[Okay, Discourse. I guess “Freezing fish before cleaning?” is maybe tangentially related, but I think I’ll start a new topic if that’s okay with you ]
We had Sam’s teeth cleaned the old-fashioned way – general anesthesia – once.
After that, I decided that 1/500 death from general anesthesia was a bad bet, and began brushing his teeth myself every other evening.
Which is working pretty well, but at his last exam, mild tartar was noticed on his lower teeth (I focus my attention on the uppers based on reading that this is the area least well cared for by the dog’s own saliva/tongue interaction).
But we’re not doing general anesthesia – not for routine maintenance. Nuh-uh.
So I looked into the ‘anesthesia-free’ dental cleaning for cats and dogs. It’s really hard to tell whose agenda is dictating their strongly pro- or strongly anti- position.
I did find this study which looks pretty clean and seems to militate toward this being a safe and effective (and half the price) option:
Anybody know the straight dope ? Personal or professional experience ?
Sam did really well at his last exam, including updated vaccines, a fine needle aspiration (lipoma), and blood draw, but it definitely stressed him. I’m considering hitting him with a relatively low (mg/kg) dose of Benadryl an hour before the cleaning … just to make everybody’s life easier.
He’s 10. He’s fit, active, and healthy.
Philosophically, I err toward “less is more” with medical interventions in his case, but this seems like an ounce of prevention worth doing. And – since he just had a ‘proper’ physical – I’m not worried that we’ll miss something dental by taking this route.