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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I’m curious..for toy poodle owners, does everyone do a yearly dental cleaning under anesthesia?
I have a 9yr old 4.7lb toy, and last week I noticed a little liquid coming out between her gums/premolar..sent video to vet, and he said she has periodontal disease, may be an abscess, and yesterday I got her antibiotics, did bloodwork and scheduled cleaning (also sat in the car crying about it). The last one she had was in 2017 while she was already under to be fixed.
So, I guess my question is, if a toy had some loose teeth (a few have already fallen out which breaks my heart), the responsible thing is the anesthetic cleaning? I’ve put it off since the last one, I’ve bought all the gels/pastes..and when I try to brush, the teeth are so tiny I think I hurt her more then I’m helping (and sometimes they bleed).
I’m very nervous. But possible future infection when she’s older and then can’t go under at all is worse than going under now and having teeth pulled right? The potential for blood infection is real right, not just something they say to do cleanings? Also, I’ve included photos..this is very bad right? And anytime I see/talk to a poodle owner, their dogs teeth are pearly white...I just don’t know what to do anymore, but I also don’t want her to come back toothless..
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Bad teeth and infections can affect internal organs, affect the heart.
Better for the dog to have the bad teeth removed. Toy breeds notoriously have bad teeth, their teeth are tightly packed together so debris gets caught easily.
Bleeding gums is a sign of gum/dental disease.
After the cleaning a tooth extractions, speak with your vet on how to keep those teeth clean
 

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I’ve never had a cleaning done, but I’m a nut about keeping my dogs clean, inside and out... Just can’t bear it. Some people I’ve known have their dog’s teeth cleaned every once in a while, and they do just fine. Your girl definitely needs a cleaning, some of the teeth on the right look like they might need pulled, unfortunately. Infections in one part of the body can spread to other parts.

If it makes you feel better, a large part of this is not your fault. Those teeth look very off-center to me, and any sort of tooth removal was bound to happen at some point, infection or broken or otherwise. It may actually be beneficial for her to have some of them removed.
 

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She has really bad teeth. She will probably need some extractions. Have a dental cleaning done by the vet ASAP. When it’s done, you need to start brushing regularly, at least 4 times a week, or else she will be back to square one in no time. And the older the dog is, the more risk there is to having dental cleaning done, because of anesthesia.

The bleeding when you brush is perfectly normal. It’s the gums bleeding, because they are sensitive and have never been in contact with the brush. Same thing happens to humans who don’t brush enough. After a while (not long, not even a week), her gums will get used to it and there will be no bleeding.

I brush both my toy’s teeth and they never bleed.
 

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Aside from all the health issues mentioned, bad teeth are really painful. I think it is much kinder to extract the rotten teeth.

I once had a cat that needed to have every single tooth removed due to an auto-immune issue. He was so much more comfortable afterwards. He stopped shying away from my touch, started head-butting me affectionately, ate better, interacted with the dogs...just acted like a totally different animal.
 

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Those teeth are quite bad, be prepared for her to loose a lot of them.
Far better to get them out now while she is healthy. I work as a vet tech and I can't tell you how many people say their pets were so much happier after having teeth taken out.
And while it's hard to tie them together directly, a lot of dogs that we see with later onset heart disease have terrible teeth... And of course by that point anesthesia is dangerous.
This dental is definitely worth it for her short-term comfort as well as long-term health.
 

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I second all that has been said - get her teeth sorted, including any extractions needed, then as soon as your vet gives the all clear start brushing very regularly. Build up slowly, so it is something she accepts easily - at the moment her mouth will be sore, but once it has healed she will be much more comfortable. Sophy in particular disliked the feel of the brush, and it took several months to get from a touch to several dozen strokes. For one reason and another her teeth had got caked with tartar, but I still kept brushing regularly, and when she went in for a dental at a similar age to your dog - only the second of her life - the vet was surprised to find the teeth and gums completely healthy underneath the gunk, which he reckoned was largely due to the daily brushing. Poppy has never needed a dental - brushing alone has been enough for her, but she has better spaced teeth in a longer jaw.
 

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Those teeth do look pretty rotten, and probably painful for her. Have removed whatever teeth the vet says need to go and do the cleaning of what’s left.
I’m sorry you’re feeling bad about this. But from here on out you will be her oral health champion.
I don’t think water additives, wipe on gel, or dental chews are enough. just regular old teeth brushing is the only way to keep dog’s teeth from getting bad or worse.

These toothbrushes are the ones I use for my mini. She has very small teeth and a small mouth like your toy. the heads on this brush are smaller and softer than the small end of the typical double ended pet toothbrush. Someone else here on poodle forum recommended them, that’s how I found them.


I originally started with silicone over the finger brushes but I personally found them harder to use than small headed regular toothbrushes.

Wait a several days for the soreness of her dental cleaning/extractions to resolve, then look into brushing her teeth. She’s not gonna like it, you’ll just train her to tolerate it enough to get it done. Her gums will still bleed for awhile when you first start brushing. Make sure you use a VOHC approved toothpaste. Those are the only ones that have shown effectiveness to reduce plaque and tartar on the teeth. I’ve only ever used Petsmile brand in the London broil flavor and my dog thinks it’s a treat.

I brush my dog’s teeth 3-4 times a week (I should do more). I will do a cleaning under anesthesia whenever the vet thinks it’s needed. But my dog is only 1 and not needing it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone! Hopefully, they won’t need to all be extracted, and hopefully my nerves will make it to the day of (I’m in full on anxiety mode), and I can get back on the brushing regime..I’ve also been alternating with those rubber finger brushes and kids toothbrushes w/ Petrodex toothpaste..but her teeth are so tiny, I don’t even know what I’m doing as I’m doing it and get paste everywhere except where it should be.

I think I will look into the brushes suggested above too.

I’ve been giving her the antibiotic the vet prescribed (and he did mention something about her liver numbers(?) being high probably from her infection but we did get the green light for the cleaning. I like to torture/blame myself (for everything, lol)..but I also wonder if having 4 litters of puppies (before I got her)..and her kibble (Fromm) also contributed to this (my other toy is on the same kibble and also will need a dental)..
 

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I would be anxious too. I’ve had to put my puppy under anesthesia twice in the past 4 months, once to extract retained baby teeth and once for her spay (2 days ago!). That’s always nerve wracking. It’s scary to not know how many teeth need to come out. She’s gonna be bouncy and happy after it’s done though.

It’s very hard to see and get to what you need to brush, especially the sides and back teeth.
The thing I do that helps me is I have Lacey lay on my lap facing left or right. I take my index finger of my left hand (I’m right handed) and stick it in between her cheek and teeth along the side. I gently stretch cheek and lips outward away from the teeth and pull the corner of the mouth backward to expose the teeth further back. I maneuver the left finger however I need hold the cheek and lip out of the way to see and get to the teeth on the top and bottom on that side.
Then I flip her so she’s lying on my lap facing the other way and do the same thing on the other side.
I only focus on brushing the outside facing surfaces of the teeth since the tongue is constantly rubbing against the inside surface. Maybe that’s not the correct thing to do, but it’s what I do.
She constantly tries to lick the toothbrush the whole time and close her mouth, so it’s not the easiest process. A few times during the process I let her close her mouth to quickly rest her jaw and swallow. If your dog won’t let you put your finger in her mouth, hopefully you can use treats to train her to get used to that over time!

I tried to take a pic but it’s kind of hard to take myself and at such close range. Lacey is lying on a pillow on my lap facing to my left, and that is my left hand sticking my finger into her cheek. I normally have the finger more parellel to her cheek and a bit deeper into her mouth.

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Edit to add: it’s easier position the toothbrush holding hand over the top of the left hand that’s holding the lip and cheek.
When puppy is facing left it’s harder to brush that side. I hold the toothbrush like this:

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I've read that something as simple as wrapping some bandage gauze around your finger and gently "brushing", especially with a good doggie paste, will help keep their teeth clean.
What my own dentist told me, when he noticed that my teeth were less than stellar, is that it doesn’t matter how hard you brush, just how often. This is because brushing removes the surfaces and goop that the tartar (who knows if I spelled that right) lives and grows on. So, that’s why they recommend you brush and floss twice a day.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I would be anxious too. I’ve had to put my puppy under anesthesia twice in the past 4 months, once to extract retained baby teeth and once for her spay (2 days ago!). That’s always nerve wracking. It’s scary to not know how many teeth need to come out. She’s gonna be bouncy and happy after it’s done though.

It’s very hard to see and get to what you need to brush, especially the sides and back teeth.
The thing I do that helps me is I have Lacey lay on my lap facing left or right. I take my index finger of my left hand (I’m right handed) and stick it in between her cheek and teeth along the side. I gently stretch cheek and lips outward away from the teeth and pull the corner of the mouth backward to expose the teeth further back. I maneuver the left finger however I need hold the cheek and lip out of the way to see and get to the teeth on the top and bottom on that side.
Then I flip her so she’s lying on my lap facing the other way and do the same thing on the other side.
I only focus on brushing the outside facing surfaces of the teeth since the tongue is constantly rubbing against the inside surface. Maybe that’s not the correct thing to do, but it’s what I do.
She constantly tries to lick the toothbrush the whole time and close her mouth, so it’s not the easiest process. A few times during the process I let her close her mouth to quickly rest her jaw and swallow. If your dog won’t let you put your finger in her mouth, hopefully you can use treats to train her to get used to that over time!

I tried to take a pic but it’s kind of hard to take myself and at such close range. Lacey is lying on a pillow on my lap facing to my left, and that is my left hand sticking my finger into her cheek. I normally have the finger more parellel to her cheek and a bit deeper into her mouth.

View attachment 468210
View attachment 468211

Edit to add: it’s easier position the toothbrush holding hand over the top of the left hand that’s holding the lip and cheek.
When puppy is facing left it’s harder to brush that side. I hold the toothbrush like this:

View attachment 468215
I would be anxious too. I’ve had to put my puppy under anesthesia twice in the past 4 months, once to extract retained baby teeth and once for her spay (2 days ago!). That’s always nerve wracking. It’s scary to not know how many teeth need to come out. She’s gonna be bouncy and happy after it’s done though.

It’s very hard to see and get to what you need to brush, especially the sides and back teeth.
The thing I do that helps me is I have Lacey lay on my lap facing left or right. I take my index finger of my left hand (I’m right handed) and stick it in between her cheek and teeth along the side. I gently stretch cheek and lips outward away from the teeth and pull the corner of the mouth backward to expose the teeth further back. I maneuver the left finger however I need hold the cheek and lip out of the way to see and get to the teeth on the top and bottom on that side.
Then I flip her so she’s lying on my lap facing the other way and do the same thing on the other side.
I only focus on brushing the outside facing surfaces of the teeth since the tongue is constantly rubbing against the inside surface. Maybe that’s not the correct thing to do, but it’s what I do.
She constantly tries to lick the toothbrush the whole time and close her mouth, so it’s not the easiest process. A few times during the process I let her close her mouth to quickly rest her jaw and swallow. If your dog won’t let you put your finger in her mouth, hopefully you can use treats to train her to get used to that over time!

I tried to take a pic but it’s kind of hard to take myself and at such close range. Lacey is lying on a pillow on my lap facing to my left, and that is my left hand sticking my finger into her cheek. I normally have the finger more parellel to her cheek and a bit deeper into her mouth.

View attachment 468210
View attachment 468211

Edit to add: it’s easier position the toothbrush holding hand over the top of the left hand that’s holding the lip and cheek.
When puppy is facing left it’s harder to brush that side. I hold the toothbrush like this:

View attachment 468215
Thank you! What a cutie! Mine act like I’m attempting to murder them as soon as I get anywhere near their teeth, lol.
 

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My dachshund chipped her tooth and either had to have it pulled, or reconstructive surgery. I opted for the latter. I had to find a vet who specialized in dentistry. The one I found, had studied in the United States and has written several books for vets on different dental treatment methods.
According to him, this toothbrush is very good: Virbac C.E.T. Dual Ended Toothbrush
I thought the larger end of the toothbrush would be too big form my toy poodle, but he showed me it is not an issue. You just dip it in water (that helps to wash away the plaque like rinsing out after brushing your teeth) and move up and down 2-3 times in each spot. That's it. Since it doesn't require much effort, it is a simple task to do after meals. He recommends it after each meal, but I am too busy in the mornings and tend to do it every evening. I do use toothpaste (which he says isn't necessary) because I like to fresh smell afterwards.
Here is a link on Amazon:

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My dachshund chipped her tooth and either had to have it pulled, or reconstructive surgery. I opted for the latter. I had to find a vet who specialized in dentistry. The one I found, had studied in the United States and has written several books for vets on different dental treatment methods.
According to him, this toothbrush is very good: Virbac C.E.T. Dual Ended Toothbrush
I thought the larger end of the toothbrush would be too big form my toy poodle, but he showed me it is not an issue. You just dip it in water (that helps to wash away the plaque like rinsing out after brushing your teeth) and move up and down 2-3 times in each spot. That's it. Since it doesn't require much effort, it is a simple task to do after meals. He recommends it after each meal, but I am too busy in the mornings and tend to do it every evening. I do use toothpaste (which he says isn't necessary) because I like to fresh smell afterwards.
Here is a link on Amazon:

Hope this helps.
Thank you, I’ll look into these..what did they do for the tooth repair..did they seal it? I (unknowingly) called a vet office to ask about pricing..and it turns out their dentist was in fact just that, and does implants, etc..they said an initial 1st visit was $150! Did he mention what the best toothpaste was? Sometimes when I look at the ingredients in the pet supply store, some have so many..
 

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In my dog's case, they were able to cap it just like they do with people. He specializes in dental procedures and has all the tools a normal dentist would use. I was introduced through a vet at my regular clinic who had listened to some of his lectures and read his books when she was a student. Unfortunately, probably due to fame, the price was very high, almost triple what it would have cost to have the tooth removed. With the preliminary check up, multiple x-rays, etc. the whole procedure was around US$2,000, but things are very expensive in my area, anyway. I was told that such veterinary dentists with such tools, are rare and contribute to the high price. I had hoped her medical insurance would cover something, but I found out that there are no policies that cover anything to do with teeth:eek:.
She was under anesthesia for the process and sent home that afternoon. He said to put her on a diet of raw meat fro one week, until the next check up. He said that it creates the least amount of bacteria, therefore the least chance of infection. (He also said that the downside is that it is mostly absorbed by the body, so there is very little excrement for that week if any, but after changing back to normal diet, there can be loose stool for a few days! as was her case about 2 days)
Three years later and still good!
 

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Wow! That sounds great. I checked with several companies, and they all told me that they will not cover anything tooth related, as it is a common occurrence in dogs, and therefor not considered a medical treatment. I don't know what they mean by that, other than, they don't want to pay out money on a situation that is likely to occur.
I thought that it would be a less evasive option than removing her whole tooth. As she was around two years old, I worried about her future without it.
The dental vet also said he saw a lot of dogs come in with broken or chipped teeth due to Greenies. A common chew bone that is sold a vet clinics and used to remove tartar. He said not to use them.
 
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