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My senior mini mix Gracie suddenly started showing very disturbing and mysterious symptoms. She would stagger like she was drunk, yelp out of the blue.... I thought she was dying. I was positive it was neurological.

My vet said, "Let's pull out that one tooth that's looking bad, and go from there." I was so skeptical. I was also scared. My husband had to take her for the surgery. I didn't want my anxiety rubbing off on her.

And you know what? Even as she was still recovering from what turned out to be a DOZEN extractions, she was more engaged and energetic than she'd been in years. It was like she was a younger dog.

She was suffering a long time and I had no idea. Our previous vet had always said her teeth looked great.

My only regret? I wish I'd done it sooner. In fact, I wish they pulled all her teeth that day. When we finally lost her, her teeth were absolutely a contributing factor.

Anesthesia is risky, but so are dental infections. They're also horribly painful and our dogs suffer so quietly.

Good luck, whatever you decide, and please do keep us posted. I know it's scary. And I know there is no perfect answer. Once you've done the research, and consulted with a trusted vet, all that's left is to listen to your gut.
 

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Ughh. That looks like a dog who has eaten kibble their entire life. I hope she gets her teeth taken care of soon. Let us know how it turns out:)
I used to have my other dog on freeze dried duck patties, the vet said it was not a good idea (his teeth look decent)..with my girl, the previous owner had her on Royal Canin..but everyone rails against how awful that is (except vets) so I’ve had her on the only kibble that was small enough for her to attempt to chew..plus boiled chicken and veggies sprinkled on top. So sometimes it’s dry kibble other times chicken/broth/mush...honestly I don’t even know anymore, vets say kibble is good, one pet supply worker says dry kibble is bad, sticks on the teeth/give em wet food..then another will say the opposite, wet food sticks more, give em dry...🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️😖
 

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My senior mini mix Gracie suddenly started showing very disturbing and mysterious symptoms. She would stagger like she was drunk, yelp out of the blue.... I thought she was dying. I was positive it was neurological.

My vet said, "Let's pull out that one tooth that's looking bad, and go from there." I was so skeptical. I was also scared. My husband had to take her for the surgery. I didn't want my anxiety rubbing off on her.

And you know what? Even as she was still recovering from what turned out to be a DOZEN extractions, she was more engaged and energetic than she'd been in years. It was like she was a younger dog.

She was suffering a long time and I had no idea. Our previous vet had always said her teeth looked great.

My only regret? I wish I'd done it sooner. In fact, I wish they pulled all her teeth that day. When we finally lost her, her teeth were absolutely a contributing factor.

Anesthesia is risky, but so are dental infections. They're also horribly painful and our dogs suffer so quietly.

Good luck, whatever you decide, and please do keep us posted. I know it's scary. And I know there is no perfect answer. Once you've done the research, and consulted with a trusted vet, all that's left is to listen to your gut.
Thank you, 💕 we are going in on Tuesday (I don’t know what I will do with myself and my nerves those hours while I wait). The whole thing just breaks my heart, and I know she’s going to be so excited when I grab her leash and think we are going out somewhere fun, only to be dropped off at the vet. And there’s an option where they will call in the middle and give an update, and ask for approval to pull things and I just don’t want the responsibility to say yes and possibly pull everything (although of course anything infected must go)
 

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Thank you, 💕 we are going in on Tuesday (I don’t know what I will do with myself and my nerves those hours while I wait). The whole thing just breaks my heart, and I know she’s going to be so excited when I grab her leash and think we are going out somewhere fun, only to be dropped off at the vet. And there’s an option where they will call in the middle and give an update, and ask for approval to pull things and I just don’t want the responsibility to say yes and possibly pull everything (although of course anything infected must go)
Ohhhh this broke MY heart. You obviously have quite an empathic bond with your girl, and that's just the sweetest thing.

I'll share one more quick personal anecdote: I put off having my wisdom teeth pulled for over 20 years. Finally one was so broken and painful, I knew I just had to do it. And I did.

Not only was it not nearly as bad as I expected, even with the pain of recovery, my mouth felt better than it had for years. And my daily temperature is now much lower. My poor body was probably fighting infection all that time!

So do your best to direct that exquisite empathy of yours towards how she'll feel afterwards: Imagine her waking up, groggy, maybe with a mouthful of missing teeth....but the pain is gone! Her energy starts coming back and she can think more clearly. Biting on a favourite toy feels so much better. Eating is pleasurable again.

Sit with all those feelings while she's in surgery and get excited for her. What a gift you're giving your friend! And if you give your vet permission to pull anything that's questionable, you're eliminating the need for another surgery when she's even further into her senior years. That's another gift right there.

I know it doesn't make the risks go away. Or the pain of handing her over without being able to explain what's about to happen. But your calm, confident energy will help her through.
 

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Ohhhh this broke MY heart. You obviously have quite an empathic bond with your girl, and that's just the sweetest thing.

I'll share one more quick personal anecdote: I put off having my wisdom teeth pulled for over 20 years. Finally one was so broken and painful, I knew I just had to do it. And I did.

Not only was it not nearly as bad as I expected, even with the pain of recovery, my mouth felt better than it had for years. And my daily temperature is now much lower. My poor body was probably fighting infection all that time!

So do your best to direct that exquisite empathy of yours towards how she'll feel afterwards: Imagine her waking up, groggy, maybe with a mouthful of missing teeth....but the pain is gone! Her energy starts coming back and she can think more clearly. Biting on a favourite toy feels so much better. Eating is pleasurable again.

Sit with all those feelings while she's in surgery and get excited for her. What a gift you're giving your friend! And if you give your vet permission to pull anything that's questionable, you're eliminating the need for another surgery when she's even further into her senior years. That's another gift right there.

I know it doesn't make the risks go away. Or the pain of handing her over without being able to explain what's about to happen. But your calm, confident energy will help her through.
🙂💛💛💛
 

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Thank you, 💕 we are going in on Tuesday (I don’t know what I will do with myself and my nerves those hours while I wait). The whole thing just breaks my heart, and I know she’s going to be so excited when I grab her leash and think we are going out somewhere fun, only to be dropped off at the vet. And there’s an option where they will call in the middle and give an update, and ask for approval to pull things and I just don’t want the responsibility to say yes and possibly pull everything (although of course anything infected must go)
Hi there,
My oldest dog, who is 9, no longer has any teeth. He had to have the rest of them pulled in May. I was an emotional mess right after the procedure; it wasn't fun watching him struggle with wearing a cone all day, every day for 14 days. But, in the end, it was the best thing for him...he was the brave, strong little guy he's always been. His tongue hangs out now to the side, but he seems like a much happier dog. In his case, there was absolute refusal for teeth brushing and even dental gel. His younger sister allows me to brush her teeth, and he will come up, sniff the gel/toothpaste and run.

If your dog is like him, and refuses teeth brushing, it's going to be really hard to keep the rest of the teeth clean after the cleaning and extractions unless the vet agrees to more frequent cleanings (maybe even every 6-12 months). I would just suggest trusting your vet's wisdom on what teeth need to be pulled, and any advice on further treatment. It will be okay in the end, even if it doesn't feel that way right now. :)
 

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Hi there,
My oldest dog, who is 9, no longer has any teeth. He had to have the rest of them pulled in May. I was an emotional mess right after the procedure; it wasn't fun watching him struggle with wearing a cone all day, every day for 14 days. But, in the end, it was the best thing for him...he was the brave, strong little guy he's always been. His tongue hangs out now to the side, but he seems like a much happier dog. In his case, there was absolute refusal for teeth brushing and even dental gel. His younger sister allows me to brush her teeth, and he will come up, sniff the gel/toothpaste and run.

If your dog is like him, and refuses teeth brushing, it's going to be really hard to keep the rest of the teeth clean after the cleaning and extractions unless the vet agrees to more frequent cleanings (maybe even every 6-12 months). I would just suggest trusting your vet's wisdom on what teeth need to be pulled, and any advice on further treatment. It will be okay in the end, even if it doesn't feel that way right now. :)
😊
 

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Hi there,
My oldest dog, who is 9, no longer has any teeth. He had to have the rest of them pulled in May. I was an emotional mess right after the procedure; it wasn't fun watching him struggle with wearing a cone all day, every day for 14 days. But, in the end, it was the best thing for him...he was the brave, strong little guy he's always been. His tongue hangs out now to the side, but he seems like a much happier dog. In his case, there was absolute refusal for teeth brushing and even dental gel. His younger sister allows me to brush her teeth, and he will come up, sniff the gel/toothpaste and run.

If your dog is like him, and refuses teeth brushing, it's going to be really hard to keep the rest of the teeth clean after the cleaning and extractions unless the vet agrees to more frequent cleanings (maybe even every 6-12 months). I would just suggest trusting your vet's wisdom on what teeth need to be pulled, and any advice on further treatment. It will be okay in the end, even if it doesn't feel that way right now. :)
Yes, the refusal to brush is really an issue..my other one is even smaller, and she is a master with the paw-swatting/moving her mouth away. And their teeth are so tiny(!), half the paste always manages to get stuck in their ear hair🤦🏻‍♀️
 

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Actually, one of my human friends almost died of heart disease that was related to her teeth! She had to have a lot of work done on them, and, yes, some pulled, before the heart doctor would even work with her. They thought she was going to die 3 years ago, and now she is much better! Apparently our teeth, and our dear dogs teeth can really affect health!
 

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I used to have my other dog on freeze dried duck patties, the vet said it was not a good idea (his teeth look decent)..with my girl, the previous owner had her on Royal Canin..but everyone rails against how awful that is (except vets) so I’ve had her on the only kibble that was small enough for her to attempt to chew..plus boiled chicken and veggies sprinkled on top. So sometimes it’s dry kibble other times chicken/broth/mush...honestly I don’t even know anymore, vets say kibble is good, one pet supply worker says dry kibble is bad, sticks on the teeth/give em wet food..then another will say the opposite, wet food sticks more, give em dry...🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️😖
Most Vets do not understand the real anscesteral dog diet. Everytime I have taken my dog off of 100% raw, he has had problems. Sadly because of COVID I put him on 1/2 super high quality kibble and 1/2 raw, and his health / energy/ teeth/ etc went downhill. I am now trying to feed him more raw once again, and feeling very guilty that I have lowered his health.
 

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Another personal tale here - I put off having a tiny gum boil attended to for a year or more - it didn't hurt, and the recommended treatment was an implant, so it took me a very long time to psych myself up for it! After the first op in a long series the infection began to clear and a week or two later I noticed that lots of niggly little aches and pains went with it. If she has any infection she is going to feel SO much better afterwards, and if there is no infection there will be no extractions and you will feel much better, so one or other or both of you win. And as others have said infected teeth can be very dangerous for general health.

Having said all that I cleaned my whole house when Sophy was in for a dental - I had to do something to distract myself from the anxiety!
 

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Thank you, I’m planning on cleaning out my receipt box, that should take up a whole 42 min, lol..I wish it was over already..I’m horrible with the anticipation, waiting for any kind of appointments!
 

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Yes, the refusal to brush is really an issue..my other one is even smaller, and she is a master with the paw-swatting/moving her mouth away. And their teeth are so tiny(!), half the paste always manages to get stuck in their ear hair🤦🏻‍♀️
You might try using a gel instead of brushing (see if they respond better to that), but the gel needs to be a thicker consistency. There are water additives that might be helpful as well. Something else that is very important is keeping the fur out of your dogs' mouths...my guy struggled with that as well.

It's really hard with dogs that have small mouths. It's hard to clean all of the teeth, even using small toothbrushes!
 

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My old Girl Flower had 23 teeth pulled when she was 6, leaving her toothless she lived a happy life for the next 10 years
 

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Oh my, I didn't even know they had 22 teeth! I hope they are giving her a short run of antibiotics. Surely she will be feeling much better! Sounds like she will not be chewing on bones:)
 
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