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  • Dogs’ dental hygiene

    Steve-King

    Ever since I was a wee lad, I have conscientiously brushed my teeth twice a day. The result of doing so is that I’ve had a pretty good track record over the years as far as avoiding cavities, etc. But when it comes to looking after my own dog’s teeth, my performance has been less than stellar. It’s only been recently that I’ve realized just looking at his front teeth and giving him a Dentabone (or equivalent) most days is not sufficient.

    At the end of January, following a complimentary dental exam, Finn went to our local vet clinic to have his teeth properly cleaned, under anaesthetic. I’ll let Finn explain what happened during those eight hours of being at the clinic:

    “Once mom and dad left me at the clinic, I met a really nice young lady who had treats in her pouch. Dad didn’t give me breakfast this morning so the treats seemed very appealing as I was very hungry! The lady made me feel comfy and listened to my heart, took my temperature and weighed me. She kept telling me what a good boy I was.

    I had to lie still on the table while another lady shaved both my shins. She then put an IV catheter in my front leg. It pricked a little but I was a brave boy.

    Closer to my surgery time, I got an injection through the IV catheter that was a combination of sedation and pain medication. It felt a little funny at first but I got nice and relaxed after a few minutes. I was hooked up to IV fluids to avoid dehydration and to maintain my blood pressure. I kept thinking “I sure hope I don’t have to pee”.

    When it was time for surgery the lady gave me another injection through my IV catheter and I was asleep in seconds. Next thing I knew I was awake and the nice lady sat with me for a while until she was sure that I was comfortable and awake enough to lift my head up.

    Although everyone was really kind to me, I still liked it when dad came to pick me up. I still felt a little subdued and slept most of the evening on dad’s lap.

    We went back to the vet clinic a few days later to make sure everything was ok. I thought licking the itchy bit on my legs where the IV catheter had been inserted was OK to do but the vet said I’d made it all sore. She put some ointment on my shins and then sprayed some gross smelling stuff to stop me licking. Ugh! Mom and dad were shown how to clean my teeth properly so I don’t need any more cleaning at the clinic.”

    The moral of this tale is that, even though their teeth are different than humans’, dogs’ teeth are equally as important and need as much care to avoid dental issues later in life. Yes certain dog bones can help but nothing is a substitute for daily cleaning with doggy toothpaste.

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