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Old January 13th, 2012, 04:20 PM
stevenf stevenf is offline
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dental problem

hi there. I just registered here and looking for help with my dogs teeth. first off, her name is lucy and she's a 7 yr old female red/tan doberman. she's big, about 110lbs, though the vet says she should be 100 or less. anyway, I was looking at her teeth today, and much to my horror saw that 2 of them (one on each side) was a grey/black color. one of them felt "hard" like tartar buildup, but the other felt soft, almost like there was something coating it. the gums around those teeth, and others are swollen and red, but no bleeding. Lucy is in absolutely no discomfort at all, and has no problem letting me touch and look at the teeth. I know there is something wrong, and have made an appointment with her vet for Monday. But I have no idea what it is. she was at the vet for her yearly check up in June, and was given a clean bill of health. the vet did say she could use a dental cleaning, but didn't push it or say that she had any kinds of problems in her mouth. so what I'm wondering is, what is this? can a dogs teeth deteriorate this fast? and given that it's happened in 6-7 months, how bad is it and how much am I potentially looking at to fix it?

any help or opinions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 06:00 PM
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She would definately benefit from a teeth cleaning! Does she chew on bones? Marrow bones are awesome for removing tartar.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 06:33 PM
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I use a dental scaler on my dog's teeth, saves the worry of them having to have a general anaesthetic if a vet cleans them. My vet doesn't approve of bones, they see too many problems caused by them, but if you disagree anyone, take it up with him, not me. I think now Lucy's gums are inflamed though, she should visit your vet. If the soft coating on that tooth looks like a continuation of her gum then it most likely is an epulis, a growth that can start when a bit of tartar gets under the gumline and causes irritation. I've had one removed from the mouth of a dog I looked after for a friend but if they are small and not bothering the dog I'll leave them be.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 06:35 PM
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Some dogs don't do well with bones I agree! If they chip off pieces it irritates their stomach and they can throw up! I had two dogs that did this. Supervise and take it away if this happens.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 07:10 PM
stevenf stevenf is offline
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I use a dental scaler on my dog's teeth, saves the worry of them having to have a general anaesthetic if a vet cleans them. My vet doesn't approve of bones, they see too many problems caused by them, but if you disagree anyone, take it up with him, not me. I think now Lucy's gums are inflamed though, she should visit your vet. If the soft coating on that tooth looks like a continuation of her gum then it most likely is an epulis, a growth that can start when a bit of tartar gets under the gumline and causes irritation. I've had one removed from the mouth of a dog I looked after for a friend but if they are small and not bothering the dog I'll leave them be.

wow, that's exactly what it looked and felt like. it looked just like the gum was covering the tooth. like a coating over the tooth. paper thin. the tooth on the other side though, looked the same but didn't feel the same. and like I said, already has the appointment set for Monday. It just kind of startled me that it happened so fast. like I said earlier, she was just at the vet last summer for her yearly visit. we always do it then so we can get everything she (and the other dog) needs up to date for when we board them when we go on vacation.

but since you seem to know about this, is it hard for the vet to clean up? and how do they do it? and how much can I expect that to run? not that it really matters, if my dogs need something done they get it done. but it is nice to have a ball park idea.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Generally they sedate the dog, then clean the teeth much as a dental hygienist would clean a patient's teeth. The epulis will be removed during the procedure and the vet will check the surfaces of the teeth for chips, cracks, and decay. Not sure how much it will run you--a lot depends on whether you do the pre-procedure blood work that's usually recommended and also on where you have it done. Sometimes if you shop around you can find a vet that doesn't charge as much.

We brush our dogs' teeth between cleanings with an enzymatic toothpaste made just for dogs (poultry flavored ) and it helps a lot. We still have dental cleanings done at least once every 3 years, though.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 10:18 AM
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I'm going to have to get Bo's teeth done, Hazel. He was sold by us as a pup as you know and returned as a 5 yr old when his owner died. They'd never touched his mouth and he really fights against me cleaning the teeth. Consequently we can only go so far with him, it makes it a lot better for him but a thorough cleaning is needed now. I've been giving Jarrah Denta-stix(sp?) which are supposed to remove 80% of tartar if fed daily, but she's another I expect problems with, a 2 yr old that has never had its teeth scaled. Just getting her to stay still long along to scrape a single canine would be a miracle.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 02:27 PM
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We tried the Denta Stix, too, GF, but they didn't work very well.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 06:03 PM
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What about Greenies, Hazel? My sister is using them for her dogs but I thought they were banned for some reason in the States?
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Old January 14th, 2012, 06:35 PM
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stevenf, here are a couple of photo's of the dog I mentioned earlier. His problem was next to his canine and he couldn't shut his mouth without it hurt him seeing the lower canine couldn't fit neatly where it should. His epulis was a thick one.He was inclined to have a couple of goes at shutting his mouth before he actually did, like chattering teeth if you follow me. Anyway, a before and after shot. I can't help you with a likely price seeing I'm in Australia, but someone else might know. Perhaps you could let us know later what it has cost? Good luck, hope she comes home with pearly white teeth again.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 07:41 PM
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Wow, that's quite a difference in the teeth, GF!

We've never tried Greenies, but I've seen reports that some dogs have trouble digesting pieces they've bitten off. I've also heard reports from people who swear by them and use them all the time. I think you can still buy them here...but I wouldn't swear to that since we don't use them.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 07:25 AM
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hers actually looks nothing like that. in fact, it's now starting to look and feel like the other tooth. a grey (not black) hard coating over about 3/4 of the one tooth and the entirety of the other tooth. I think my biggest fear is something like periodontal disease or something require pulling's. but it just shocked the heck out of me that it could have happened so fast. so much so that I called the vet as soon as I saw it.

but, just one more day now and I'll know something. her appointment is 9:30 tomorrow.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 09:02 AM
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Don't worry too much, stevenf, sometimes tartar can look really appalling, yet it will flake off easily and leave a nice clean tooth behind. I find if it is thick it is easy to get off with my scaler, but if it is thin it can have set like concrete and takes some work to remove it.

The vet did a good job on Benson's mouth, didn't he, Hazel? Enough said about Greenies, I'll err on the side of caution and not use them.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 09:10 AM
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Good luck tomorrow, stevenf! Keep us posted on what the vet says.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 09:26 AM
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It sounds like your dog damaged the nerve to the tooth which causes the tooth to "die" and discolor. Sometimes those "dead" teeth will remain intact and secure for years or even the pet's lifetime, but sometimes those teeth will decay and will need to be removed. The death of the tooth is usually caused by trauma which could be as simple as playing tug of war or chewing on something hard. Some vets will want to remove dead teeth "just in case" they start to decay, especially if they are one of the small teeth at the front of their mouth.

My old girl Myka killed the nerves in both of her upper canine teeth when she was 2 or 3 years old. My vet didn't want to remove these teeth because they are difficult to remove and are important teeth to have. They remained stable and intact for the rest of her life.
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Old January 16th, 2012, 10:17 AM
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back from the vet, and it appears to be just a lot of tartar build up and gingivitis. the vet said there could be more serious problems like abscess, but she wont know until she gets in there and cleans them. essentially, she can't say for sure what the teeth will look like under the tarter. as for the cost, will be $490 if no underlying problems with the teeth, $1080 if the teeth are damaged and need extracted. I did luck out a little in that they're having a 20% discount on all dental work through march. of course the checkup today, 6 months of heartworm for her and the other dog, plus blood-work and a flu shot ran me $310 today.
I won't know which option it will be till Thursday the 26th. the vet only does surgeries on Thursdays and was already booked for this week.

as for everything else, Lucy is still healthy as a horse, though the vet again said she needs to loose 20lbs. the funny thing is, we put her on a diet after her last visit and switched her from being able to eat whenever she wanted to a regular feeding schedule.............................and she actually gained a pound
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Old January 16th, 2012, 10:20 AM
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The prices sounds about right.

Steven, there is a simple way for a dog to lose weight (unless there is underlying medical condition of course)...FEED LESS! There is no excuse for a fat dog. It is not good for them, and you are doing them an injustice in my opinion. Being a bit too thin is healthier than being a bit too fat, especially with big dogs that have a lot of pressure on their bones and joints.

When I adopted Roxy she was 10 lbs overweight. She was free fed before, and overindulged. I had her down to her current healthy weight in about 6 weeks. Just cut down your dog's food by a little bit, and allow her to lose the weight slowly. Some extra exercise doesn't hurt either!
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Old January 16th, 2012, 11:44 AM
stevenf stevenf is offline
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she's not grossly overweight. she weighs 125 and the vet wants her at or below 100. and a lot of that is so she'll only need 1 heart-worm pill instead of 2. well, that and the fact that she's a dobie, which means she's practically walking on stilts to begin with. but she's a huge dog, especially for a dobie. she's the fourth I've owned, and I've never had one near the size of her. and never one with the appetite she has.

but yea, she'll be getting her food reduced again. I was doing about 15% less than the feeding recommendations, but guess it isn't enough.
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Old January 16th, 2012, 03:50 PM
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I think it is time to post some pictures. We love pictures
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Old January 16th, 2012, 08:48 PM
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she's not grossly overweight. she weighs 125 and the vet wants her at or below 100.

I was doing about 15% less than the feeding recommendations, but guess it isn't enough.
She needs to lose 20% of her body weight? That is very overweight. I know it doesn't feel good to have someone say you're doing something bad to your dog, but you are, and I think you need to see that. I hope you know that I am not trying to critisize you, but encourage you to take her weight seriously and get those pounds off.

The feeding guidelines on dog food labels is just that, guidelines. It is a good starting point, but you will have to adjust it. Same with people, some people have high metabolisms and others have low metabolisms. Just keep cutting the food down a bit every couple weeks until she is the right weight then stick to that amount. You will probably feel guilty about it, but you have to remember that it for her health. It's like telling a kid they can't have a bag of chops before dinner.

And Patti's right, we all love pictures!!!
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Old January 17th, 2012, 05:45 PM
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she doesn't really "need" too loose it. the vet say's she would be better off if she did. she doesn't have a belly, and and still has an hourglass look when looking down on her. he waist is still smaller than her shoulders and hips. and her ribs are visible.

a lot of it also has to do with her getting older. she's 7 now, and for a dog her size that puts her at abut 50-55 in our years. when she was younger and in the 115-120 range we were mostly told not to let her get any bigger. and the vet was fine with her weight. though she did tell us we save the money on that extra heart worm pill if we got her wight down. again, it more a matter off making things easier on her joints as she gets older. she's not obese, she is still very active, and I still cant catch her when she runs around the back yard with one of the kids stuffed animals or shoes.

again, she's a huge dog, biggest dobie I've ever seen. I didn't actually get her for that reason. the breeder had told me that since I had been the first to contact him about puppies that I could have the pick of the litter. My wife and I wanted a red female, and she was the only one. the breeder kept telling us that he couldn't get over how big she was, but we figured he was just exaggerating. we actually got kind of lucky with her, cause after we drove to Tennessee to get her, he told me that he was so impressed with her that he almost kept her for breeding. if he had needed one he wouldn't have sold her.

Last edited by stevenf; January 17th, 2012 at 06:28 PM.
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Old January 17th, 2012, 06:41 PM
stevenf stevenf is offline
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I think it is time to post some pictures. We love pictures
I'll try, but she's very camera shy. here's one that I had laying around, pretty old though.

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Old January 17th, 2012, 07:13 PM
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Yay, picture. She is a beautiful Dobie and as you said a large girl. I sure hope her dental problems ease up soon for her. Thanks..

A very long time ago I used to be afraid of Dobes but not any more thank goodness as the ones I have met have been really sucky puppies; with attitude.

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Old January 17th, 2012, 10:13 PM
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I was just reading through this post because I'm so anal about my dogs' teeth and just a few things I thought I would add.

I know that some vets don't "believe" in certain products, but ones that I've had amazing results from are either Oxyfresh or Tropiclean Oral Liquid which you add to water. My 11.5year old poodle-mix joined my family when he was 2.5years old and had terrible teeth already - through tartar bones (smoked kneecaps) and Oxyfresh, all his tartar chipped away.

Now he gets a weekly scaling (by me), he gets the Tropiclean in his water (and has great breath!) and I do buy certain chewy dental products (real bones, other chews and Greenies are also one of them - they were having issues a few years back [and lawsuits], but they revamped their product so that even if a dog was to break off a larger hunk and swallow it, it would safely break down and digest in their stomach) as well. He's never had to go under anesthetic for a cleaning and the vet is always impressed with his teeth at his age and with his breed mixture.

With all that information I still believe it's a great idea to get your beautiful dobie's teeth professionally done, but I always recommend the steps I've taken as maintaining their teeth after their surgery
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Old January 18th, 2012, 06:09 PM
stevenf stevenf is offline
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Yay, picture. She is a beautiful Dobie and as you said a large girl. I sure hope her dental problems ease up soon for her. Thanks..

A very long time ago I used to be afraid of Dobes but not any more thank goodness as the ones I have met have been really sucky puppies; with attitude.

patti
what I learned with the dobes is you have to be real careful who you buy from. I had one i had to take to a rescue because it was just too aggressive and trying to be dominat. at just a couple moths old it would attack, and would get on furniture and not let anybody else on. It was a shame, case he was a beautiful blue one. I know you can train through those kind of issues, but at the time my kids were young, and like all other kids, were constantly having neighborhood kids in and out of the house. I just couldn't take the chance, and did not want a pet that had to be strictly controlled and caged at night. I treat my dogs like members of the family, and they get full run of the house. I've also learned that the females are MUCH easier to deal with. I'll never get another male.

but part of that was my fault. I broke one of the primary rules of dog buying and bought that one right after I had put my doberman of 12 years, and the first dog I had ever had from puppy to grave, to sleep. I basically ran out and bought the first one I could find.

with lucy, I did my homework, compared breeders, and then talked to people whom that breeder had sold to. I also questioned him as to him motives, and how he ran his breeding operation. and I ended up with one of the most incredible dogs I've ever owned. I often tell my wife; we may in the future have better dogs, and may have worse dogs, but there will never be another one like lucy. they definitely broke the mold when they made her. and here's another picture, Kids thought it was funny as hell. I think its why she's camera shy. this one is about a year ago. at that time she was probably about 120LBS, maybe a pound or two less.



and where it all started

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Old January 18th, 2012, 06:13 PM
stevenf stevenf is offline
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I was just reading through this post because I'm so anal about my dogs' teeth
then please keep following this thread. I'm kind of in a holding pattern right now until she gets them cleaned Thursday, but after that I'll definitely be looking for advice. but right now we're not even sure of what were dealing with. hopefully they just need cleaned. but the vet did, in passing, ask if I thought Lucy would let me clean her teeth. so I'm pretty much assuming stating next Friday I'll be adding teeth brushing to to the dog to do list.
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Old January 18th, 2012, 06:45 PM
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Buy a scaler as well as a toothbrush, stevenf, best little tool I ever invested in. You want the scaler with the slanted, flat blade, not the one like a pick that I've seen dentists use.
Evanora, thanks for that news on Greenies. I will pass it on to my sister, but also might buy some for Jarrah and Bo.

Love Lucy's photo btw. ROFL. Watch out for the big nasty Doberman, it might lick you to death.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 01:48 PM
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Well, time for an update for those interested. First off, I had to work Thursday so my wife took Lucy and picked her up. I never talked to the vet, and don't have a lot of details on exactly what's going on. anyway, they cleaned her teeth and had to remove one of them. apparently, going by what my wife told me and what I saw myself, her teeth are in pretty bad shape. not terrible, but but she'll probably need more removed in a couple years. she's fine for now, but they put something on, or did something to, a couple of them that will keep them around for a few more years. as for Lucy, she's doing pretty good. Thursday and Friday were kind of rough for her, but she's getting back to normal now. amazingly, it hasn't dented her appetite. She's on a limited amount of soft food for the next week, but she's back to her usual trying to get into the trash can, drag stuff off the table, and take the other dog's food when she isn't looking. but I guess the good news is, she has lost weight. when they weighed her Thursday she has lost 4lbs. not a huge amount, but she had only been on her new diet for 9 days at that point. so looks like we might have finally turned a corner on the weight thing. though I'm not quite sure how much soft food to give her to equal the 3 cups of dry she was getting. well, 2 cups dry and 1/2 can soft.
anyway, price wasn't too bad either. they had given me a best case price of $480 and worst case of $1080 with a 20% off special until sometime in march. that would have made it somewhere around $380 and $850 respectively. we ended up pretty much splitting the difference with it coming out to $640. and since it included everything including the pain killers and other pills she gets for about a week (4 a day) I can't complain. I think they're some kind of antibiotic for the gingivitis.

I guess she goes back in about a week to make sure everything is right, and then we'll get our instruction on brushing and any other maintenance things we'll have to start doing.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 03:02 PM
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DarKevs DarKevs is offline
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How is your girl doing now?

good that your Vet removed the bad tooth.

one of my older dobergirls years ago had repeated bouts of pnemonia, which would clear up after a regime of anti biotics, but then it would reoccur.........we learned it was caused by an infection from a bad tooth.

once the bad tooth was removed her lungs cleared up and she had no further issues!

Hugz to your Dobie Girl!
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Old February 21st, 2012, 07:40 PM
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That's interesting, DarKevs, was it a noticeably bad tooth? As compared say to a carnassial molar I had removed due to a dental abcess, and we couldn't even detect a crack in the tooth.
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