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For the 2nd year in a row, I took my 13 year old Jack Russell to get a full dental cleaning at our veterinarian. They did use anesthesia, as they did a full cleaning, x-rays, etc. Luckily no extractions this year - last year he had one due to a cracked tooth.

Unfortunately, he has much difficulty with anesthesia and had a bad reaction last year and again this year. Last year he was out of it for days, and same this year - we are on Day 2 of whining, not wanting to eat, lethargic.
He did vomit several times yesterday (day of surgery) after returning home, but so far, not today. Hoping tomorrow will be better.

Anyway, although he really did need the cleaning (bad tartar) I do not want to put him through this every year, especially now that he is a senior dog.

What are some alternatives to dental cleaning that requires anesthesia?
Are the cleanings without sedation as effective?
I read that coconut oil can help with tooth plaque/tartar - has anyone tried this?
I am open to any and all suggestions that will help me avoid having to put him through this again. I just feel so bad for him, and while I understand that keeping the teeth clean and free from bacteria is crucial, I just don't think the side effects of the anesthesia are worth it.

Thank you in advance!
 

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First of all is it the anesthesia or the pain meds or the sedatives or the drugs used to induce sedation causing the drowsiness. Some dogs are given acepromazine and this can cause extended drowsiness.

I will say that brushing the teeth on a daily basis is the best you can do for your dog's teeth to keep them clean.
this website is the products approved for oral health http://www.vohc.org/accepted_products.htm

non anesthesia dentals can be controversal in the vet world. It can get the outside of the teeth cleaned but hard to do on the inside of the tooth Of course your dog will have to allow for the cleaning to happen.

I would be asking and telling your vet about how sedated your dog stays and if there are alternatives to be done that your dog is not as groggy the next time he has to have a dental
 

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I have a 13y/o pom, and the vets do her dental using "gas" rather than full anesthesia; I'm sorry I don't know exactly what they use (I'm usually really attentive to drugs used on my dogs), but she is awake within minutes of them stopping it. I assume it is a really short acting sedative, they keep her for a few hours afterwards just to monitor her, but she acts completely normal on discharge.

I do brush my little dogs teeth, but still find they need professional dental care more as they get older.
 

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I've been giving my dogs PlacqueOff Animal for about 2mos. The brown stuff on their teeth is disappearing gradually. I mix into their food once daily.

There are other similar products out there too., such as Leba III.
 

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From a Vet perspective, if your dog needs a dental cleaning, then anesthesia is the only way for a complete cleaning. However, if you brush his teeth every day, then you can frequently avoid needing a Vet dental cleaning. Even if the dog balks at brushing, it IS worth the hassle and trouble. Along with daily brushing, coconut oil (rubbed on with your finger) may help with tooth plaque/tartar, may help with gum health, and the dog may like the flavor ... enjoying the oil as a 'reward' after brushing.

On the other hand, it sounds like what you are describing is Not a reaction to anesthesia, but a reaction to the brushing and pain. Many Vets will provide 1 - 3 days worth of something like Rimadyl for the pain. Talk to your Vet and ask specifically about your dog's reactions.
 

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You may have already done this, but be sure to tell your vet how your dog acts after a cleaning. There are lots of options for the specific drugs used and an individual who has problems with one can almost always tolerate another.

Anesthesia-free dental cleanings really aren't worth much. It's the tartar at and under the gumline which is the most significant from a disease standpoint. You know how your gums hurt after a good cleaning? That's because the hygienist is getting up under that gumline. Dogs really won't stand for that.

But yes, between cleanings at your veterinarian, brushing is the best thing you can do to help slow the formation of tartar (just like our teeth).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the replies!
I looked on the invoice to find out what anesthesia/sedatives were used. I am not sure what all of these medications are, but here is what is listed on the invoice from the procedure:
Dolorex (Butorphanol)
DexDomitor
Propofol
Cerenia
Buprenorphine
Bupivacaine
Lidocaine
Antisedan
Anesthesia - Local Block

I was not given Rimadyl or anything else for pain.

I am definitely going to try the coconut oil, and brushing every day - I do have the CET toothpaste, so will use that. The paperwork I received said to wait 1-2 weeks to begin brushing again.
I was reading reviews of some of the sprays it seems like they are mostly alcohol and dogs have had bad reactions to them, so I am a bit leery of that, especially since my guy is a senior.

Thank you again!
 
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