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Clean Teeth and Deer Antlers?

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your dog's diet, please contact your vet!

  
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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 21, '13 10:00am PST 
Dogs number one and two have beautiful white teeth. Dogs number three and four have some tartar. Am puzzled as to why, because about the same proportion of meaty bone is given.

I bought a chewy with a ring of deer antler attached and they loved it? I will happily go out and buy them more, but wondered...might this help with the tartar?
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 21, '13 10:44am PST 
I firmly believe some tarter buildup is GENETIC! Having bred many different lines in several different breeds over the years, as well as observed their relatives living with other breeders, I have found that certain lines of my dogs, especially the toy breeds, will build tarter while the majority of them, on the exact same diet and chew toys, have sparkling white teeth right into old age.
With a bit more research, I discovered these dogs were all closely related... father/daughter, brother/sister, etc.
While diet and dental care certainly helps, sadly, it is not a cure all for all.
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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 21, '13 10:48am PST 
Okay...and that may be the case. The two with Tartar are both smaller dogs...and younger. The two big ones, at 6 and 5 have beautiful white teeth...

And little Dubs and Cookie need a brushing, according to the vet.
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Kolbe

Where can I run- today?
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 21, '13 12:06pm PST 
Kolbe and Guster have always primarily had the exact same diet, same meaty bones -- Kolbe's teeth are always, always worse than Guster's and they get cruddy looking much faster than his do. She has also broken a front canine in the past playing a simple game of bitey-face with Guster, and broken a back molar on who knows what...that was even back when I was only feeding pliable chicken bones and that was it. I agree with Toto that I think genetics can play a big role. So anyway, I think antlers are a good addition if they work for you, we have never tried them before! But this might be a recurring pattern throughout their lives where these 2 particular dogs are going to generally need more dental attention than the others.
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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 21, '13 12:20pm PST 
Well, I can always give the antlers a shot. It makes them really happy too, so if I still need to brush...or other methods I can't lose by letting them have some antlers.
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Madison- Ainsley

I- ammmmm....Hoooow- ie Girl!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 21, '13 9:29pm PST 
Geez, we find antlers on our hikes all the time, my dogs just pick them up and carry them around sorta like "scoreeeee....and its alllll...mine" then they get on another sniff and then so much for the antler.
I have two antlers that I have kept as they are so big, they are decorating a side table as our house is decorated in lodge style but the dogs could care less.
I have to agree with the other posters about genetics, we see so many smaller dogs with dental problems, much more than we do with the larger dogs. We also see more dogs with dental problems when they are few a "not so great diet".
Brushing the teeth every day can definately have a positive effect on keeping the gums and teeth in good condition.
My dogs and cats love their teeth brushed, they seem to think it is a treat, but we do use chicken flavored toothpaste, probably if I used the vanilla mint flavor they would not think it was so fun especially the cats.
dog
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Rexy

I dig in mud- puddles!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 21, '13 11:04pm PST 
Here's another vote for it being partially a genetic issue.

I have two cats (brothers) who both had awful teeth. To the point where the majority of those teeth have since been removed. It didn't matter how much brushing, enzimatic toothpaste, enzymatic gel etc we used, the tartar just kept building up. And this was with fairly regular dentals.

Rexy on the other hand, has very nice teeth. No noticeable build-up, some staining is all, and she has never had a dental (and is now 5 years old).
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Conker

OBEY ME!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 12:29am PST 
I think it's in part genetic, but also depends on diet and chewing habits.
Juneau and Sasha are sisters. Sasha's teeth have always been worse than Juneau's. She hardly chews anything, Juneau chews very carefully. Conker on the other hand, if he is not given a good meaty bone every now and then, tartar will build up fast. But all he needs are a few turkey necks and it'll get scraped off easy. The Girls don't get buildup as quickly, but when they do, it takes a lot longer to get it off.

Anywho, I have not noticed much improvement with antler chews, and the Girls no longer get them due to previously broken teeth so I don't chance it with them anymore. I see a lot better results with turkey backs and necks, but that is my experience.
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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 6:16am PST 
Both of the pups concerned are on the small side, about 25-30 lbs. They have different chewing styles. Dubs switches meaty bones to her side jaw and munches away, perhaps missing the canines. Cookie is kind of delicate boned and has to be coaxed to eat boney meats. But she does pretty well for a little fine boned dog. We are talking chicken legs or wings.

I'm going out and getting the brushing stuff and some chicken flavored tooth paste. Both pups enjoy being "messed with" so think this will work fine.
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 11:10am PST 
There is a huge genetic aspect. I rescued Ember at 2 years old and her teeth had started to rot out. Fox was rescued a few months later at 6 years old with the whitest teeth I have ever seen on a dog over a year old. They eat exactly the same thing - same amount and everything. Ems teeth are still disgusting, but thankfully are holding out so far. I'm pretty sure she'll need a canine and a few others pulled someday. Fox's teeth are still the whitest I have ever seen on a dog over a year old.

In any case, I haven't found antlers to help much. They're more for long-lasting entertainment than teeth cleaning. Ember's hard rubber treat toys seem to help, if nothing else because she'll gently gnaw on them for up to 2 hours at a time. Otherwise I rely on RMBs and tough meaty meat like roasts that take a lot of chewing. Pig feet seem to work very well because they're mostly tough skin, fat and ligaments, OTOH I don't feed them often because they're mostly skin & fat.
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