General Question

Mama_Cakes's avatar

What are your thoughts/feeling on a dog's dental cleaning without anesthesia?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (10970points) November 8th, 2011

I’ve read that this is an option. What are the pros/cons?

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13 Answers

janbb's avatar

I would think it depends a lot on the individual dog and the individual vet. If the vet feels it is possible to do, it sounds like a good idea.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Depends on you and the dog. If you can do anything to your dog, it’s probably okay. My last dogs were that way. The male jammed a huge wood splinter into the side of his mouth and was going wild. He let me hold his mouth open and reach in and pull it out. Another dog might have chewed my hand to shreds if I tried it. So, if you can work with the dog and do cleanings yourself and more often then you would take them to the vet, that’s a pro.

JilltheTooth's avatar

My dog wouldn’t hold still enough without it. He’s had it done numerous times, with anasthesia, and has shown no ill effects.

YoBob's avatar

My wife used to brush our dogs teeth. (no joke) The toothbrush she bought came with a special dog friendly toothpaste that was supposed to taste like liver. Upon hearing this, my dear sweet southern lady of a mother (I kid the not) piped up and said “They should have made it taste like @$$hole!”—

Coloma's avatar

I’d opt for sedation as needed dependent on the dogs age and psychological condition.

Better he is relaxed and comfortable than strong armed and traumatized.

I doubt that many vets will even do this procedure without some level of sedation.

Animals are very fearful of having their mouths and paws messed with a lot of the time.

Why wouldn’t they be, injury to either means they don’t survive.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Coloma I never had to strong arm a dog. We always trusted each other completely after we had been together awhile. I’d be very careful trying to clean a new dogs teeth.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

I’m opting for anesthesia.

janbb's avatar

FWIW, my dog had his done at the vet’s annually for years with anesthesia with no ill effects.

syz's avatar

Dental cleaning without anesthesia means scraping the surface of the tooth with a hand held instrument. Ultrasonic scaling and mechanical polishing are not possible. There are some dogs that will likely allow for a partial dental prophy, but there are quite a few things to consider:

The incomplete or partial nature of the cleaning
The stress, pain or fear that the dog may feel
Potential injury to the dog if he jerks or moves
Damage to the enamel of the tooth
Possible aspiration pnuemonia

General anesthesia always carries a risk, but that risk can be minimized with certain precautions. Pre-anesthetic bloodwork, IV access, and an experienced staff all help to make for a safe procedure. Having an endotracheal tube in place prevents water/detritus/vomitus from entering the lungs. Polishing after the cleaning smooths the surface of the enamel and slows tarter build-up.

The need for dental prophy varies according to breed predilection and individual need. Some dogs may never require a dental cleaning, some may need it 1–2 times per year (most greyhounds, for example). Preventative measures like brushing, dry kibble, and hard chew toys can help to increase the interval between cleanings.

Not cleaning teeth that are badly decayed carries it’s own risk – bacteria enters the bloodstream through inflamed gum tissue and can seed the organs (primarily the kidneys and heart), leading to serious complications. It also causes pain, tooth loss, and bad breath.

BeccaBoo's avatar

Hell, I wouldn’t go through that without pain relief so I wouldn’t expect my dog to either.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If it’s simple cleaning then I’m ok with it otherwise search high and low for a person gifted with animals to keep them comfortable. I found a lady who can work on my dog where he doesn’t move a muscle- never seen anyone handle him like that and no matter what she does in his yap, he’s a prince. Before miracle woman I used to pay near $300. a pop, twice a year to put my little buddy under light anethesia for his teeth cleanings. You know how yucky Pom teeth can get.

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