On Thursday, November 8th (2012), Furbee (left) and Sophie (right) took a trip to the Sunriver Veterinary Clinic to find out what to expect with an oral dental cleaning. The appointment was more for Sophie than for Furbee because she likes food for humans that has fat, salt and sugar in it; like cream cheese, chicken meat, and flavored, sweetened yogurt. These are not normally the types of foods you would expect to find dogs hunting for in the wild; particularly because the cream cheese animal, because it lives too high up in the trees for them to catch. Chicken meat is normal, but it must not be fried - the acidity of fried foods are not healthy, they may weaken your pet's immune system, and the bones must be removed so no ones chokes. Yogurt is a dairy product that is not naturally sweetened and when it is artificially sweetened, the sugar feeds the oral bacteria - allowing it to grow out of control unless you brush your dogs' teeth daily, according to people who know from experience. Since the shih-tzus' teeth are not brushed daily - bad foods have been eliminated from their diet. The main problem now is to get both parents to agree on the babies' regimen.
The oral cleaning consultation was an eye-opening experience because the price range was between about $350-450, which paid for blood to be drawn so the veterinarians could determine which anesthesia to use and how much of it Sophie would be able to handle, intravenous (IV) fluids possible extractions (Sophie has one baby snaggle-tooth that never fell out and one tooth that grew-in sideways), the full cleaning service (removal of calcified plaque, etc.) and a vet sitter to pet Sophie - keeping her calm as she wakes up from being under anesthesia. One important point to note is that by putting your pet under anesthesia for oral cleaning - you are really risking their life because there is no guarantee our pet will awaken from the anesthesia. Anesthesia has a coma-inducing effect, which is far from natural, but it is done when pets are not properly trained to allow humans to put their hands in their mouth to clean their teeth. There are some helpful videos helping in training pet owners to make their pets comfortable with putting their hands in their dogs' mouth by doing it daily, coating a finger with pet-specific toothpaste, applying it liberally on the teeth - allowing the pet to become familiar and hopefully enjoying of the flavor (Chicken may be a good one) and finally - carefully brushing. Brushing your pets' teeth regularly helps reduce or eliminate the cost of taking them to have their teeth professionally cleaned. In this situation, the quote was too high for the family's financial situation, but the clinic was generous by giving Sophie some freebies, including; a couple enzymatic chew-strips (which your dog is not supposed to swallow, but Sophie does), a sample of Natural dog toothpaste, a dog toothbrush (with a small tip at one end and a larger tip at the other - for dogs with larger mouths), some round dry treats to create friction against the plaque when they're eating them, and some refrigerator magnets providing phone numbers to vets during regular business hours as well as an emergency vet service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
|Sunriver Veterinary Clinic|