Author Topic: K9 oral care necessary?  (Read 7003 times)

studlyrs

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K9 oral care necessary?
« on: November 03, 2016, 08:33:05 AM »
My vet is recommending a deep cleaning of my dog's teeth.  She is 6+ years old and hasn't had this done before.  Approx. $400 cost.  Doing this will supposedly help with her lifespan.  Looking for recommendations of whether this is really needed or not.  I would like to know if my 400 bones will be worth it. 

rubybeth

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2016, 08:39:04 AM »
Not an expert, but my sister also just had her 6-year-old dog's teeth professionally cleaned for the first time, and it was necessary. It really does increase the lifespan of the animal. You could also get a second opinion. Do you do health care for your dog at home? Are they naturally a chewer?

KMMK

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2016, 10:14:00 AM »
They can have a lot of pain with bad dental care. They tend to hide it well. $400 is pretty reasonable in my experience. Get it done, wait a few days then start brushing daily and you will reduce how often it needs doing in the future.

MsPeacock

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2016, 10:15:45 AM »
My vet said it was important for small dogs and less so for older dogs. I have a golden retriever and he didn't think it was warented. I guess big dogs have less problems with their teeth? He vet is kinda old school and doesn't advocate much expensive over board care.

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2016, 10:19:24 AM »
My vet said it was important for small dogs and less so for older dogs. I have a golden retriever and he didn't think it was warented. I guess big dogs have less problems with their teeth? He vet is kinda old school and doesn't advocate much expensive over board care.

Yes, small dogs need significantly more dental care. Something about less space between the teeth? I'm not sure. I'm a former vet tech who has done literally hundreds of teeth cleanings.

FIFoFum

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2016, 10:30:56 AM »
That sounds normal to me. But vet costs vary by region so much. It's expensive because it typically requires sedation. That gets more risky for dog as they get older, so that's why by middle to early senior adult stage, you can do a deep clean and stave off problems for a while (rather than waiting).

Besides the smaller teeth/mouth issues in smaller breeds, I think it's also a life span issue. The smaller the dog, the longer the expected life span. Ergo - the worse consequences from letting dental problems go untreated. You need the teeth to last years longer. 

honeybbq

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2016, 10:56:30 AM »
Yes, it's very important. $400 seems very reasonable, too.

I know my vets have always recommended daily brushing for the dogs, but I'm lucky enough to get my teeth brush and the kiddo's teeth brushed appropriately. And I have 3 dogs so it would be quite the production. But I strive to do better. Also those greenie chews can help keep plaque at bay.

Basically, if you don't do a lot of teeth maintenance, the dogs can end up needing extractions and have dental decay that spreads. And dental health has been linked to cardiovascular health in humans; I seriously doubt dogs are any different.

So, yep, get it done, buy them a toothbrush and toothpaste too, and do the best you can.

MishMash

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2016, 06:57:22 AM »
Yup, and it may be more expensive when they get in there, mine apparently had an open fracture on his furthest back tooth on top that was infected, they had to extract it.  We also discovered that one of the cats has a degeneritive disease where her body attacks the roots of her teeth, and if we don't get it looked/cleaned  yearly she suffers until the tooth falls out (which can be months).  We spent a ton more then 400 this year on pet teeth but it's worth it to not see them in pain.

usoverseas

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2016, 08:02:50 AM »
We think we are due for our little dog to have his teeth cleaned too, but are terrified to have him sedated.  Are we being over protective fur-parents?


Fomerly known as something

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2016, 08:07:27 AM »
Normal depends on the pet how often it's necessary.

I have a cat who for some reason does not like to chew on cardboard like the other two do to keep their teeth clean.  He needs a dental now about 1x a year as he also has contributing health factors.  The other 2 are perfectly fine when it comes to teeth.

$400 is reasonable as cleaning is done under anisteasia. 

Roots&Wings

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2016, 10:57:11 AM »
My small dog started annual dental cleanings at age 6 (horrible breath...from rotting teeth! Which can progress into infection or worse if untreated.

First cleaning was $705 (with 13 extractions of loose/rotting teeth). This year it was $510 (with 10 extractions)...we'll see how things go from here!

My large dog never had a dental cleaning or teeth issues.

Spork

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2016, 11:04:45 AM »
We've always done the dental cleanings when recommended. 

As our dogs started aging, we started getting more worried about any extra anesthesia.  After the last dental cleaning (about 2 years ago) I became religious about brushing their teeth.  According to our vet, you don't have to do a lot.  You only need to hit the outside of the teeth and don't have to brush a long time.  I brush them every night before bed.  Their teeth look as clean as they did 2 years ago.

partgypsy

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2016, 12:21:59 PM »
Gosh I feel ignorant, we didn't do much of anything with our dog's teeth routine care-wise. Maybe they got one cleaning each their entire lives. The oldest lived to 13 years and none of them lost teeth or had issues as far as I knew. Our current dog is 9. Because of this thread will schedule him for a tooth cleaning.
 
OTOH our poor cat who is 17, has lost all but a couple of her teeth. She has a virus that causes ulcers in her mouth and throat, which in addition to the wet food we feed her because of it, may have contributed : (. Still it makes me feel like a bad pet mom. 


honeybbq

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2016, 12:54:06 PM »
Gosh I feel ignorant, we didn't do much of anything with our dog's teeth routine care-wise. Maybe they got one cleaning each their entire lives. The oldest lived to 13 years and none of them lost teeth or had issues as far as I knew. Our current dog is 9. Because of this thread will schedule him for a tooth cleaning.
 
OTOH our poor cat who is 17, has lost all but a couple of her teeth. She has a virus that causes ulcers in her mouth and throat, which in addition to the wet food we feed her because of it, may have contributed : (. Still it makes me feel like a bad pet mom.

Was it a big dog? Basically,  teeth health is usually proportional to dog size. I have 3 dogs, large, medium, and small. The large dog's teeth I've only had cleaned twice in her life (she's almost 12) and her teeth are beautiful. The littlest one hardly has any teeth left and I've tried for years to salvage them with cleaning.

ketchup

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2016, 01:17:43 PM »
One easy and cheap thing you can do to help with dogs' teeth a ton is occasionally (or often!) feeding some raw (NOT cooked) meaty bones like chicken leg quarters, turkey/duck/chicken necks (depending on size of dog), bone-in pork chops (if the bones aren't cut too sharp), whole fish, etc.  Chomping on the bones cleans their teeth quite well.

MishMash

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2016, 01:38:24 PM »
Gosh I feel ignorant, we didn't do much of anything with our dog's teeth routine care-wise. Maybe they got one cleaning each their entire lives. The oldest lived to 13 years and none of them lost teeth or had issues as far as I knew. Our current dog is 9. Because of this thread will schedule him for a tooth cleaning.
 
OTOH our poor cat who is 17, has lost all but a couple of her teeth. She has a virus that causes ulcers in her mouth and throat, which in addition to the wet food we feed her because of it, may have contributed : (. Still it makes me feel like a bad pet mom.

I felt bad too, I think it's normal the vet said the cat was in severe pain for probably 3 months before the tooth I noticed fell out.  She didn't stop eating or drinking, but she was a little bitchier and more reclusive.  I didn't think anything of it.  Once we had the other two that had the issue removed she turned into a love muffin and has been since.   They are really good at hiding they're hurt so don't feel too bad.  Dog, ZERO indication he had an open fracture

GreenSheep

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2016, 06:58:56 PM »
We've always done the dental cleanings when recommended. 

As our dogs started aging, we started getting more worried about any extra anesthesia.  After the last dental cleaning (about 2 years ago) I became religious about brushing their teeth.  According to our vet, you don't have to do a lot.  You only need to hit the outside of the teeth and don't have to brush a long time.  I brush them every night before bed.  Their teeth look as clean as they did 2 years ago.

My mom mentioned that her dogs' vet said something similar. He says that if you can even just get some toothpaste into the mouth, that's a lot better than nothing. My little dog, who is super tolerant of just about anything else, isn't a fan of teeth brushing, but she'll let me get the toothbrush in there a bit, and then I let her lick the remaining toothpaste off the brush. Oddly enough, she likes the vanilla mint flavor that Amazon reviewers recommended. (And all these years I thought dogs hated mint!)

MrsCtank

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2016, 07:10:24 PM »
Yes! Vet here. At 6 years your dog likely really needs that cleaning. I recommend them yearly in small dogs but depending on your situation and your pet every other year is likely fine. It tends to save you money at that age so you're not spending 3 times that in a few years to have teeth pulled or have to be on soft food only. $400 seems high to me but it depends on region, west or north USA that's probably right. I'd ask if that includes bloodwork or antibiotics if you're looking at trying to save. Feel free to PM with specifics if you want.

startingsmall

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2016, 08:03:19 PM »
Yes! Vet here. At 6 years your dog likely really needs that cleaning. I recommend them yearly in small dogs but depending on your situation and your pet every other year is likely fine. It tends to save you money at that age so you're not spending 3 times that in a few years to have teeth pulled or have to be on soft food only. $400 seems high to me but it depends on region, west or north USA that's probably right. I'd ask if that includes bloodwork or antibiotics if you're looking at trying to save. Feel free to PM with specifics if you want.

Another mustachian DVM?! Hello!!

Absolutely seconding all of the above advice. I recommend yearly dentals for small dogs and usually every 2-3 years for big dogs. $400 also seems high to me (unless that includes extractions), but I live in the south where costs are typically low.

Also, can I just say thank you to every single person who replied to this thread, all of whom appear to actually recognize the importance of veterinary care? After having a really crappy day, reading articles about how vets are money-grubbing jerks and being yelled at by clients who didn't want to pay their bills, this thread really warmed my heart. Seriously.

I would steer clear of bones. All bones, raw or cooked. My opinion is biased, because I'm the one who has to surgically remove them when your dog swallows them. Just stick with brushing the teeth daily.

CanuckExpat

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2016, 10:01:13 PM »
So we've had an unopened toothbrush for our dog since she was a puppy. I really have no excuse, but just haven't got around to doing it. Assuming I put that on my radar at some point, what are some other things I can do to help her teeth in the meantime?
We do get our dogs checked at annual vet appointments, and through a slew of them, none have noted teeth problems yet or recommended a cleaning, but this just might be luck. I need to get on the tooth brushing I guess?

(in my defense, I also can't bring myself to think about brushing toddlers teeth, so it's not a species bias!)

MrsCtank

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2016, 10:10:46 PM »
Hi Vet Buddy! We need to start a club. I enjoy following the forum. I'm not in the best place financially (student loans and the profession to thank for that), but am trying to learn all I can. I second the bone issue, all it takes is to see one go bad to turn you off all of them.

startingsmall

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2016, 07:01:56 AM »
So we've had an unopened toothbrush for our dog since she was a puppy. I really have no excuse, but just haven't got around to doing it. Assuming I put that on my radar at some point, what are some other things I can do to help her teeth in the meantime?
We do get our dogs checked at annual vet appointments, and through a slew of them, none have noted teeth problems yet or recommended a cleaning, but this just might be luck. I need to get on the tooth brushing I guess?

(in my defense, I also can't bring myself to think about brushing toddlers teeth, so it's not a species bias!)

Dental chews are not as good as daily brushing, but definitely better than nothing! Milk Bone Brushing Chews did a study that showed daily use of their chews was equivalent to brushing 3x/wk, I think. I usually recommend them or Greenies.... although no chew is entirely risk-free due to risks with swallowing. (If they become lodged in the esophagus, they won't reach the stomach acid required to break them down..... a very tiny risk, but a risk nonetheless. As long as your dog isn't one to swallow them whole - mine is! - then I think you're good to use them.)

Cassie

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2016, 02:19:34 PM »
WE have 3 small Maltese and they get cleanings every 1-2 years depending on what they need. We always get blood work done to make sure they are healthy enough to be put under. I have a big dog that is 11 has never needed one.  We live on the West Coast and that cost sounds normal for me. Once we paid 1k because our dog needed 10 teeth pulled. My 5lb dog lost all her teeth by 7. WE stopped doing Greenies when one got it stuck in her throat and she almost died. Every time they had a hold of it to pull it off a piece broke off. Finally they shoved it down as far as they could so it could go through her system.  WEt food is bad for dogs teeth.  Some breeds seem to be worse then others. My friends Shit Zu has only needed 1 cleaning by the age of 12. I don't know why vet costs are so expensive in this part of the country and we don't live in a big city. Our friends had to put their dog down when it was hit by a car and needed her broken leg repaired. It was 6k to fix the leg of a tiny dog. My son lives in KS and pays a fourth of what we pay.  We have 4 old rescue dogs but as they die we will only have 1. The expense has just become too much.

CanuckExpat

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2016, 07:28:12 PM »
Dental chews are not as good as daily brushing, but definitely better than nothing! Milk Bone Brushing Chews did a study that showed daily use of their chews was equivalent to brushing 3x/wk, I think. I usually recommend them or Greenies.... although no chew is entirely risk-free due to risks with swallowing. (If they become lodged in the esophagus, they won't reach the stomach acid required to break them down..... a very tiny risk, but a risk nonetheless. As long as your dog isn't one to swallow them whole - mine is! - then I think you're good to use them.)

Thank you. Very good information to have.
Is there anything that would make certain chews better than others in terms of cleaning?

We had been pretty good about giving the dogs chews, since they liked it and it was a nice treat, seemed win-win. At one point when I got even cheaper and more motivated than usual, I was maing my own sweet potatoe treats, which they seemed to take in one bite, but the commercials chews seem to take a lot of chewing.

startingsmall

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2016, 05:14:44 AM »
Here is a list of all the chews recommended by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (a group of board-certified veterinary dentists that test these sorts of things).

http://www.vohc.org/accepted_products.htm

In general, you need a chew that requires a lot of manipulation in the mouth because that action is what helps to scrape away plaque and bacteria.

CanuckExpat

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2016, 08:20:35 AM »
Great. Thanks. As a lay person one thing I had found frustrating in making decisions regarding my dog is finding opinions that seem supported by evidence as opposed to someones passionate belief. I really appreciate you all sharing your experience and knowledge.

MishMash

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2016, 11:43:17 AM »
Yay for vets on this thread!!  I looked at the list of recommended chews, but not sure if antler is OK.  Asked our vet, they said it's fine (sourced from our yearly deer) but Dog1 chipped his other tooth on a rawhide

PS I know you mustachians are charitable, there is an awesome place here in VA that supplements dental and surgery costs for low income pet owners  Helping Hands Vet VA is the name if anyone is interested.

startingsmall

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2016, 07:36:02 PM »
I recommend against antlers due to the risk of tooth fracture. They're probably less likely to splinter than bones and therefore less likely to cause gastrointestinal obstructions, but tooth fractures are still painful and can be expensive to treat.

The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn't give your dog anything to chew that you wouldn't want to get hit in the kneecap with.

Antlers are definitely too hard for my delicate kneecaps and therefore also too hard for dog teeth.




spokey doke

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2016, 08:47:05 AM »
We have had our Aussie's teeth cleaned twice, but piggy-backed on other procedures that required anesthesia...we had passed on the cleaning advice for a while, but when other procedures were needed the rationale was...'hey, while we have him under, let's clean up those teeth'

I have always been a bit taken aback at how anesthesia really sends my dog for a loop for some time, and appreciated saving him having to go through that more than absolutely necessary.

onlykelsey

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2016, 08:52:38 AM »
In case any of the vets or any giant breed owners are still out there...

what chews take your massive dog more than 15 seconds to eat?

I have a very large airedale whose mouth is so big he can carry 2L bottles around sideways.  I've tried greenies and other chews available at the pet store, but he basically chews them in half and then swallows them in under 10 seconds.  I don't think it's benefiting his teeth at all.  Is there any really "tough" brand out there?

startingsmall

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2016, 05:28:44 PM »
I personally have a German Shepherd and give him Nylabones. It violates the kneecap rule and definitely could break his teeth, but I've decided that the benefits outweigh the risks. (He's a high-strung dog who needs an outlet!) It doesn't do a whole lot to keep his teeth clean, so he gets dental cleanings every 1-2 years.

Aside from chews and brushing, the other option is an oral rinse. There are a number of high-quality products you can buy at your vet (brand varies by clinic but they are all pretty equivalent) that contain enzymes to break down plaque. You squirt the outside surfaces of the teeth once daily.

chasesfish

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2016, 06:49:57 PM »
Yes, they need a dental cleaning once a year or so after they are 3-4 years old.  Ask if they run specials in Febraury, that's "dental month" in the veterinary world.  If they do, ask for the February price.

The dental is much cheaper and less costly than tooth extraction later in life for the dog.

bdoubleu

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2016, 06:59:15 PM »
$400? Holy cow! Ours costs ~$125 and we do it every couple years with our now 7 year old dog.  I can't imagine spending $400!  I would check with a couple other vets for their rates, but it should definitely be done.

DenverDad

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2016, 07:53:57 PM »
Look for an anesthesia free teeth cleaning option in your area. Local pet stores often sponsor various companies in my area, and it usually costs around $150-$175. It shouldn't take them more than 45 minutes to do it either.

startingsmall

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2016, 08:31:26 PM »
Look for an anesthesia free teeth cleaning option in your area. Local pet stores often sponsor various companies in my area, and it usually costs around $150-$175. It shouldn't take them more than 45 minutes to do it either.

NO! Please don't do this. Anesthesia-free dental cleanings carry a risk of injury and don't address the tartar below the gumline, which is the tartar that is actually problematic. Also, the other main benefit of a dental cleaning is being able to probe for periodontal pockets and other pathology, which cannot be done without anesthesia. You'd likely be better off saving your money and not doing a dental cleaning at all.

In my area (NC) dental cleanings WITH anesthesia usually run around $150, but $400 may be normal in HCOL areas.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2016, 08:34:53 PM by startingsmall »

KMMK

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2016, 09:25:30 PM »
Look for an anesthesia free teeth cleaning option in your area. Local pet stores often sponsor various companies in my area, and it usually costs around $150-$175. It shouldn't take them more than 45 minutes to do it either.

Yeah, this is a horrible scam. Please don't do this.

studlyrs

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2016, 08:40:41 AM »
OP here, thanks for all of the advice.  My dog is on the bigger side, 65 lbs of Pitbull mix.  I have gotten a few quotes and they are all within the same range.  I'll fork over the money and give her the present of clean clean for Christmas. 

CanuckExpat

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2016, 03:14:53 PM »
A related question: can we use the same toothbrush between our two dogs?

(This is not about cost so much as I'm too lazy to go find a second dog toothbrush and a place to store it [we're currently living out of an RV, so less stuff is better])

Bracken_Joy

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2016, 03:22:33 PM »
A related question: can we use the same toothbrush between our two dogs?

(This is not about cost so much as I'm too lazy to go find a second dog toothbrush and a place to store it [we're currently living out of an RV, so less stuff is better])

Well, my dogs always spent a vast amount of time licking the inside of each other's cheeks anyway. I would guess it's fine, but I'm not a vet!

Spork

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2016, 03:56:20 PM »
A related question: can we use the same toothbrush between our two dogs?

(This is not about cost so much as I'm too lazy to go find a second dog toothbrush and a place to store it [we're currently living out of an RV, so less stuff is better])

We just buy "very small child" tooth brushes at WalMart.  We do have different brushes for each dog (but I don't know how necessary that is).  My assumption is that if one does have an infection, you don't want to spread it.

ChpBstrd

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2016, 04:23:10 PM »
I'm so over the whole pet ownership thing. I know someone who is now homeless, but still has a dog, chain smokes, and drinks. Those thousands of dollars might have paid rent. The animal is in horrible shape too.

Put the oxygen mask on yourself first...

Budget $2k a year for each critter, but draw a line in the sand somewhere on vet bills. Many a retirement was ruined by a vet bill. If you can't draw a line, don't get a pet. Because at the end of that line, you WILL spend a year's wages on end of life care. The system is set up to ensure you do.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2016, 05:14:08 PM »
I'm so over the whole pet ownership thing. I know someone who is now homeless, but still has a dog, chain smokes, and drinks. Those thousands of dollars might have paid rent. The animal is in horrible shape too.

Put the oxygen mask on yourself first...

Budget $2k a year for each critter, but draw a line in the sand somewhere on vet bills. Many a retirement was ruined by a vet bill. If you can't draw a line, don't get a pet. Because at the end of that line, you WILL spend a year's wages on end of life care. The system is set up to ensure you do.

Actually, I choose to embrace a vital tenant of mustachianism which is: spend based on your values.

Also, the homeless thing was pretty out of left field. Please check your rage before wading into an otherwise calm, balanced, and informative thread.

startingsmall

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2016, 12:14:37 PM »
Yes, you could potentially spread illness by sharing a toothbrush between dogs, but the risk is miniscule and they're already swapping germs anyway. I see no problem with sharing one toothbrush between all dogs in the home.

FIFoFum

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    • Captain's Log - Mission to Puppy Waystation on Puppy Island
Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2016, 12:52:46 PM »
A related question: can we use the same toothbrush between our two dogs?

(This is not about cost so much as I'm too lazy to go find a second dog toothbrush and a place to store it [we're currently living out of an RV, so less stuff is better])

In one kennel environment for dogs with known/proven health records (i.e., NOT a shelter), the policy was to use the same brush and just wash it well between dogs for ordinary care. Dogs who needed special care got their own brushes. No one thought we needed multiple brushes for each dog to have their own for the routine care.

Honestly, you don't even really need a brush. You can use those rubber finger thingees (no idea what they are called) or wipes around your finger getting some of the toothpaste/enzymes on the teeth.

What matters is frequency & almost all of us don't brush dogs' teeth enough.

 

MrsCtank

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2016, 07:45:19 PM »
I'll add my two cents on a couple things. As for swapping brushes, I don't see a problem. As for the little finger brushes, I personally don't like them because I don't feel they do much - they're so soft - but anything is better than nothing and the more you look at the teeth the sooner problems may be detected. Really try to stay away from human toothpaste though, dogs have different needs and its worth it for a dog version. Same with shampoos! Also I second the anesthesia-less dentals, please don't. As a vet id rather you spend that money on chews or fewer more thorough dentals. Also please don't tell me your dog doesn't need cleanings because the groomer brushes them once every two months. I like greenies and the milkbone chews, and the rawhides but some dogs can choke (I have one out of my 3). I also love nylabones or the Purina busy ones, although my still eat those pretty quickly. As for the budgeting and vet bills vs retirement - even I will only spend within my means and do what I can. I feel you have to take care of yourself and your family before your dogs. That being said, owning dogs is a privilege and a responsibility, not a right. I really liked MMMs post on dog ownership not being mandatory.

partgypsy

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Re: K9 oral care necessary?
« Reply #45 on: November 12, 2016, 08:33:12 AM »
Gosh I feel ignorant, we didn't do much of anything with our dog's teeth routine care-wise. Maybe they got one cleaning each their entire lives. The oldest lived to 13 years and none of them lost teeth or had issues as far as I knew. Our current dog is 9. Because of this thread will schedule him for a tooth cleaning.
 
OTOH our poor cat who is 17, has lost all but a couple of her teeth. She has a virus that causes ulcers in her mouth and throat, which in addition to the wet food we feed her because of it, may have contributed : (. Still it makes me feel like a bad pet mom.

Was it a big dog? Basically,  teeth health is usually proportional to dog size. I have 3 dogs, large, medium, and small. The large dog's teeth I've only had cleaned twice in her life (she's almost 12) and her teeth are beautiful. The littlest one hardly has any teeth left and I've tried for years to salvage them with cleaning.


All of the dogs we have had were on the larger size, ranging from 45 (current dog) to 95 pounds. Average 50-60 pounds.