February is Dental Health month and my vet gives a 10 percent discount in the month of February.  Tucker, who we rescued 10 months ago, is in need of a desperate professional teeth cleaning.  I am hoping by the end of today, to make an appointment to have this done.  His teeth have bad tartar build up, looks like cement, once again this is how his teeth were when we adopted him from the shelter. 

I have a few questions before I call my vet and schedule the cleaning. 

1.Does blood work have to be before his teeth are cleaned, my guess is yes.  I am kinda of nervous

   about this, since we adopted him and don't know his whole health history.

2  What should I expect.  I do expect them to put him under anesthesia, anything else I should know or

    ask my vet about?

I have never gone through this before so any help with this subject would be appreciated. 

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How old is he?  My vet requires a pre-anesthetic profile for any dog over age 6.  He will be put out, a tube down his throat to help him breathe until it's done.  Then he'll sleep for a couple of hours, and when he's able to walk on his own, drink without throwing up, they'll let him come home.  No big deal.  Some vets will also give prophylactic antibiotics before (just a big one time dose)- as teeth cleaning releases a ton of bacteria into the bloodstream that can damage the heart.  Jackson's teeth were like that when we got him.  He had to have two teeth pulled, and two weeks ago had to have another one pulled when he got his second cleaning.

He is 4 years

He'll be fine.  I give mine a C.E.T. chew once or twice a week to help keep them clean between cleanings.  Some dogs naturally get more tarter then others, but Seanna is almost five and hasn't had to have her teeth cleaned yet.  The hardest part is on us, it's hard to leave them like that so soon after getting them.  Jackson has had his done twice- once last year after we got him, and again a couple of weeks ago.  Boy, is he mad afterwards.  Won't even look at me or anything on the way home.  Sits way far away from me.  Of course I'm the one that has to take him and pick him up though.  It sucks to be the bad guy.

I am not the perfect mamma and have never had the time to get any of the bones a lot of you have said helps with tartar. So I get my corgis teeth done every other year. So each year one of them is getting a good dental cleaning. The new vet we go to does conscious sedation I think it is called, not as dangerous as anesthesia. We do BW beforehand.

Oh and I believe they come home with some pain pills and prophy antibiotics. I have never had a problem and all my dogs have had it done.

Nicola what is BW?  That's great you get your dogs teeth cleaned every year!!  Lance has never had his cleaned the vet has always told us he hasn't needed it, but I oftened wondered about that.  We really need to start brushing Lances teeth again.

nevermind, I just figured it out!! BW=Bloodwork :)

Blood work is pretty standard before a procedure like this as he will most likely be sedated.  I wouldn't worry too much about his health history, though.  Most dogs (just like most people) get through anesthesia just fine.

As for what to expect, does your Veterinarian's office offer some sort of information pamphlet?  Each office will do things a little differently depending on what tools/techniques they use, I think, but mine offers a pamphlet (also available as a pdf on their site) that gives some basic information about what the cleaning is like and what to expect.

that is an interesting question to bring up with the vet, how much time they think they will need to clean Tuckers teeth and how long the anesthia will last!!  I would hope they could get his teeth cleaned before the anesthia wore off!!!! 

I was giving Tucker a crunchy treat, for a while, but then I've been really bad about giving them to him.  As far as bones, our vet recommended us not giving bones to lance since he was a destructive chewer and worried about obstructions.  I haven't even thought about giving Tucker bones. 

Thanks Natalie for asking this question. I know you and I talked about this since Noodles needs to get his teeth cleaned, so I appreciate the responses just as much as you. I just worry about him coming out of the anesthia because he didn't do too well after his snipping surgery. (Too bad I couldn't just take him in with me tomorrow to get his teeth cleaned when I get mine cleaned. smile

Your Welcome!!  I needed to get myself motivated to make the appointment, I thought this was a good start :)   Otherwise I would just sit here and wonder and worry and not get the appointment made.  I will still worry til its done and over, and hopefully when he does get his teeth cleaned we won't get any surprises with it, I think thats what I am more worried about. 

I would do blood work simply because you have no baseline and don't know any of his history. Even if he is perfectly healthy, a baseline blood panel can be extremely helpful down the road. Also, most anesthetic emergencies could have been prevented by doing a blood panel beforehand. If it's in your budget, do it.

Expect to possibly need extractions, if his teeth are really bad, sometimes they can't tell by just looking in their mouth that a tooth may need to come out. Sometimes after doing x-rays they will see a damaged root and in my opinion its better to spend extra money and do all the necessary extractions while he is under instead of having to do another anesthetic procedure down the road. The cleaning itself is exactly the same as when you go to your dentist. The only difference is that he will likely be sent home with a round of antibiotics, and the vet will probably want to see him beforehand to see if he needs put on antibiotics a few days prior to the procedure. Ask for an estimate so you can be prepared. Also, post dental, it may be a good idea to start a good dental routine. Hills makes a prescription diet called T/D, I give it to Franklin, 3 pieces morning and night, it has literally gotten rid of ALL the plaque that was on his teeth. It is formulated to be fed as an only diet but really 3-4 pieces each meal time does the trick, I buy a 5 pound bag from my vet for about $17 and it lasts 2-3 months feeding it as treats like this. Dental food from other manufacturers don't work as well, get the Hills. Also, give cut up knuckle bones about once a week and that will replace the need to brush as the scraping action helps to get rid of plaque build up. I generally buy the knuckle bones from the grocery store and let Franklin have them for 1-2 hours a night for 2 or 3 nights in a row (until he has eaten most of the bone). With this combo you may never need another dental again! I have never had a dog that needed a dental and we have always given knuckle bones to chew on and even my veterinary dentistry professor admitted the knuckle bones are great for dental health. Don't give nylabones, femur bones, hooves, etc. Only raw knuckle bones or you risk breaking teeth.

Good points, thanks for bringing them up!  I will ask my vet about the prescription diet you are talking about and see what he says, I think its a great idea!!


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