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Discussion Starter #1
We have been remiss in not properly caring for Gilligan's teeth. His rear are fine because we give him No Hide chews, and it's the front the vet says are a problem. She says he's on the edge of actually requiring it and we've scheduled him for next month.

She said it is because we feed him hydrated freeze dried raw. I actually put it through a spice grinder to make it easier for me to hydrate and mix with is bit of cooked chicken. For the last 3 months we have been brushing his front teeth with Virbac CET toothpaste and it does appear to be helping. Usually we rub it on with our finger or a cotton round. He doesn't like any of the toothbrushes we bought.

What can we expect? I really hate to put him through this... My concern is also that his stomach will get messed up again from antibiotics and we'll have tear stains yet again. Plus, he might be in pain.

Another question.... Particularly at night when we're watching TV, he latches on to a stuffed animal and either just holds it in his mouth or he nibbles it while it's in his mouth. This can go on for a few minutes or up to an hour. I'm wondering if that can be the cause of his front teeth issues. He has done this from the day we brought him home. Sometimes we pull it out of his mouth an he rests his chin on it.

I'm really nervous about this.
 

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Your vet can prescribe probiotics along with the antibiotics, or you can pick some up yourself. This is how I’ve always managed the effects of antibiotics on my own body, and I’m happy to see it seems to work just as well for dogs.

Gracie was a senior when she had a dental, and she was dazed after, but feeling much better because she had a bunch of teeth pulled. She seemed to have a sore throat (I assume from being intubated) and made painful little rasping sounds when she wanted to communicate. So I just did my best to keep things cozy and quiet for her.

Does Gilligan require any extractions?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Gilligan already takes probiotics - Proviable Forte - The vet suggested we try it on him to get rid of tear stains and it worked!!!! His tummy must have been messed up from giardia and then being neutered. Not only did the tear stains go away almost entirely, but he started eating better. That is why I'm concerned about his tummy :)

He does not require any extractions. His rear teeth are fine - it's just his front and the vet wants to get ahead of any future problems or teeth falling out. She said he's on the cusp of needing it.


Your vet can prescribe probiotics along with the antibiotics, or you can pick some up yourself. This is how I’ve always managed the effects of antibiotics on my own body, and I’m happy to see it seems to work just as well for dogs.

Gracie was a senior when she had a dental, and she was dazed after, but feeling much better because she had a bunch of teeth pulled. She seemed to have a sore throat (I assume from being intubated) and made painful little rasping sounds when she wanted to communicate. So I just did my best to keep things cozy and quiet for her.

Does Gilligan require any extractions?
 

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If your gut isn’t feeling good about it, consider getting a second opinion. I don’t want to undermine your vet, but some are more conservative about recommending these procedures than others. Anaesthesia always carries a risk. If Gilligan’s new toothpaste is helping, maybe it’s better to take a wait-and-see approach. But only you can decide that.
 

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Thank you. I was thinking of getting a second opinion from another vet. You just cemented the thought. He is only 3.5 years old and I hate to put him through that stress, particularly after last year (he has lost all his socialization and is now afraid of everyone and going anywhere).

If your gut isn’t feeling good about it, consider getting a second opinion. I don’t want to undermine your vet, but some are more conservative about recommending these procedures than others. Anaesthesia always carries a risk. If Gilligan’s new toothpaste is helping, maybe it’s better to take a wait-and-see approach. But only you can decide that.
 

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Oh gosh. I’m sorry. :( I would be wary, too.

That said, I’ve seen firsthand the catastrophic effects of poor dental health on a small dog, so I do still encourage you to do everything in your power to get Gilligan’s mouth healthy. It sounds like you’re doing well with brushing, so that’s a great start.

Maybe a holistic vet would be helpful?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just asked for some recommendations on a local FB dog group.

Thank you.

Oh gosh. I’m sorry. :( I would be wary, too.

That said, I’ve seen firsthand the catastrophic effects of poor dental health on a small dog, so I do still encourage you to do everything in your power to get Gilligan’s mouth healthy. It sounds like you’re doing well with brushing, so that’s a great start.

Maybe a holistic vet would be helpful?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. I'll give these a try too. We tried the finger brushes, a regularly doggie brush, and a children's silicone brush. He doesn't like any of them so we just rub his gums with the toothpaste.
Toothbrushes
I use these tooth brushes, they are small and work well
 

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It might have been twyla who'd also suggested wrapping some gauze around your finger to give a bit of extra scrubbing power to your finger in another thread a while back.
 

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I have had success with Petzlife gel when trying to remove tartar. It was the most effective of all the things I tried, but not very palatable, unfortunately. The salmon flavour was better tolerated than the basic one, but even that may not be acceptable. And teeth cleaning is so much easier when the dogs consider the toothpaste a treat!
 

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I have had success with Petzlife gel when trying to remove tartar. It was the most effective of all the things I tried, but not very palatable, unfortunately. The salmon flavour was better tolerated than the basic one, but even that may not be acceptable. And teeth cleaning is so much easier when the dogs consider the toothpaste a treat!
We purchased Virbac CET Enzymatic toothpaste in poultry and also vanilla. Gilligan goes nuts for it. We tell him "time to brush our teeth" and he jumps on the couch, sits down, and waits for it. We haven't tried the vanilla yet. It seems to be working very well, as his teeth have improved. I really can't tell about the gums. The vet said they're still inflamed.

It might have been twyla who'd also suggested wrapping some gauze around your finger to give a bit of extra scrubbing power to your finger in another thread a while back.
My vet also suggested trying with gauge and even using Hydrogen Peroxide.
 

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Not straight hydrogen peroxide, I hope! Did he give you detailed instructions? That sounds very unpleasant for a dog—certainly not something that’s going to make him want your hands in his mouth.
 

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The Virbac toothpaste is very popular here, too - even Tilly-cat joins the post-brushing reward lick queue. I built up gradually to using a small, soft toothbrush, starting with a finger, then a cloth, and only then a brush. If the gums are sore then starting very gently may be best in the long run.
 

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Not straight hydrogen peroxide, I hope! Did he give you detailed instructions? That sounds very unpleasant for a dog—certainly not something that’s going to make him want your hands in his mouth.
She said straight on a piece of cloth. I did not do it because I know it tastes awful.
 

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The Virbac toothpaste is very popular here, too - even Tilly-cat joins the post-brushing reward lick queue. I built up gradually to using a small, soft toothbrush, starting with a finger, then a cloth, and only then a brush. If the gums are sore then starting very gently may be best in the long run.
That's what we've been doing.

I also heard from someone in a local FB group who uses my vet, who has an excellent reputation in the area. She was no longer that satisfied with them, after 13 years, and went for a second opinion elsewhere. Not only did the dental cost less, they did not force her into more blood tests "to make sure everything is ok." Every blood test Gilligan has had, and as recently as November, the results are the same "his numbers are pristine." I'm going to see if I can make an appointment with this other vet for an opinion.
 
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