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10 yr old dog - heart murmur & 'bad' teeth

July 22nd, 2005, 12:57 PM
Zachary, the miniature schnauzer, was diagnosed with a heart murmur and is receiving Vetmedin. When I brought him in, I commented to the vet that his breath had quite suddenly become foul smelling. The vet indicated that Zachary has a couple of teeth that are starting to decay. I was reading the article about dental and heart conditions being connected. The vet did not indicate that Zachary should have the teeth removed. Anyway, I guess my dilemma is this....If I decide to ask the vet to deal with the teeth, Zachary would need to receive an anaesthetic and since he is older, I'm relucant to do that. But if the teeth could be contributing to the heart murmur, should I have them taken out? I'm torn....anyone have some thoughts?? I almost lost Zachary to pancreatitis last year so I want to make sure I do what is right for him. Since he's only 10, I expect to have him with me for quite some time yet.

Lucky Rescue
July 22nd, 2005, 02:36 PM
Anesthetic used on old, very small or debilitated animals is very safe, doesn't permeate the organs, and animals wake up very quickly and well.

There are two kinds. One is Isoflurane and the other I don't know the name of. :confused:

Your vet can tell you the details, but I've had it used on my 20 year old cat and on a 10oz rat and both were just fine!

Decayed teeth can cause other problems:

But mouth pain and tooth loss arenít the only problems. Bacteria around the infected gums can enter the bloodstream and attack your dog or catís heart, liver and kidneys, and can cause cardiac arrest, kidney malfunction and liver failure or even death.

The above quote is from: Jil Michorczyk, Registered Dental Hygienist

July 22nd, 2005, 03:48 PM
All I know about murmurs and teeth is that my brother has a murmur and any time they go below the gumline on him, there are more risks than with the rest of us, and he has to have like 14 HUGE penicillin pills before the "event" and about 9 after.

For sure though, infected teeth can leak infection into the bloodstream and that would be terrible.