Are Your Dog’s White Teeth a Ticking Time Bomb?


Anesthesia-free dental cleaning is increasingly being offered to dog owners as reliable treatment for [tag-tec]dog dental disease[/tag-tec] – unfortunately this is not case.

Although awareness of the importance of cleaning dog teeth is increasing, many owners are put off arranging a [tag]prophylaxis[/tag] (cleaning and polishing of a dog’s teeth by a vet) for their dog because the procedure requires anesthesia.

The people offering anesthesia-free dental cleaning are playing on this fear of anesthesia to promote their service, but what they offer is purely cosmetic and does not prevent dental disease – a prophylaxis as part of a dental care program does.

Anesthesia-free dental cleaning only involves removing plaque and tartar from the visible part of your dog’s teeth – it doesn’t touch the tartar that is below the gum line which, if it’s not removed, will develop into periodontal disease.

As discussed in an earlier post, dental disease is progressive, if it goes untreated for period of time you could be looking at multiple teeth extractions, abscesses, possible internal organ damage not to mention extreme discomfort for your dog.

This is why I call anethesia-free dental cleaning a time bomb – you are given a false sense of security that your dog’s teeth are healthy because they look nice and white, and his breath smells good; however, periodontal disease is quietly advancing below the gum line.

Anesthesia for pets does carry some risk, but it is a great deal safer than it was ten to twenty years ago, when stories about pets dying under anesthesia were sadly quite common.

Christine Keith has written an excellent article on why we should be wary of anesthesia-free dental cleaning as a way to treat dog dental disease and why procedures requiring anesthesia are now much less of a risk for our pets.

I recommend you read it.

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