beef bones, cracked tooth? Extraction. Revenge of the cows. UPDATE: new pics, cleaned teeth.

All, 6 y.o., has a slab fracture in a carnasial tooth.  Split in half.   $630 for extraction and cleaning while he's anesthetized.   NOTE: see final photos, showing cleaned teeth.

We would easily have spotted this is we'd been looking.

The only way I can imagine him cracking that tooth is on the beef femur bones I love to buy them.  I've been a negligent, indulgent dog-daddy.  I haven't even looked at their teeth in ages.  This is obvious, and the plaque is terrible.  People here warned about the danger of big heavy bones, and I did not heed. They LOVE to gnaw those bones, for weeks.

I should have taught him to floss more often.  Note here the pink, healthy gum color, while the lower black gum is normal pigment (black gums only in tris?):

Weeks later, the trapezoid-shaped piece with the heavy plaque is a loose flake.  Note the red gum inflammation. 

I wonder if the truncation of the canines is from grinding on gritty tennis balls?  Or traumatic breakage?

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No, I dont think so.  Teeth can be fine and then one bad angle biting down and crunch!!  I cant give bones to mine, they eat them and then throw them up.    I got them the raw lamb bones for Christmas and within 15 minutes they were completely eaten and thrown up.....yuckie stuff.  So we just do raw hides.

Honestly, yes, you probably did make an error in your choice of bone. Beef femurs, soup bones (typically knuckle) - these weight-bearing bones of colossally large creatures like a full-grown cow DO contribute to a lot of the fractures and chips you see in canine dental work.

For those of us who are huge nerds about the raw diet and giving raw bones to our animals, we learn very quickly that (somewhat funnily) those bones proposed to us as consumers by pet food/treat manufacturers, should be called WRECKreational bones instead of recreational. They're heavy, incredibly dense, and very very hard. They have no real give and are largely inedible. It's like trying to gnaw on concrete.

Instead, opt for bones that are edible and have a lot of give, and preferably with some meat left on them for teeth cleaning (if you go with completely raw bones). Or, try antlers - I have one from an elk for my Terrible Two and I have seen for myself that it is very easy to scrape bits and pieces off of it. It is entirely edible and as far as bony treats go, very soft. I'd look into that. :-)

I sometimes wonder about antlers because the 2 antlers I have bought in the past are much harder than the pieces of knuckle bone I used to give Franklin (of course he broke his tooth possibly on a knuckle bone, can't rule out the plastic eye of a stuffed animal though!) but for the most part the chunks I used to give him he could scrape and shave off small parts, they seemed to have a lot of give. 

Right now retriever rolls seem to be working well for teeth cleaning, but what kind of bones do you suggest? I don't want to feed bones with a ton of meat because I don't want to upset his tummy but the softer parts of the knuckle bones (think the heads of the femurs) used to do such a great job of cleaning his teeth! His teeth are perfect at almost 4 years old and I want to keep them that way! 

The older the antler is, the harder it is.  Fresh antlers are very soft.  (Well, for a hard thing, they're very soft...)

Seanna had one of those...I didn't even know until I took her to her yearly exam.  She gave me no indication whatsoever.  The only hard things they really get to chew on is regular rawhides.  The vet said there is no rhyme or reason why they happen- it just sometimes does if they bite down wrong.  She doesn't chew on rocks or any other inappropriate things...I felt horrible because he said it had been like that for awhile, and I never knew.  One more reason to regularly check their teeth!

Sammie just got two teeth removed because they were fractured from a hard peanut butter bone from the pet store. It cost me $100 for them to sedate her and $15 to pull the tooth. These bones do cause it my vet says its the number one reason for teeth fractures.

Oh! I just saw a youtube video about high risk and low risk treats by a vet.  You could ask questions by posting it in the comments section.

Here's the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RkqKo8mtgk

been there done that!! :-) Not with beef femurs, but with a knuckle bone instead. Its funny because I've had dogs for more than 20 years and have been feeding femur bones, nylabones, etc and have never had a dog even need a dental cleaning their teeth stayed so clean and shiny from chewing, then I start working at a vet hospital and Franklin gets a slab fracture on the softer knuckle bone....I have a friend who is also a tech who has 2 dogs and 3 broken carnasial teeth between the two of them! One was on a piece of pressed rawhide. Some people have all the luck....

Would you believe that Mishka also has a vertical slab fracture on that tooth?  I only noticed because I do actually brush his teeth every day like a nerd - they are so stoic about their teeth.  One day it was all about eating the toothbrush and the next it was "don't brush that one".  Some of the ornamental cherry (???) trees on our walk route have just dropped all their fruit, and I think one of them surprised him with a cherry stone.  He gets antlers for chewing, and he views them as something to nibble delicately and savor.

He's only 2 and a half, and we have been generous to the emergency fund this year, so if the tooth can be saved, we will save it.

I just went thru that with LaVerne. I caved last summer and gave in to the temptation to give her marrow bones. She was so happy and felt like a real dog! Well...Last time I was at the Vet for a completely different thing she looked into her mouth and she had 2 slab fractures! I too had to have them extracted and had them cleaned as long as she was knocked out. Doc recommended that I stick to nylabones as I had never had any problems until I got her marrow bones. 

On the other hand, my breeder gives her dogs Nylabones and she has had 4 or 5 slab fractures from them!

Didn't someone else here say that nylabones may break teeth?  Beca, you remind me that we have an Italian plum tree, and Al eats the fallen fruit and might have been chewing them.  He's basically a plum jam dispenser in autumn, and the pits go through him like bleep through a goose.  But I'll bet it's the bones.  My bad.

My heart goes out to animals (and people) who must face toothache in Nature.  I like my endodontist almost as much as my dogs.

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