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Doberlady
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have another problem with my darling dobie and hoping someone can help.

To cut a long story short, this is my parents’ dog and they never knew about or thought to look after her dental health. None of the vets here ever recommended it either.

Her front teeth always looked strong and clean to me, but recently I noticed her pawing a bit at her mouth and rubbing her face against the carpet when she’s lying down.

I managed to open her mouth and on the 2 back teeth (one shown in image below), she has this brown substance that can’t be brushed off.

We showed this pic to the vet, and he said to try brushing her teeth and if it doesn’t come off, they’ll sedate her and do a cleaning. He says he wants to avoid surgery because it will be very difficult to ensure that her mouth heals properly afterwards.

I am unhappy with this diagnosis because the teeth look kind of serious to me and I assume that we can’t avoid a professional cleaning anyway because of the plaque and tartar. So here are my questions:

1. Has anyone ever encountered a dental issue like the one shown in the pic?

2. Apart from raw bones, what foods are natural teeth cleaners for dogs?

3. If extractions, etc. are eventually required, how on earth does one care for a dog's mouth and prevent them from disrupting the healing?

Some other points:

  • There are no pet toothbrushes available here (nor pet toothpaste, except for one vet who’s getting it delivered on Friday).
  • She doesn’t seem to be in pain, except for the rare pawing / occasional rubbing of face against the floor, has a great appetite (for hard and soft food), and is barking as normal.
  • She recently had an amputation due to bone cancer, so I am nervous about putting her under anesthesia again so soon. Someone also mentioned that this teeth problem could also be because of the bone cancer.

I’d be grateful for any advice, thanks in advance!

 

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Owned by Dobes since 1975
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30,675 Posts
That tooth does look 'bad'.

Not sure what to suggest for her.

I had a Dobe years ago who had 2 bouts of pneumonia before we realized the cause was an abscessed molar. The Vet removed two molars, she healed up with no issues again. She lived to 13+ years.

Hoping the best for your girl.
 

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Doberlady
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank Darkevs - how did you care for her mouth post-extraction? Did you have to feed soft foods? I assume there were stitches?
 

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Owned by Dobes since 1975
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30,675 Posts
If I remember rightly... Dissolving sutures were used.

I did soften her food a bit for about a week.

Her mouth healed very fast!

And she was a much happier dog after the bad teeth were removed.
 

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Doberlady
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you. We've decided to push for a cleaning this Friday - I'm pretty sure that brushing is not going to cut it. Hopefully she won't need extractions or any other major dental work.

I wish she could tell me what she's feeling and if there's any pain. She's licking her lips and mouth more frequently but I can't tell if that's because of the teeth or because we've reduced her food and she wants more :(
 

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Doberlady
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just thought I'd update here...

Venus had her cleaning yesterday and it went very well. The vet said her teeth are strong (despite never being cleaned) and managed to get everything out including that brown stuff (in the pic) without resorting to dental surgery of any kind.

They didn't give her anesthetic, but they did sedate her with 2 injections - the first one didn't sedate her enough. We got to watch the procedure. The cleaning itself (scraping and brushing) seemed kind of brutal and she was struggling on the table despite being heavily sedated. There was some bleeding too.

We've been given a pet toothpaste that just got delivered, and were advised that she only needs brushing once a week because her teeth are good generally.

The vet said that dry food is better for teeth while home cooked food builds up plaque, etc., which contradicts what I've read online.

She seems quite weak and tired even though it's the day after the sedation, but at least she's eating fine and drinking too.
 

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Premium Member
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10,569 Posts
Usually you don't have to do anything while the mouth heals--and generally it takes about two weeks before they can go back to eating kibble that hasn't been soaked to soften it.

The brown stuff is tarter--hardened plaque. Cleaning usually solves that problem and brushing will generally keep teeth clean--luckily Dobes generally have good teeth (unlike some breeds (some herding breeds are notorious for bad teeth and many small dogs have terrible teeth).

Dry food with no water added is somewhat better for teeth (to cut down on plaque/tarter accumulation ) than soft food and home cooked diets which tend to be soft. There are kibbles which are designed to help keep teeth clean and practically all the major kibble manufacturers make one--I add Hills/Science Diet TD (actually a prescription food) to my cats regular kibble because it actually will keep teeth clean--a plus for cats who tend to accumulate a lot of plaque which then turns into tarter).

Sedation dentistry on dogs is not as effective as cleanings under anesthesia and less traumatic for the dog (according to a couple of specialty vet dentists) but it's still a wholelot better than trying to brush off a heavy tarter accumulation like that on your dog.

You can use a child's SOFT toothbrush if a pet tooth brush isn't locally available--but only use soft brushes on cats or dogs--their enamel is somewhat different that human tooth enamel.

And I don't use a toothpaste at all for brushing dog teeth--I used one tube on each dog to teach them to allow tooth brushing--after that I brush with a wet soft tooth brush only. And give treats after.

None of my Dobes have had to have dentistry with one exception. One of my confrmation dogs sheared the front face from a lower incisor playing face bite with another dog--they connected just right and it sheared of the front of that tooth--at that point he needed 3 singles to finish--our dental tech looked and said that we could wait to extract the tooth. He finished and was neutered about 5 months later and the tooth was extracted then. He didn't even get a suture for that extraction and got one meal of wet food and then went back to his regular diet.

The Aussy got his teeth cleaed every three years and I brushed them every day--he never lost a tooth and lived to nearly 13 years. The cats get cleanings every three years starting at 3 years and I don't brush their teeth--period--cats are a lot harder than dogs but we have at the clinic whose cats get their teeth brushed regularly by their brave owners.

And my dogs get raw bones occasionally when I can get knuckle bones and the rest of the time they get a varity of nylabones which help a lot to keep the molars and back premolars cleaned.
 

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Doberlady
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Jezebeldobe - it wasn't a cavity, although I thought so too, but apparently tartar like dobebug says. At least it's gone now (it was on both sides and I thought it was deteriorated tooth!).

@dobebug, we're getting a pet toothbrush sent from South Africa, so at least that problem is taken care of. Despite the cleaning, though, she's still rubbing her face against the ground occasionally - I hope that's not an indication of another problem and just normal doggie behavior.

Cannot imagine brushing a cat's teeth. I once tried to clean a wound on a cat's face and ended up in the emergency room :(
 
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