Ezine Head
October 16th, 2013     Volume 4, Issue 42 Follow Us   Facebook Twitter Youtube
 If Dogs Could Talk

Pros And Cons Of Dental Cleanings


By Dr. Cathy Alinovi

Imagine for a moment you never went to the dentist...or brushed your teeth...for 5 years!  No matter how good your diet, there's going to be plaque and tartar.

What makes plaque form?  Bacteria - in our mouths.  So, we humans get our teeth cleaned every 6 months.

Now let's consider our canine friends: how many of us really brush our dogs' teeth?  I mean to, but shoot, I have 8 dogs.  Some days it's tough to even get my own teeth done before I fall into bed.  So, even on the best diet, our dogs' mouths have bacteria.  Which leads to tartar, which leads to decay, and eventually bacteria in the blood.  

Guess where that bacteria likes to go?  To the heart, liver, kidneys and anywhere else with small blood vessels. Many heart murmurs are valve problems - caused by bacteria, probably from the mouth.

So, what are our options? If you start with nice shiny teeth (puppyhood), dog parents can brush teeth everyday, and give raw meaty bones and antlers to chew on. If we aren't starting with nice shiny teeth, really, a dental cleaning is the best option.

There are two common ways to give dogs dental cleanings: with anesthesia or without.  Sedation-free dental cleanings save all the risk of anesthesia.  That's the biggest plus.  Downside is it's nearly impossible to get a dog to hold its mouth open to clean the inside of the teeth.  And it might really hurt to pull a rotten tooth while awake. What's cool is in dogs, unlike humans, most of the plaque/tartar is on the outside of the teeth, but not all. So sedation-free dentistry can do good things.

Dental cleanings with anesthesia means no pain and a very thorough cleaning inside and out.  And it makes it possible to pull some really tough teeth, especially if they are so rotten that they need to come out. However, it also means there is anesthesia risk.

There's no one right answer, but I know I don't want my pups having bacteria in their blood and I don't want them having pain from loose teeth.  Ideally: brush, feed a raw diet, give antlers to chew, but know that some dogs genetically have a risk of bad teeth (little ones) and take care of it early when tartar builds up on your pup's teeth.


Dr. Cathy Alinovi is the owner of Hoofstock Veterinary Service and Hoopeston Veterinary Service in Indiana. Certified in Veterinary Food Therapy, Veterinary Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Therapy, and Aromatherapy, Dr. Cathy’s approach provides whole body support through both the best in veterinary medicine as well as high-quality, all-natural foods, supplements, and health care products.  She offers phone consultation services as well as in-office appointments. Visit www.hoofstockvet.com for more information.

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 Pet Alert!
Dogswell Recall 8/30/2013 - Joey's Jerky - voluntarily recalling Chicken Jerky due to Salmonella after 21 people identified with the same strain of the illness.
Dogswell Recall 8/30/2013 - Nestlé Purina PetCare Company - voluntarily recalling 3.5 pound bags of Purina One Beyond due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria.
Dogswell Recall 8/14/2013 - Iams - Procter & Gamble recall a limited quantity due to possible Salmonella contamination.
Dogswell Recall 7/26/2013 - Dogswell - Recalls Dog and Cat Jerky Treats for traces of antibiotic residue.
 Bark Out Loud


Hairy Houdini Dog Escapes From Humane Society Compound


An Australian Shepherd with a history of letting not walls contain his free spirit, made his way out of a Colorado Humane Society facility after hours. The slippery canine was picked up after "letting himself out" of his home several days earlier. The entire fiasco is caught by security cameras. You will have to see it to believe it!

CLICK HERE to watch the escape footage!



Wags of Wisdom

"If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around."
- cowboy wisdom
The Foot

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