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Discussion Starter #1
Our 11 year old little dog has always had horrible teeth and used to get his teeth cleaned just about every year at the vet but we haven't done that in several years due to the cost. I was just home a couple weeks ago and noticed that his teeth are really bad, his breath smells rotten, and his beard is all stained orange and smells horrible so I think he's got some problems going on with his teeth. The last time he was at the vet they recommended we get his teeth cleaned again but that because of his age the cost will be around $1000 and it will be more if they need to extract teeth. They also said it will be risky because of his age and he may not come out of the anesthesia so my mom isn't wanting to do the procedure. What are the health risks with getting the teeth cleaned on senior dogs and how important is it to be done? We would be doing the blood panel beforehand. And is this cost more than average, sometimes our vet overprices things?
 

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A normal cleaning is about $100 for the bloodwork, $100 for the anesthesia, and $100 for the labor for cleaning. For more extensive work, you might find an older Vet practice that will scrape and extract for less money. Here are some ideas:
1. Any dog over 10 yo can be at risk with anesthesia, even with pre-testing. It depends on the health of the dog.
2. Bad teeth in a dog are just like bad teeth in a person in that decay can cause bad smell, pain, infections, heart problems.
3. You can try brushing everyday with dog toothpaste. That will reduce the problem but not eliminate it. It is like brushing the teeth of a 10 yo child who has never been to the dentist.
4. If you understand these issues, be upfront with the Vet and say that you can afford it, and that you are concerned about the dog not coming out of anesthesia... What are your options for trying to improve the situation, even if you can't solve it 100% ?
5. If your Vet gives you no options, go to another Vet, preferably an older practice maybe in a rural area.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I do know of a vet that usually has pretty reasonable prices that might be able to help us out. We do brush his teeth but that just doesn't seem to have helped enough now. He's eating fine and acting fine but I'm worried about the long term affects he could have from not getting this done now. I guess I need to go with my mom and talk to our vet and the other vet I know of and see what the options are and how safe this will be for an older dog.
 

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Try to find a vet that uses inhalant anesthetic. . .it's safer and less stressful on his aging organs. Of course there's always a risk, but it sounds like the mouth problems will do him in if nothing is done about it, so I think it would be worth doing. $1000 does sound expensive for a dental, so call around to other vets to compare prices.
 
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