We had a discussion just recently about doing dental cleaning for our older dogs so I wanted to relay my experience.

Katie had her teeth cleaned today, Katie is 9 and in good health.  They did the blood work prior to putting her under.  She is home with pearly whites and just a bit groggy and very very hungry.  I would definitely recommend having the blood test done before they are put under.  Granted it's an extra charge but it's worth it to protect our babies.

Have to take Gemma in for her routine eye check tomorrow so I will be making an appointment for Max (11) to have his teeth cleaned.

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Glad Katie all done. I haven't had blood testing done for my dogs under 6 but now that they are getting older I think it is a good idea!

Glad it all went well for Katie!   So far both of mine have good teeth.  We shall see what the future holds.

Now if I can just get them to stand still for brushing or find some way to keep them clean.  They are not real cooperative when it comes to teeth cleaning at all.

It's not easy at first... I cleaned my samoyed's teeth routinely myself (scaling every tooth and then brushing) but I found it easier to hold him since he was so big. Big mouth and a big head that I could hold still - he was also used to me looking in his mouth since I started when he was a puppy.

A smaller dog squirming around and hating every minute would be tricky (smaller mouth too!). It can probably be done but you'd have to condition them to having their sensitive muzzles handled.

Do you already give them chews and bones and stuff for their teeth? I found raw meaty bones did a good job at keeping my dog's teeth clean if I didn't have time to do it myself. It doesn't substitute fully for a good cleaning though... the very back teeth and the little notches in his molars would usually have tartar buildup even if I gave him chews.

I'm glad to hear that the cleaning went well!  :)  Our veterinarian won't even perform a procedure involving sedation unless blood work is done beforehand, so I agree that it is definitely a good idea to have it done even if it's optional. 

Thank you for this post. I think it is important people hear that anesthesia can and is done on older pets safely ALL THE TIME. We only hear about the bad experiences since when it goes smoothly people don't tend to take the time or feel the need to talk about it. Oral health is SO important in our dogs, as dental disease can lead to heart and kidney disease, not to mention bad breath and pain. Thanks again!

I went thru heart disease with my Spider Cat most likely because of his teeth.  We couldn't do anything for his teeth because his heart was so bad he wouldn't have survived.  Thanks to a dedicated vet who did everything she could and twice monthly antibiotic shots for almost 1.5 years he still managed to live to age 19.  But I don't ever want another one of my animals to be that sick.

We had this discussion shortly before I made Katie's appointment, I was encouraged by those who work in animal health care.  I also trust my vet completely.  I wanted to let those who were concerned about having it done with their elderly pets that with testing it can be done safely..

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