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So a friend of mine has an English Cocker Spaniel with the most horrendous breath you can imagine. The dog is only 7 years old and these people just bought him about a year ago (maybe a little less) He was a finished Champion and the past owner was basically done with him. They (the new owners) had his teeth cleaned because he had the stinky breath and a lot of tartar. They said that less then 2 weeks later after the dental, they could smell the stinky breath again. When they took him back to the vet the vet told them he would likely need a full dental every 3 months.

I have never in all my years of having dogs needed to have a dental on any of my dogs. I give them bones to chew, brush the teeth (though not often enough) and I scale as needed. Admittedly I was shocked to see how nasty this dogs teeth were in less then 4 months from his last laser scale at the vet. The vet said, if they didn't want to do the dental every 3 months that they could just pull the dogs teeth.

Has anyone here ever had a dog like that before? Heard of one like that? My friend was asking me what to do but I wasn't entirely sure what to tell her.

I said if it were me, I would likely look for a second opinion. I would give him bones to chew on to see if some of that tarter can be loosened up naturally. She said she tries to brush his teeth but they bleed and she gets scared she is hurting him. I suggested just wrapping some gauze around her finger and very gently massaging the gums. I also suggested looking into some canine safe oral rinse to use on the gauze. I told her if it were my dogs and nothing else worked to get the teeth clean and maintain them in a healthy manner, I would have the teeth pulled. To me it would be better to be toothless and feel good then always have painful teeth.

What are you thoughts?
 

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My thoughts are that I wouldn't go near any vet who suggests pulling all of a dog's teeth if a pet owner can't afford dentals every 90 days. That's ridiculous. Did this vet show your friend how to brush the dogs teeth or provide any products to help minimize plaque. There are effective sprays and medication that can be added to drinking water to help this problem. It is usually the toy breeds who have the most plaque build up so it is unusual that a Cocker would have this type of build up in just three months, especially if the owner is taking preventative measures. I will tell you that in my experience, most gp vets don't do the dental, they are done by the vet techs who have had little to no dental hygiene training. I have four senior toy dogs and a steady stream of fosters so brushing everybody's teeth is impossible and there is no way I would put a senior dog under every 90 days. My dogs are all chronically ill so that was an even bigger concern. I have a non-anesthesia certified dental hygienist who comes to my home and does monthly maintenance on my dogs' teeth. My dogs' teeth were never this clean when the vet cleaned them. You have to be careful about who you use to do this because there are a lot of so-called pet dental hygienists who have never had formal training. A lot of vets are contracting with veterinary dental hygienists who are in office once or twice a month.

There are underlying health conditions that can contribute to excess plaque build up as well as bad breath. At seven years old, most vets recommend a full senior panel or a mini panel to check liver and kidney values before putting the dog under. Was this done on this dog and if so, was everything normal?
 

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I asked her about the blood work and she said it was fine. That same vet had supposedly done an exam on her cat and did blood work before putting her under to do a dental also. Then after the cat was under she said she felt a large Cancerous mass in the cats abdomen and they opted to put the cat to sleep because of how bad it was. My friend was charged for the surgery anyway. I told her to change vets because the whole thing sounded weird to me. On the cat, if she did an exam before hand, and the mass was as large as she said, she should have noticed it before putting the cat under and needing to charge them for a surgery when the cat was put to sleep.

Like I said, in all of my years of owning dogs, I have not had one that had such nasty teeth but I give my dogs bones to chew, brush occasionally and I do scale my dogs teeth myself. I also rub the gums with gauze and a peroxide solution which has always kept their teeth and gums healthy. I am just leery to do much to help her dog without it first seeing a good vet. MY vet has been recommended to her, I hope she goes. I think the dog should get a good dental and then we (her and I will help) should get really proactive in his dental care. He is such a nice dog but I can't stand having him around because his breath turns my stomach. If he were mine, I would have flipped him over on his side and began picking the tartar off his teeth. Even if I could only do one or two teeth at a time, they would look and feel better in no time. I would like to see him on a course of antibiotics to prevent or cure any infections that are likely going on too. I can't imagine having my mouth feel like his has too feel. :(


Oh and Yes, I agree, I would not want to put my dogs under every three months. That was the biggest issue I had with that whole scenario. It is dangerous for the dog so why risk it if you don't have to. That was the only reason I said that if the dog HAD to be put under every three months for a dental that pulling the teeth seemed a better option.
 

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Like I said, in all of my years of owning dogs, I have not had one that had such nasty teeth but I give my dogs bones to chew, brush occasionally and I do scale my dogs teeth myself. I also rub the gums with gauze and a peroxide solution which has always kept their teeth and gums healthy. I am just leery to do much to help her dog without it first seeing a good vet. MY vet has been recommended to her, I hope she goes. I think the dog should get a good dental and then we (her and I will help) should get really proactive in his dental care. He is such a nice dog but I can't stand having him around because his breath turns my stomach. If he were mine, I would have flipped him over on his side and began picking the tartar off his teeth. Even if I could only do one or two teeth at a time, they would look and feel better in no time. I would like to see him on a course of antibiotics to prevent or cure any infections that are likely going on too. I can't imagine having my mouth feel like his has too feel. :(
Sounds to me like this dog 'may' have some sort of periodontal disease. IF that is the case, then above the gumline scalings are not really going to fix the problem.

I wonder if this Vet did any x-rays to see what was going on below the gumline? If not - This person should seek out a better Vet for their dental work in the future...

Think about this like you would people teeth for a moment. Some people wait so long to get proper care for their teeth that they develop periodontal problems. When they do eventually go to a regular dentist they get referred to a periodontist... Night and day difference between the cleaning you get at a periodontist vs a regular dentist.
 

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There are a lot of options to be considered before having his teeth pulled or putting him under every 3 months. But, in cats, there is a disease called Stomatitis, and really all you CAN do for that is to pull the cat's teeth to save him a lot of pain and suffering. So if this dog has a similar auto-immune type disease like that, removing the teeth may be the only option. But I would want to know that for sure before taking such a drastic step. If there's a vet who specializes in canine dental issues or a vet college anywhere nearby, a consult with them would be a good idea.

One caveat I've seen from people who own cats with Stomatitis--if the teeth must be removed, have that done by a dental specialist, because a regular vet may accidentally leave parts of the roots in there, and those can be very painful and prone to infection.

Do you know what they feed him?
 

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I asked her if the vet had mentioned anything like Stomatitis and she said "no." I had her call my vet and make an appt. for a second opinion. I think that she should at least start with that. I was glad she did it. The dog goes in to my vet office tomorrow so hopefully they will give her some good news. I think it is pretty sad that she paid just under $400.00 for her dogs teeth to be cleaned and just a few weeks later they were so smelly and gross again. I asked her if she had looked at the teeth before and after the cleaning and she said she did. She said that they looked pretty much the same but they didn't smell as bad until 2 weeks later. Either way, I feel bad for the dog because his teeth have got to hurt. It can't feel good having your teeth so full of tartar and your breath stinking so darn bad. Hopefully she will get good news tomorrow. I know she is going to fuss about having to pay for another dental but if he needs it, it is worth it.
 

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If his teeth looked the same after the cleaning, I would suspect the vet didn't do anything. Usually their teeth are clean and shiny after being professionally cleaned.
 

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If his teeth looked the same after the cleaning, I would suspect the vet didn't do anything. Usually their teeth are clean and shiny after being professionally cleaned.
Yes, I am fully aware of that. Sadly, she didn't look right away. I personally would have had words with the vet right away. I am happy that she has made an appt. with another vet to get another opinion. Hopefully his stinky mouth and yucky teeth can be resolved. Even if it means he loses his teeth it would be better then living like he is.

You asked what they feed him. I believe they feed Nutro hard food.
 
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