov 20, '12 9:19pm PST

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