dental cleanings

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    I’m concerned about plaque buildup on my Maletese’s molars. She hasn’t been diagnosed with any perio issues, but I just took a good look at her molars and there’s a lot of build up! She’s on a good ground raw diet and weekly she has a whole quail. My other Maltese has been diagnosed with perio disease and I’m worried about that, also. I didn’t want to do a traditional cleaning at the vet with anesthetic and Ann mentioned in passing that you guys had an anesthetic free dental clinic a month or so ago. So, I’m just curious should I see if someone in my area offers this, and if so, what should I look for? We are in the Austin, TX area.

    Shana and Claire

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    Hi Shana-

    Thanks so much for posting here. I really appreciate your sharing this question with every other dentally concerned pet owner.

    You are absolutely right to be concerned. Mateasers (and many other small breeds) are indeed predisposed to dental problems. I recently saw one of my Maltese patients who only has 2 teeth left (granted, he’s 16 with neurologic and liver disease so his mouth is a relatively small issue). Losing teeth, periodontal disease, etc. are “epidemic” among this population.

    I strongly advise having your local vet examine her teeth if this has not been done recently. If the problem is early then manual care at home including active chewing and tooth brushing, non-anesthetic cleaning, Neem bark powder, Proden Plaqueoff, etc. can all be helpful.

    If dental disease has already progressed, these modifications to Claire’s oral hygiene are best started after dental x-rays and a cleaning (+/- extractions based on both visible periodontal disease as well as x-ray results) are performed by your vet or a vet dental specialist.

    Interestingly, Dr. Tom Lonsdale (an Australian vet) is emphatic that dogs do not develop dental disease in the first place if they are fed his RMB (raw meaty bone) diet. My experience corroborates this observation (as long as the patient isn’t too over vaccination which can cause oral diseases in and of itself).

    Good luck, and have a great day.

    Dr. Jeff

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