I am conflicted about what to do with one of my dogs that is over 14 yrs old and has developed very bad breath.

 The Vet checked her and said her teeth are not that bad and suggested rubbing her teeth with a peroxide-baking soda mixture. She is healthy and has no problem eating.  Her breath however tells a different story and she sleeps right next to my bed. A doggie dental specialist offers a  cleaning package for $ 575 (bloodwork, X-rays and cleaning)  but also states this does not cover anything else that may show up on X-Rays.  The possible cost escalation and the anesthesia  risk at her age give me pause....  In the past I was always able to regularly scale my dog's teeth, so my older dogs were always in good shape, but this has not been possible for me to do in the last few years because my eyesight is such that I could inadvertently hurt the dog.

I would like to know what other people's experiences may have been with dogs of advanced age in regards to teeth cleanings and or anesthesia and cost.

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I am very happy to hear that Pixie is doing so well.  I would give a lot of thought to changing vets...that is way too much of a difference between what the first said and what it actually was. 

My Katie came thru just fine and Max is scheduled for 9/9.  Still nervous but hey, I'm a mom and moms worry naturally.  What can I say.

In fairness to my first Vet, who I have used for close to 20 yrs, Pixie's situation was not apparent on a visual when I took her in for shots (except for the abscessed canine, which could have worsened in the time between my original post and now, about 10 days ) until she was put to sleep and full mouth X-Rays taken and I was reluctant to go the anesthesia route.  I agree he should have taken the matter more seriously, but our Vet Clinic burned down in the Black Forest fires last month, he is operating out of an Emergency Vet Facility on a temporary basis and I will cut him some slack. As with people, a second opinion can be beneficial.....

Melissa...thanks.  I said something when I made the appointment.  I was there with one of my cats and mentioned it to the vet also.  She said to tell them again the day I bring Max in so they will make sure to support his head when they move him so it doesn't flop when they pick him up.  Tho this vet office was the one to diagnosis the problem they are not the ones I go to for the acupuncture.  I was unaware that one of the vets does acupuncture, she comes to the house rather then you going there.  I didn't find that out till I went to pick up his xrays to take to the acupuncture vet.  And since there is a big difference in cost...I believe she does the home visits on her own time...I dedcided to continue taking Max to the other vet.  $42 v $75 is a lot.

Glad to hear Pixie's problem was diagnosed and that she is doing well after the cleaning. An abcessed tooth can be really stinky, so that's probably what you were smelling. UGH!
Sophie has a stinky mouth and probably could do with a cleaning. The only reason I am hesitant is because of her seizures. On the only occasion she needed to be anesthetized since we had her, I made a point of telling the vet that I didn't want any ACE or ketamine anesthesias used, as these can be seizure triggers for an epileptic dog. I even stapled a note to her collar so that they would have to see it as they prepped her! They chuckled about it but said it was a good idea to have one last-minute reminder. She did fine, but it still makes me nervous. I'm sure a dental will be recommended next time we go. She does not like having her teeth brushed but I try anyhow. maybe I will try the C.E.T. chews that were mentioned --- I have seen them at the vet's office. But I worry the those might have something that could trigger a seizure. ARRGGHH!

@ Chris , oh to have a magic wand....instead we are stuck with doing the best we can.  I love the idea of pinning the warning on her collar as a reminder.  Even human surgeons now mark the part of the body to be operated, after a few snafus :-D

Chris...thanks for that tip.  Think I will do the same when I take Max in...a note about his neck.

The note around the neck is a great idea.  Three weeks ago I  had a total knee replacement, my surgeon came in and put his initials on my knee before I went to pre-op.  That sure made me feel better.  He said that way he knew he had the correct patient and knee when he walked into surgery. 

I remember them doing that when my mother cataract surgery.  They put an X on the eye to be operated on.

Pro Den Plaque Off (Google it)

We've been using Pro Den Plaque Off since March 18th and both of our dogs teeth are white.    The 180 g container has lasted over five months and in a couple of weeks I'll have to re-order.  The cost was $29.56 which is a lot better than what the vet charges to clean a pet's teeth.  It's also a lot better for their overall health, and avoids anesthesia which is always preferable.  The way I figure it is humans don't go for a year without doing anything to keep their teeth clean and then go to the dentist and have their teeth cleaned so why should dogs ? We also give our dogs split elk antlers to gnaw on.  They last a long time and even after the marrow is gone they still gnaw on them.  We have never had any pieces splinter off an antler.  They are hard as a rock and the gnawing does wear them down which is a good thing. http://www.amazon.com/Proden-PlaqueOff-Dental-Care-180gm/dp/B000QAE...

I did buy this product awhile back and when I researched the ingredient I found out it was basically100%  Kelp, certainly the most expensive Kelp I have ever bought!  I am truly puzzled by the claims made by the manufacturer.

You’re right, it is kelp.  When I first saw the product I wasn’t content to just purchase it without doing some research.  It’s a brown seaweed called Ascophylus Nodosum that has a high content of what a science loving friend of mine says is called fucose-containing sulphated polysaccharides.  When the dog ingests it, it’s absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and gets into the salivary gland through the blood stream and concentrates in the saliva where it inhibits bacterial growth and tartar build up on the teeth. 

Our dogs started out with white teeth because Wilson was only six months old and had been chewing on elk antlers, and our beagle foxhound was three years old and had also been chewing on elk antlers.  I'm pretty sure if a dog had teeth with plaque and tartar all over them you'd have to use the Proden for awhile and then chip it off.  I doubt it would just magically disappear or fall off on it's own.  

http://www.plaqueoff.com/for-animals/testimonials/

http://www.plaqueoff.com/for-animals/

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