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Canine teeth cleaning: Why?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by dalpal View Post
    DUH...yes, my horses get floated annually and I have yet to see a dentist CLEAN a horse's teeth. Argue that point all you want, but I still don't agree with dental cleanings .
    I don't have my guinea pigs' teeth cleaned either. That has as much to do with my dogs dental needs as how I take care of the horses.

    If your dogs don't need teeth cleaning, yay for you! But don't assume that extends to everyone else.

    9 out of 10 dogs that come in my shop for grooming have disgusting mouths and they DO need it. Most of the older ones have teeth literally rotting out of their heads, untreated abcesses and breath that could kill you. It is very unusual to have a dog older than 5 come in that doesn't have very severe dental issues. A large part of this I think is that I work in a low income area and deal with some cultural differences regarding care of animals. Thin dogs, untreated injuries, etc are also very common.

    I try and educate, but people laugh off routine care (brush his teeth! Hahaha! Grandpa didn't do that! It's just a dog!) and when the lack of dental care finally becomes painfully (literally) obvious they complain that it's too expensive to fix, so the dog just has to live in pain.

    It gets very frustrating.


    • #22
      wow I am learning some new words

      [QUOTE=WorthTheWait95;5564520]Horses are not dogs. Can you think of a single way horss and dogs are ALIKE?
      Horses are hypsodonts with teeth covered in cementum, dogs are brachydonts with teeth covered in enamel. They eat different diets, masticate differently, and have zero in common when it comes to dental health besides both being anisognathous animals like every other domestic mammal minus pigs.
      Thank you...really. My poor little rat terrier, that I adopted when he was old with a heart murmur, just had to get ALL except 4 teeth removed. The vet was very worried about whether he would survive the surgery, but to me it was try it or put him to sleep. I couldn't stand the thought of him being in constant pain from bad teeth.


      • Original Poster

        We were just noticing that the little chihuahua that had seven extractions of rotting teeth had deadly breath before. Now we don't even notice it. What a difference! The poor little dog--the pain he must have been living with.
        2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

        A helmet saved my life.


        • #24
          Originally posted by dalpal View Post
          DUH...yes, my horses get floated annually and I have yet to see a dentist CLEAN a horse's teeth. Argue that point all you want, but I still don't agree with dental cleanings We brush, raw meaty bones, and plaque off here. Sorry, but I learned along time ago not to listen to every single thing a vet spouts off at you.
          Dental Cleanings are not a scam made up by veterinarians to make money if that's what you're implying. Again, comparing horse and dog teeth is like comparing apples and oranges. Actually they have even less in common than apples and oranges. Dog teeth are much, much more similar to our own teeth and should be cared for in the same way as we care for our own.

          Horses can develop tartar but due to the fact they are hypsodonts it is not something that usually needs to be scaled by a veterinarian minus certain cases of very old horses who have reached a point in their lives when their teeth no longer grow. They can get tooth root abscesses and now and then some younger horses DO need the tartar removed but it isn't commmon...again because the composition, growth, structure, purpose and diet are completely different from dogs. You simply can not compare the care of horse teeth to canine teeth.

          Very few dogs can get by without a dental cleaning at least once in their lives and the majority need them fairly often. Most dogs with painful dental disease don't show clinical signs obvious to owners, the tartar you see above the gumline is rarely the root of the problem and not always present in dogs with periodontal disease. It's the tartar and bacteria build up under the gumline that causes the abscesses and pain. By the time owners are able to recognize the obvious signs of excessive plaque on teeth, rancid breath, etc the periodontal disease can be advanced leading to much more invasive dental work/surgeries to attempt to salvage the situation.

          I'm glad your dogs seem to be doing well so far with your chosen system and I hope it continues but for any future dogs you may own don't discount the value of a thorough dental cleaning. They can literally be life savers and drastically increase the dogs quality of life. I'm not just saying that as a current vet student and future evil, money grubbing veterinarian bent on robbing the poor, naive public blind at the expense of their pets...it's true. I promise. And has zero to do with how often you get your horses teeth floated.

          Some decent resources for pet owners:
          Last edited by WorthTheWait95; Apr. 25, 2011, 06:50 PM.


          • #25
            Tartar is basically solid bacterial buildup. Gross. And........as it is dislodged or causes inflammation or abscessing, those particles become airborne and are inhaled by the dog as he pants/breathes. From the lungs, the first place that all of that bacteria is taken by the bloodstream is the heart. Hear a horrible heart murmur and open the mouth, the correlation is almost always present. Yes, bad teeth KILL.
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            • #26
              Bad teeth kill people, dogs, and cats.

              Not sure why it's so hard to understand. Some breeds are more prone to severe dental issues than others (ie some of the toys), just like some people are prone to severe dental issues.

              I've never had a cavity in my life and have gone years between dental cleanings. My nephew who is five has had most of his baby teeth pulled and is constantly in the dentist's office as his teeth are just rotten.

              Endocarditis is (mostly) caused by bacteremia. Where do those bacteria come from? The mouth is a good starting place.

              Happens in people too...an infection in the mouth causes a bacteremia which goes through the bloodstream and infects the heart.
              Semi Feral