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I have an eleven year old mix breed (probably beagle/shepard.) She is very healthy, walks everyday; and has always been fed high quality food.

She has never had her teeth cleaned, and some vets have told me I should have it done; but I worry about the effect of the anesthesia on an old dog. Is it worth it? Her teeth look ok, she has some decay...I know it can cause heart problems, but will it help at her age to clean it? I wouldn't hesitate if they didn't have to knock her out...but I just hate to do that.
 

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As long as you have pre-anesthetic blood work done there is no reason not to. The vet I work for does seniors all the time. If there is a problem with the blood work he will not do them (which is not very often).
 

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It is important to keep your dogs teeth clean. Ideally you would brush them every day, or every other day. Feeding a food meant to clean teeth is also beneficial. Medi-Cal makes an Oral Care food, and so does Nutro-Dental care, and Hills has an oral care food. The food is made in a large chunk, that does not crumble when the dog eats it, so his teeth have to go in and out, in and out, of the hard piece of food. If you notice a lot of tartar on your dogs teeth, then you should make an appointment with your Vet for cleaning and scaling.
 

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Sassy's teeth cleaning was an add on 2 years ago when she was 13.5 years old. The pre surgery blood check showed kidney issues but she came through in fine shape. If you can see decay then the teeth probably need some work done. The risk of anesthesia is less than the risk of heart disease caused by rotten teeth. Blood work is a must! At her age she needs it every year at least anyway.
 

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Sassy's teeth cleaning was an add on 2 years ago when she was 13.5 years old. The pre surgery blood check showed kidney issues but she came through in fine shape. If you can see decay then the teeth probably need some work done. The risk of anesthesia is less than the risk of heart disease caused by rotten teeth. Blood work is a must! At her age she needs it every year at least anyway.
I have a 1 1/2 year GSD that his teeth or bad, found out he had KD. wonder if that is why his teeth are bad?
 

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You can also clean this dog's teeth at home with a Veterinary tooth scaler. They run for about $5 in pet supply catalogs, such as www.kvvet.com

I recently did a scaling on the teeth of my 8yo mutt, he was very good about it and I was able to get a majority of the crud off his back teeth. He's always been a tartar former, so this really comes in handy. And of course, without the downside of anestesia. If you do it every 4-6 months on a regular basis the dog's teeth will never need Vet attention :)
 
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