Today I took my Miniature Dachshund to a dog dentist.  I had gone in last week for an evaluation prior to scheduling a cleaning.  There seemed to be a problem in one area and a loose tooth, but he could not say more until the Xrays were taken under general anesthesia, they would then call  me.  The dog is 7 yrs old.  When they called I was in shock, 20 teeth had to be removed, plus work on the other few remaining ones....  When I picked her up, we talked about small dogs and certain breeds ( Pekinese, Basset Hounds, Pit Bulls, for instance) being more prone to dental problems.  I asked about Corgis, since i had one at home.  Her reply was "Oh, Corgis are the worst!"

Mowgli is 5 years old and I have avoided dentals because of the general anesthesia.  What I would like to know is what others are doing in this matter.  In particular, at what age to start routine dentals, how often, and generally what experiences you may have had with this, or any other thoughts on the subject.

I  had Alaskan Malamutes for over 30 years and they lived generally 12 to 13 years.  I never had a dental done under anesthesia and never had one even lose one tooth, except one broke a tooth in a fight with a younger male.... I am scratching my head, feeling sorry for my little valiant Doxie and guilty about not having realized her condition.  She ate kibble with no problem up to the evening before I had to take her in.   

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Aw, poor thing! 

As for Corgis, I am not aware of their having dental issues.  They have pretty normal-shaped canine mouths, if you think about it.  Mine are 11 and 8.   Maddie did have one tooth break off right around the gum line.  We watch it for signs of infection (following vet's advice) but because of her other health conditions---- seizures, DM--- we won't do the removal under general anesthesia that we would otherwise do.  Dentist and I agree that for a healthy younger dog, we would do the surgery but for a frailer older dog, we will watch and wait.

I've never done a dental under anesthesia.   I grew up with big dogs--- hunting dogs--- and none of them had dentals. All lived to be old.

Thanks,Beth, same with me, which is why I'm scratching my head....

Noodles is now 10 and he's only had 1 dental cleaning and "yes" that was under anesthesia. That was also done 2.5 years ago. His teeth need to be cleaned again per his vet, but are not horrible, so I'll line it up for this coming year. I'm kind of nervous to have his teeth cleaned due to his age, but a complete blood work is done before being put under anesthesia to make sure he is able to handle it.  

I grew up with a small dog (a Pekingese) and she never had her teeth cleaned.

Both Max and Katie have had cleanings down under anesthesia and Max had a molar removed that was cracked at age 10 (he's 13 now), they were all done at my regular vet after doing blood work to make sure they could handle it.  Brady allows me to brush his teeth, he was trained for it when we got him.  I've never read anything that says corgis are prone to dental issues and I've gone looking wanting to know what to expect with my corgis.

Thank you Alison and Linda. 

Second opinion!!!!!!! That sure sounds a lot like the cash register ringing. Should've asked them if malamutes are prone to dental problems... ;-) Here's what one large veterinary chain says on the subject:

One of my friends has always had dachshunds. She's constantly traipsing them to the vet for expensive dental work, so it IS possible that the breed is susceptible. One of her dogs ended up with no teeth in his head at all. The veterinary practice she favored was pretty pricey, but I never found the docs there to be anything but ethical. my experience that's not always the case.

Vet inspected Cassie's teeth (about 8 years old) and said she could do with a cleaning but didn't need anything else. And I've never heard anyone say anything about dental problems being an issue with corgis.

Any time a vet, a dentist, or a doctor proposes extensive (profitable) treatment, I always get a second opinion -- whether for myself or for a dog. It's often quite a revelation.

Unfortunately Vicky a second opinion was not feasible.  I took the dog in for an evaluation first, but they cannot say much until they do dental X-Rays, which were done on the next visit  (when the cleaning was scheduled) after blood-work and under anesthesia, so they call you while the dog is on the table and anesthetized to tell you what the dog needs and you have to make a decision on the spot....  so you're basically between a rock and a hard place, or that's how I felt.  There was nothing wrong with the teeth themselves, but the X-Rays showed extensive bone loss and infection. Since I had little experience in the matter, all I could do is go along with the recommendation.  Hopefully for the dog, that was the right thing to do.....They also did work on the remaining teeth to help retain them.

I did ask about Malamutes and was told they rarely see any with dental problems.

As for the cash register ringing, the bill, after a 10% Service Dog discount, came to $2,400.

I've paid for 3 this year all first for each dog and they all started with bad breath. Teddy (13) had around 20 teeth pulled. Wynn(10) had 16 teeth pulled and 6 months later had another one pulled and Sage (5)  who also had bad breath only needed hers cleaned.

This is also the 1st time I've had to take dogs in for this. Mine never showed signs of pain either. Mine eat good grain free dog food. They don't get bones does this have anything to do with it?

The dental and cleaning isn't so bad but once they have to pull the bill goes up and if it's a difficult tooth it gets even higher. My vet is  a rural vet and not as "pricey" as many small animal clinics...thank-goodness!

My goodness, Jane!  How are the dogs doing now? 

I took the Doxie to a Veterinary Dental Clinic because I thought they would be more competent than the general Vet in that field. My older dog, now 17, had gone for a dental at the Vet last year and they pulled 7 teeth, then again 6 months ago to the same Vet and they pulled another molar, but I felt her problems had not been fully addressed because the bad breath persisted.  At 17, I am reluctant to bring her in again... so I opted for a specialist this time around.

Mowgli, the Corgi, has no apparent problems but, can you blame me, I'm gun shy.  Trying to decide what to do with regards to him as I cringe.... I guess I'll get over the shell shock given a little time.

I've had two that had broken teeth with no apparent sign that they were in pain. My vet said most dogs are hard wired to never show discomfort. Sparty's teeth were great until about 6 and izzy was about 3 when she needed a cleaning. I have known people that brush their dogs teeth regularly and they say it makes a big difference. I should be better but still tend to be occasional instead of regular. My vet scrapes their teeth atntheir annual checkup. I cant think of any reason corgis would be worse than any other breed.

Thanks Bev, you are lucky that your vet will do the scraping for you, none of the vets I know will do that anymore.... I used to do that myself for my dogs, but my eyesight is no longer good enough for me to do so without risking to hurt the gums... oh,well.

Well, I don't know...  Anna, I surely would not be pleased if a vet put me over the barrel like that. Especially when the person made the remark that "corgis are the worst" for dental problems, which clearly is not so. Of course, that comment came too late to reflect upon it.

But when so many people report having to have 5, 10, 15, even 20 teeth pulled out of a dog's mouth, it's hard not to feel a little skeptical. How many long-time pet owners do you know who have not had to pony up for dental extractions? Consider this interesting essay:

Admittedly, the Daily Mail runs to yellow journalism. However, this site, founded by a friend of mine who is very professional and who hires real journalists to write the copy, seems to confirm the British vet's tale: Comment #39, by a veterinary pathologist & researcher, offers some good advice on how to assess your choices when your vet proposes expensive tests or treatment.


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