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Old 06-21-2012, 10:13 AM   #1
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Confused Teddy and Barney had dentals

Well, Barney who is recovering from a torn ligament had a loose lower tooth. I did not want to wait to have it taken out despite this being the third procedure my 12 year old had to undergo where he was under general anesthesia. I scheduled him for a dental and also scheduled Teddy for a cleaning.

I was not totally surprised that Barney lost some teeth - he's 12 and although I am good with home care and he has beautiful teeth, I never did dentals on him because my vets always said he did not need them.

Teddy is another story. Teddy is 3.5 years old and I noticed his gums were very red over a year ago. I talked to my vet about it who said he had no plaque at the gum line so she did not see a problem. We thought maybe his epilepsy meds caused them to be red since it didn't seem to be perio disease. We talked to his neurologist who said nope, not the drug, and said it was likely his teeth. Since I was still concerned, I took him to a BC dentist who also said things looked ok but we should keep an eye on him, continue and improve upon home care, and when needed do a dental. He said to f/u with my vet as a guide.... 6 months after that my vet did his annual exam and said no his teeth still looked good with no plaque at the gum line...didn't see any problem with his gums either. I did not feel right about it but continued the home regimen of brushing.

A few weeks ago, Teddy started to run away from the toothbrush and I noticed plaque on two of his back teeth and I still did not like his gums. He also had breath that could make you throw up. I figured something was brewing so I talked to my vet and we planned for a dental but when Barney's tooth was loose I just took both boys to the BC dentist for a dental so they could get xrays (my vet doesn't have dental xray capability). I really wanted the xrays for Barney since he's older but figured well maybe Teddy should have them too.

I was blindsided when I got the call that they lost teeth. Needless to say, my wallet is emptier (but I gained some frequent flier miles) and my dogs have lost a lot of teeth. I'm so upset about Teddy losing teeth - he lost 7 teeth and two of them are his front incisors!!! He is no longer Teddy Bumpkin --- he's Teddy Pumpkin.

I guess my vet isn't good with teeth. I am kicking myself for not pushing harder or going back to the BC dentist sooner. I never expected him to lose this many teeth so young when his teeth looked good.

The take home lesson for me is that I am taking them to the BC dentist every year for an exam. I will let them guide me. I don't think I should have to pay this amount of money for routine oral care but apparently none of the 5 general vets I've seen in 12 years place a high value on medical treatment of the mouth. My Teddy suffered because of it and I really don't feel I should blame myself here because I did all I could do short of knocking the dog out myself and playing with dental tools.

I'm getting their records - I am hoping that some of this was discovered on xray only which would make me feel a lot better about the oral exams they have had.

Just sad for my Babies, who are smelly, drugged, and uncomfy from their procedures.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:18 AM   #2
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oh im so sorry about teddy pumpkin and barney. i hope they feel better real soon! thanks though as i think i better look into finding a doggie dentist. my vet says lola looks great in the mouth area and she just had a dental but her breath is just nasty. im gonna find one and double check just to be sure.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:30 AM   #3
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Oh wow, this is a real wake-up call for me. I thought a vet would know. He keeps saying they don't need a dental, but you heard the same thing. What does the BC stand for? Ralphie, my foster had a throat injury on his second dental, and his previous owner would prefer that he never had another dental, but he hates tooth brushing with a passion. No way I can use the electric toothbrush on him, and he pretty much just eats the toothpaste, so I don't feel like the brushing is doing much good. I use pads also that I think are worthless. His breath has gotten much better since I started using petzlife, it smells clean now, but I don't want him to lose any teeth.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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Awww. I'm sorry that he lost some teeth; I know you hate that and I would too.

But, you were relying on what your vet said so . . .

It is a wake-up call for me as well to do a better job.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:49 AM   #5
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Me too wake up call. I will go with a Board Certified Oral surgeon from now on for my dogs.

How-ever none of my dogs have bad breath or obvious plaque. Well Magic has a bit on his front two incissors which I am working on.

Dang I'm so sorry you and Your pups had to go through this!
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:53 AM   #6
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Oh wow... That is scary! I know you take the best care of the boys..I will not put off remy's dental st all!
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemy View Post
Me too wake up call. I will go with a Board Certified Oral surgeon from now on for my dogs.

How-ever none of my dogs have bad breath or obvious plaque. Well Magic has a bit on his front two incissors which I am working on.

Dang I'm so sorry you and Your pups had to go through this!
Oh thanks for spelling it out, you'd think I'd know what BC means by now!
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:22 AM   #8
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Oh Cathy, don't blame yourself...you went to countless vets who apparently does not understand the importance of dental cleanings. I'm glad you pursued your gut feeling and went with the BC denist

Because Zhoie's mouth is so very tiny, you can't get much in there to attempt to clean her teeth... I'd had her teeth cleaned at 1 yr, 2 yr at my regular vet, at my insistance and would have had them done in Jan. at 3 yrs, but the AAI came up in Dec. So, that delayed us for 6 mos on getting a her yearly dental.

Needless to say with all she has went through, I was not comfortable with going to our vet for her dental, so we scheduled it with the dentistry dept of NCSU and also at follow up with her neuro surgeon same day. I was pleasantly surprised the neuro surgeon went over examine Zhoie prior to her dental being done, which I thought was wonderful care and concern for her well being. Also, it was the same anesthesia team that's put Zhoie under so many times..I felt more confident. I did not know a regular vet use his one of his assistants to give the anethesia during the dental. If is staff that they have trained, no school required . Now, that, I'm not liking at all.

Ok, here is what I too learned from the specialist at NCSU, he stressed it is not what is showing on their teeth, not showing signs is nice, however, for these little ones...the issue is what is at and below the gumline that is most important. That is what does the destruction and ultimately the loss of teeth.

He was very throrough, full blood panel and radiographs were done prior to the procedure to see what was going on under the gumline.

I like you, would have listened to my vet and not have known that not seeing anything on their teeth does not mean they shouldn't have a thorough dental done.

For me...this just supports the use of specialists for certain things.

Sorry to blabber on, but like me and you there are probably others that just didn't know and went with what their vets are saying.

I have had dogs lose so many teeth through the years and I'm sure some needlessly prior to older age, had I been aware of this info.

Again Cathy, don't beat yourself up...we are not alone...but know we know better.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:02 PM   #9
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Well honestly I'm not so sure everyone needs to go to a board certified dentist. I just think I do, because the general vets I've had are not good with teeth. And my vet has been very good at the digestive issues and getting my dogs over serious issues that might be equally important.

I know some members, like LadyJane, have vets that are good at teeth and in that case that might be enough. But, it seems that one needs to start doing more questioning about the exam and the procedure. I love the service at Angell but the BC dentist is leaving (he's going to VA so our loss could be some other YT member's gain - we love him!). There are other vets in the area who have more of an interest in teeth and some even sort of specialize (but are not Boarded). The fees around here for dental cleanings are very high, and I am fortunate I can access this care for my pets -- but I am appalled that it's not going to be within the reach of EVERY pet owner!! Every pet owner should be able to have their dog's teeth cleaned and assessed properly for good long term health.

Indeed it is a wake up call - Teddy had pretty white teeth and a nice bite and I am very good and diligent with home care. It's not enough for some dogs and I can't get Teddy's teeth back now and I feel just terrible about that. And there is really no way to tell without the xrays in some cases.

The other thing that was interesting was that Barney's liver enzymes had been elevated when his blood was drawn for his April surgery. The dentist told me yesterday that the infected loose tooth could have been the reason and that I should check his liver again in a few weeks and he bets the liver enzyme elevations will come back down. What does that tell you about the need to keep the mouth clean??
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:15 PM   #10
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I sorry Teddy lost so may teeth but dont be hard on yourself you were trying to get through to the something wasnt right. Its not your fault your vet didnt follow through. I have read on other threads where you said they were wonderful in other areas dental just isnt that area and I dont blame you for going to a specialist
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:17 PM   #11
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Thanks for sharing this reminder Cathy. My girls both are due for a dental. However, with all the problems with my son's knee I have put them on the back burner. Guess I need to get off my rear and schedule it for them. Hope Teddy and Barney both get to feeling better. Hugs from my girls!
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:29 PM   #12
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I totally agree Cathy and that is the biggest part of my issue....not much to choose from in my area in the line of vets. I use a local for routine shots but that's about it. Anything more serious, I have no choice but to go to VA to the ER which I'm more confident with.

I'm sure there is alot of good vets that does excellent dental care, just none where I live.

I'm considering checking into the eastern shore area of MD, even that would be much closer for me for a dental, it's just with Zhoie AAI surgery, I know I will never overcome feeling the need for a specialist with anything to do with her neck/throat area . Thank the Lord it's not a worry most have to deal with.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:56 PM   #13
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Sorry he lost some teeth. I know that makes you sad. I hope the boys will both be feeling better tomorrow.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:53 PM   #14
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My first Yorkie lost teeth & once you have had that happen, it changes you & you become militant about good dental care forevermore. Even after that, even with once yearly or more often vet cleanings & near daily brushings, they can still have to have a tooth or two pulled as my Jilly did. So far, after his extra puppy teeth & 2 decayed teeth were pulled when I got him at 9 mos. of age, Tibbe hasn't had to have any more pulled but when his breath gets bad or I see yellow toward the gumline or puffy, red gums, we go to the vet for a looksee. I do brush his teeth almost daily but we do slack off some when he feels bad. On days I forget to brush or he's not feeling well, I feel so guilty. But that is scary that your regular vet didn't catch the decay or whatever caused the extractions! What was his excuse?
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:25 PM   #15
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Ugh, sorry you had to deal w/ that!!! But yeah definitely don't be hard on yourself. Your pups obviously always have the best care. But I know what you mean, when they pulled one of Jackson's (that was somehow dead) I was sad... and that was just ONE tooth. lol.

I must say -- after experiencing such a facility where Jax had his surgery... I am not sure I'd want him to go anywhere else if it involves anything with his mouth. They were amazing. It was the Animal Dental Center in Maryland and I have never felt so comfortable leaving him somewhere before, I knew he was in great hands... it was extremely pricey (but he had more than just a dental) but the service and staff was simply amazing. It was worth the peace of mind. Since he's already been there (you have to be referred there), he will be getting any potential future dentals done there, but I hope to avoid it as long as possible.
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