Dental for a 12yo?

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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Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 7:10pm PST 
Sanka is going to the vet for yet another ear infection, grrr.

But, I've been contemplating on also getting him a thorough dental cleaning. I think some of his "funk" is from his mouth, and his habitually licking of himself may contribute to his general smelliness. His teeth really aren't all that bad plague-wise, but the thing holding me up is his age and if it's really worth it at this point.

He's quite spry for 12. He's had surgery twice for his ears and never had any major complications from it.

Would you put a 12-year-old dog through a dental cleaning?

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 7:41pm PST 
Personally no. If he is still in relatively good shape you could I guess. I can't put Sabs under, so when her teeth started to get icky a few months back I was concerned. I gave her a few extra dental chews and a huge meaty ham knuckle. Cleaned them right up. I just had to deal with a slimy knawed bone since she can't have bonelaugh out loud

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 7:49pm PST 
I would really hesitate with a 12 year old to be honest. If you and the vet think he is healthy enough I would at least want bloodwork and possibly a chest x-ray to try to see if there was anything going on before taking the risk of putting a dog that age under just for a dental cleaning. I would really consider trying something like that "Plaque Attack" or some other options unless he needed surgery for something else that was more risk to his well being than the anesthesia. JMHO.

Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 4:42am PST 
Thomas my mini poodle had his done at 13. It's been a couple of years and they are still great! He did have some really deep pockets of gunk, even though his teeth didn't look all that bad.
We did basic bloodwork prior to and then kept him on antibiotics for 10 days after. BIG difference in his whole attitude and SMELL!!!
Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 4:58am PST 
I would definitely talk to your vet. If they feel it's really medically necessary, I would consider it, but if it's just a cleaning and not essential to the dogs health besides bad breath, I wouldn't do it. It's definitely something to discuss.

Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 5:03am PST 
My 11yr old min pin recently had a dental. Her teeth were not terrible, really only her molars had a tad bit of tartar build up but I figured best to do it now before she was older and needed one badly. I really regret the decision. Although Zoe did great and her teeth were sparkling clean, I have to scale and brush her teeth so much more often than before. It is like they took off the protective coating her teeth had. She never had buildup in her canines and littler teeth leading back to her molars now, I have to scale them atleast 3 times a week and although it comes off easily, Zoe is not into it very much. The sheen her teeth had before is gone, now they look dull. If your dog is not offended by you cleaning them, I would not do the dental. I do not know if this is typical. My chihuahua has had a dental and needs another, but she is not as easy to brush and I would never bring a scaler near her. She is way to scared and jumpy for that and I have no one to hold her. I scale and brush Bella and Xmas's teeth. Bella also has bad teeth and she had a dental about a year ago. I clean her teeth as well. Xmas has perfect teeth but she is only 4. They all have chews and such, although Bella is very limited on the time she can use them.
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 12:37pm PST 
Someone, forgot who, previously mentioned "putting a dog under anesthesia for JUST a dental", (Caps mine)... Tooth problems and decay cause way, way more deaths than anesthesia does!! There is a direct correlation between tooth problems and serious heart infections, arthritis and bone infections and general sepsis of ANY organ as infection from the mouth is one of the fastest traveling infections.
I would not hesitate for one minute to have my dog get anesthesia for a dental if he needed a dental... he is far more likely to die from the tooth problems than the anesthesia, and that even goes for my Frenchies who can and often do have issues with anesthesia.
Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 1:24pm PST 
Building on that, a good vet will not do a dental at the same time as another surgery. All that dirty buildup that is already an infection risk can directly enter the blood stream through any small cuts to the gums - which are common during a dental. To have that going on while you are cutting and creating another wound is just irresponsible.

I would confer with your vet about it. I've known dogs whose owners were sure needed a dental, and their vet said it wasn't actually that bad... And I've known dogs with teeth that appeared fine but turned out to have less visible problems in need of work.

Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 5:40pm PST 
Just to add weight, my previous maltipoo had dentals up till 14 or 15. Blood work was done before putting her under, and she was a very healthy dog, but her teeth were never good. Because of all the secondary effects of bad teeth, that were mentioned, we always did the dentals. Cassie never had a problem with the anesthesia, but talk to your vet.

I love Agility
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 6:17pm PST 
I had Remmy into the Vet to have his ears checked and when he checked his teeth, he at first said they were in good shape, but then noticed he had a loose tooth. I took him in yesterday and they pulled the loose tooth and did a dental cleaning at the same time. It cost me $160.00 but they also gave me a 5 lb. bag of T/D Oral health small bites which are about $35.00 a bag so it was very reasonable. It helps that they also give a Seniors Discount.
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