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rotten_two

our visit with the doggie dentist

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good grief! you think human dentists are bad -- try going to the doggie dentist! somehow we always manage to be referred to the "high end" specialists!

oh my gosh we got lectured for 30 minutes at least and then we saw the estimate :o . lucky my fiance didn't pass out!

we did learn some interesting tidbits tho and i will pass them on. firstly doggie teeth are much weaker than human teeth. their jaws are much stronger and can exert more pressure mind you but the actual tooth has less enamel and more dentin which makes it structurally weaker. like a paper thin layer of enamel. the older the dog is the smaller the root canal. they can tell a dog's approximate age by looking at an xray of the teeth.

dogs teeth are secured in the jaw by ligaments and therefore have some give within the jaw. a dog can kill a tooth by exerting too much pressure on something.

here is the big shocker and maybe some of you knew this already but it goes against everything i have been told or read. dogs should not chew anything harder than their kibble.

no cow hooves
no pressed rawhide
no nylabones
no galileo bones
no sterilized cow bones
no ice cubes when teething
and greenies are to be allowed only if heated for a few seconds in the microwave to soften them. she says greenies are some of the worst offenders for breaks in the 4th molars (important teeth for chewing).

kongs and toys made of rubber substances are ok.

this dentist thinks we train our dogs to chew these hard things and beyond their teething needs they should not be allowed to chew anything harder than their dry kibble. they should grow out of their chewing phase in other words. she says contrary to popular belief chewing these objects does not help to clean the teeth -- otherwise human dentists would recommend chewing bones to clean our own teeth. this part makes sense to me and i will be disgarding the hard bones in our house (sorry puppies). she says the most important thing is to brush their teeth EVERY DAY. we brush their teeth but not every day :oops: guess we will be working on that too!

my gaia is a power chewer and always has been as evidenced by her exam yesterday. nearly all of her teeth are showing some wear and some chips here and there. i think the dr employed a little bit of "scare" tactic with us saying that if she is allowed to continue to chew these hard objects we are risking her dental health. the root canal in young dogs is larger and it doesn't take much to wear a tooth down since the enamel is so thin. if something were to get into the root canal you risk infection and loss of tooth.

she also pulled the ole i won't know how bad it is until i can get some xrays. gaia does need a cleaning but holy cow the low estimate for just the cleaning, xrays, anesthesia was $880 :o :o

and the high end if any work root canal etc needed to be done is $1690. of course she made sure to justify and itemize all the costs. for instance gaia will be assigned a tech to sit with her before, during -- to monitor her, and until she is out of recovery (this i like). $14 here and $27 there and we have $880. admittedly the xray and anesthesia are the most expensive portions. then the pre-op bloodwork etc.

of course the big sap i am for my dogs and their well being i will likely get it done. i will check around for other dentists but because they seem so into the dog's well being i will likely end up having it done at this luxury dog dentist! they are worth it.

oh and the other thing i wanted to tell you guys is this . . .
so we go to the doggie dentist -- a profession where you have chosen to put your hands into a dog's mouth -- and she is very scared of gaia.

i will remind you that gaia is an 80 pound rottie female -- if you know rotties then you know she is somewhat a lightweight -- at least in the eyes of what most american breeders say -- to me she couldn't be more perfect. she was lying down quietly in the corner when the dr came in and you could just see on this dr's face the look of terror when she entered. she was very skittish. gaia got up walked over to her and sat politely at her feet for petting. the dr first backed away but then proceeded to smack/pat her in the head -- all the while gaia is squinting but loving the attention. i basically played vet tech by holding gaia's head and opening her mouth for the exam. gaia was very good and even the dr made that comment. still she remained quite shy and didn't really pet her further. i would think you would enjoy dogs (of all sizes) in this field but apparently not. i just think it is so weird when people in the pet industry seem not to be pet people!

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$880 for a dental???! :o
Geeze unless your dogs are having major problems with pain when they chew/eat then I would go for a natural scaling at a veterinary surgery or do it yourself, if you have patient dogs with a coin. Dry salt on a slightly damp tissue rubbed around the teeth will also help to loosen tartar and will leave the teeth nice and shiny.

I have to be honest and say .. I think you are being taken for a ride with this vet!

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a ride it may be but yes gaia is having some problems specifically with a cracked pre molar and is clearly having some pain. she is not eating/chewing on that side nor picking up toys anymore. she had many other chipped teeth too -- apparently from the hard chew toys we have supplied. the dentin of the pre-molar is exposed and the xrays will determine what course of action should be taken in regard to that tooth. if there were no xrays involved the cleaning would likely be much less.

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i just found the website of the animal dental center where we went yesterday. if you click client services and then explore facility and resources or patient care you will see where the price comes from. it was not explained to me yesterday that they have a digitized radiograph process -- that doesn't sound cheap! they also have heated waterbeds during surgery to stabilize body temp etc etc. it seems very high tech and thusly my quoted price! unfortunately with her "bad" tooth -- xrays are the only real way to determine what is going on. in our area these guys are basically the only game in town (if you call 1.5 hours away our area) for this type of treatment :( acckkkk!

helps if i give the website :oops:

[url]http://www.animaldentalcenter.com[/url]

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it *could* be i will have to call and ask. i go to a holistic vet and in general their prices run a bit high but you are right it is worth checking into at least for the bloodwork. i dunno about the xrays -- whether my vet could get the films they would need i dunno -- some of these specialists get a bit greedy er um picky! how dental specific they need be i will have to ask.

good suggestion tho thanks.

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no there are not many places that can do a root canal if needed near us. we are thinking of checking in va and pa but by the time we travel it may still come out to cost us nearly the same. who knows it is a crappy situation.

i didn't mean to discredit this dr or even imply that she did not like rotties. i get the feeling she is not comfortable in general (small dogs and cats included) in her particular profession. i did not see her interact with other dogs or animals so i can't say that it is a rottie thing. i am sure she is perfectly fine when they are asleep haha. the staff was great and they all seemed pleased to meet gaia.

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I go by the rule that I don't give Magic anything that i woudn't hit over my knee. She broke two teeth last year and had them capped. She broke them on a nylabone! It was expensive almost $1000.00 :errrr:
I give her rope toys, kongs and kong material toys (which she doesn't really like because she can't destroy them), and big fat carrots (which she loves to chew and eat as an added bonus).

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Ouch, sorry bout the teeth :o :( poor thing....

What about the raw meaty bones??? The ones I get are like a joint or socket (sp) the upper or side pice with some meat and a large area of marrow that has been cut like in half or something.

Those are good things :lol: I had thought about getting Kongs but got bones instead :oops: I should toss the bones and get the kongs, I almost got some today, wish I had :roll: They love their carrots :lol: I will have to try the rope toys too I always got the stuffed ones, well that is what Sarah picked when we go to the store :wink: For some reason Morgan wont really play with toys, she never has favored them :roll:

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my understanding is that they can have the raw meaty bones preferrably with the marrow if you get them fresh from the butcher or grocery. they are "softer" than the processed type you might get in a pet store. besides wolves don't chew on kong toys right?

there are a number of kong and kong like toys available.

rhino bones -- they even have one for destructive chewers. i have tried them and while they don't last forever with our 2 i would much rather replace them than pay for a root canal.

kong balls and if your dog really enjoys chewing maybe the dental kongs with the ridges would help satisfy the need -- tho according to this dr it will not help with tooth cleaning.

tire biters are pretty good tho my two did manage to eventually chew a hole in it.

everydog is different so what is good for one may not be good for another. my dogs happen to be big chewers and their teeth are evidence so i think i will restrict my dogs to the hard rubber type toys and see what happens. i am sure not all dogs chew as voraciously as they do so they might be fine with a harder chewie.

i guess i was just a little surprised and shocked by the whole doggie dentist adventure!

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[quote name='rotten_two']my understanding is that they can have the raw meaty bones preferrably with the marrow if you get them fresh from the butcher or grocery. they are "softer" than the processed type you might get in a pet store.
[/quote]

I wouldn't think those bones are soft enough. Do the knee test :wink: hit it on your knee and if you chicken out or it breaks your knee or it just hurts like hell then don't give it to your dog.
Don't risk it either if your not sure, it's not worth it.

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