AAHA’s new guideline for Dental care for cats and dogs

 Recently, I came across the news about new guideline of dental care for dogs and cats that require anesthesia for the cleaning and other dental related procedure.

Palette’s teeth…

 In the previous entry titled “Anesthesia and dogs“,I wrote that Anesthesia is
used to make your dogs sedated and feel no pain during surgery or used
for X-ray or teeth cleaning so that dogs can stay still.

 Therefore,sometimes, Anesthesia is inevitable thing.

 However, for old dogs,it would be better for you to look into type of Anesthesia or
drug that are less possibility of complication during the practice or
look into other possibility to fix the problems without the use of
Anesthesia if available because senior dog tend to have more problems in
health than younger dogs.

 Dogs with liver  problem,diabetic
problems,heart problems etc have higher risk with Anesthesia usage.

to DVM Ron Hines, if your dogs (especially old dogs) were to go under
surgery or something that require Anesthesia,vet should be doing blood
test to make sure your dogs are healthy.

 If not healthy organs,then,they
can think what other option they can do to treat the problems or what
type of Anesthesia they can use with less possibility of complication to
go under the surgery.

 Doing the bloodwork before getting Anesthesia in
body especially for old dogs is good idea because if you do bloodwork
on your dog,the vet can tell you that if the dogs have liver problem or
kidney problems.

 Liver and kidney are 2 organs that metabolize the
anesthesia drug so,it is important to check those 2 organs are in good

 To read full article on Anesthesia,please click here.

 In the same entry, I have suggested to look for anesthesia free dental clinic as added information.

 This year though, American Animal Hospital Association;AAHA, renewed the dental care guideline for dogs and cats, and it states to give anesthesia for all dental related procedure.

 You can read the guideline with PDF file here.

 According to the new 2013 dental care guideline file from AAHA, it says “

General anesthesia with intubation is necessary to properly assess and treat the companion animal dental patient. It is essential that aspiration of water and debris by the patient is prevented through endotracheal intubation. Cleaning a companion animal’s teeth without general anesthesia is considered unacceptable and below
the standard of care. Techniques that ensure patient health and safety cannot be achieved without general anesthesia.”

 The guideline states what to evaluate for the dogs and cats prior to the anesthesia but, interesting enough, it does not mention about bloodwork for older dogs to assess the health of organs;liver and kidney to make sure the dogs are healthy enough to go under the anesthesia.

 I do not think anesthesia is without risk and, if the procedure can be done without anesthesia, it would have been better for dog’s health. If they must go under anesthesia,then, the guideline should have included the bloodwork to assess the organs’ health.

 On the other hand, there are many veterinary dental clinic that perform the anesthesia free dental procedure, and they have been in the business for long time.

 Good example being “Pet Dental Service“,and they talk about anesthesia and older dogs,dogs with liver/kidney problems on their website.

 I personally think that people should have option especially for older dogs,liver/kidney problems dogs so they can live healthy life longer with the benefit of anesthesia free dental cleaning.

 Palette is 8 years old now and, she has good teeth. She has not had her teeth cleaned for more than 6 years. Her teeth is white and I do not think she does not need any teeth cleaning procedure although,previous local vet told us to have it done after they praised her white teeth.

 Once we declined their offer of dental cleaning, when we decided to switch the vet to current lady vet, the medical history paper stated “owner has no concern” and I was a little offended by the statement because I declined the certain things because we care about Palette’s health.

 With Palette,for teeth cleaning, what is working for her would be raw diet to start with.

 She crunches bone and gets fed big hunk of meat now and
then, which require her teeth sink into meet or rip and tear and seems
like silver skin is working like dental floss if you will.

 Then, food does
not stick to her teeth so,it is a plus.

 Also, her teeth is cleaned by CET toothpaste.Palette loves seafood toothpaste.The
toothpaste is double enzyme and it costs about 8-9 dollars per tube.Daily brushing would help your dogs teeth clean.

  I also think that it would improve dental health of cats and dogs if vet could teach their clients how to brush their dog’s teeth as well, not simply pushing clients to do the dental cleaning at certain interval.

 Also, if they were more open to the natural feeding not process food feeding,I would not get surprised that they would see more improvements on not only dental health but also overall health.

 Palette is our first dog and I did not know how to brush her teeth on my own and I wanted to learn “how to” and I have asked the local vet about it.

 However, he was not real helpful .I was laughed at, and I did not feel great about it.

 Many vets seem to like to encourage clients to have dental chews.

 Often time,they discourage any dental chew or device that does not bend or break easily.

 I found it funny to find that exact popular/typical lines of what vet would tell their clients regarding the recommended dental chews in the AAHA guidelines.They seem to memorize the phrase and tell as their own recommendation.

 I think having a chew is good for stronger gum etc..,but if you look closer to your dogs and cats while they are chewing,they would not use all types of teeth but mostly side teeth like molars or incisors.

 Rarely you find them use front teeth and canine.

 When you look at dental product with “before” and “after” pictures that you often find in doggy magazines,90% of the time, the picture is canine teeth area.

think it is because the canine teeth are not getting any benefit from chewing dental chews.

 It is the one reason that big hunk of meat once in a while to let your dogs sink in their canine teeth into the meat and use that teeth and let the sinew is a great idea because sinew works like a dental floss for additional benefit besides canine teeth is cleaned as they bite into the meal.
 The vets’ preference of dental chew seem to be rawhide chews.

 However,did you know how they are made, and they tend to have tendency to swell up to more than double in volume and, not so digestible compared to other natural single ingredient treats?

 Rawhide gets soften as they chew and vets love those chews but when you look it closer, it is not that great chew as you might have once thought.

 I will be writing more on Rawhide chews in the future entries.

 What are your thoughts on guideline from AAHA that requires vets to use anesthesia for all dental procedures?

 What do you do for teeth cleaning?

 Do you make your own teeth paste? If you do make own toothpaste,please share the recipe in the comment section below.

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Sep 24, 2013 | 0 | Dog Health

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