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Our 12 year old Westie, Lucy had to have dental surgery this week. When we took her for her yearly shots, the vet checked her over and found she had two teeth with infection in the gums around those two teeth. My husband and I noticed she had doggie breath, but just ignored it and gave her doggie treats to chew for her breath.
People should also know that decaying teeth can cause heart problems! If a bad tooth can cause a problem for YOU it can cause that same problem in a dog or cat.
Get your vet or his tech to show you how to brush dog's teeth. You start small, just inserting your finger in the side of her mouth until she gets used to that. Then add a bit of tooth paste to the finger and slide it over the molors. After a few days of this you can put the brush in and just hold it there. Advance with the brush like you did the finger. It could take a couple of weeks before you get an actual brushing done. In my husband's veterinary office we had one owner who said he brushed his dog's teeth every morning right after he did his own and after awhile he discovered his dog standing beside him with the brush held in his teeth (it was kept in a bowl with his toothpaste behind the toilet) waiting for his turn! Some dogs don't get lots of snuggles and this becomes their favorite time. It takes time but sure will help.
I am a former vet tech. Unfortunately I worked for a vet who had a HUGE ego problem. I witnessed many dental (and other) mishaps at the hands of the vet, which ultimately caused the pet owners several hundreds to thousands of dollars in continued problems. Not to mention a lady's sheltie who was near death from an abcess.
I make sure my dog's teeth are brushed and cleaned at home to avoid having a run-in with any of the vet problems with my own pet.
Our 14 y.o. Westie has had her teeth brushed since she was a puppy. Her teeth and gums looked to be in excellent condition and she developed "dog breath" too and when she was under anesthesia for eye surgery we discovered that 2 teeth in the very back of her mouth had rotted causing the bad breath. You normally can't open a dog's mouth far enough to see these teeth to check them or to brush them. We were unaware. They were removed and now she is fine. But brushing is the way to go. Allow her to chew on the brush the first few times until she gets used to it being in her mouth, Then introduce the brushing, a little at a time. It is definitely worth it. Good luck!
I have worked for a Veterinarian for over 27 years. Dental disease can cause a lot of problems for any breed. I have a Welsh Corgi that is 14 yrs. old and has had 3 dentals in his lifetime. His last dental was last month. Your dental bill with extractions for $200.00 was very inexpensive. It would have been about $ 600-800 here in California. I am glad your fur baby is feeling better.