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Dental Cleaning

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Hi All,

My vet recommends a dental cleaning for my 7 y/o boy. She said she thinks his teeth warrant a cleaning and that she expects that there will be some extractions required. 

She is willing to do the dental, and has done so for other greys, however she has been very transparent that she always worries about doing them for greys given their intolerance for anesthesia, their propensity to go hyper/hypo thermic due to stress and their tendency to be bleeders. 

She said the absolute safest thing to do would be to find a board certified anesthesiologist. I happen to live 5 minutes from Michigan State University that has one, but I am moving in May and they are booking out well past my move.  I haven't found any other board certified anesthesiologists in the state.

I'd like to get this done before my move and to complicate things more, I will be moving three times in the next 2 years and don't know where I'll be moving each time. 

I trust my doc, and she has obviously been careful to advise me of all options. That said, I don't think a board certified anesthesiologist is in the cards at this point. 

My main question for the group here is whether or not you get your dentals done by your normal vet, a dental specialist OR a board certified anesthesiologist? 

Appreciate the insight!

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Normal vet.  BUT she is very familiar with working with greyhounds and their idiosyncrasies.

If your vet isn't totally on board, see if she will refer you to another GP vet who could handle the dental, preferrably someplace close to where you are moving since nearly all vets are booked out months for everything but emergency procedures.  Covid protocols have put a wrench in most timing lately.

If she wants to give it a go there are things you can do to minimize the risks. 

Make sure you begin giving your dog Amicar (aminocarproic acid) 4-5 days pre procedure and post procedure to help with blood clotting.  If you can't find it, a product called tranexamic acid can be a substitute. 

Talk with your vet about NOT USING opiates during the surgery, and avoid Tramadol and Fentanyl for post procedure pain relief.  An nsaid and codiene sulfate (an opiate but better tolerated than the others) have been a successful combination.   

The anesthesia your vet uses will make a difference.  She can get proper protocols from MSU.  Also, close monitoring before during and after the dental is very important.

If your girl gets anxious at the vet, talk about giving a dose of anti anxiety medication like trazadone prior to leaving the house, to - hopefully - walk into the office and basically into surgery.  Keeping stress low from the beginning is key.

You can also search through here for other threads on anesthesia and getting dentals.  Good luck.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)


Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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I always try and get a legit dental specialist. Unfortunately the last one has retired-and I had to take a day off work to drive some distance to him. There doesn't seem to be any in my immediate area right now.  There ARE plenty of GP vets that have decided to anoint themselves a dental specialist because they try and sell themselves as such by placing some focus on dental issues. That is why I specified a legit dental specialist earlier.  Dr. Quaak, a fellow, gave several wonderful lectures at Mountain Hounds one year on dentistry.  She said most vets have almost NO knowledge of it and that is why they pull so many teeth- they don't know how to 'fix' issues so they just pull the tooth and actually it can be a very serious thing to pull a tooth-especially if you lack experience.  So that is why I prefer an actual legit dental specialist.  She also said that sometimes the make believe specialist do NOT have the special dental x-ray machine and that the regular x-rays do NOT provide a good enough picture to make decisions over. Here is a list, maybe you'll get lucky and find one close by. https://avdc.org/

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as to  board certified anesthesiologist they are necessary when the animal has some underlying problems. my DD just used one for the dog who has a grade 5-6 heart murmur who needed surgery to debris necrotic tissue and infected tissue as well after a horrific attack. with out the surgery the dog who is full of vim and vigor would have suffered greatly with constant infections and accesses and cellulitis. (she is a 12# dog attacked by a 70# dog who survived!) so, in this case- a total eval and plan was necessary. 

most vets around here will do dentals- just make sure they know the sighthound protocol. it's much safer these days. also, a must- MAKE SURE THE TEETH ARE POLISHED! with out polishing the surface is scratched and tarter accumulates. the vet who spayed my 1st gh did great dentals as well while they were under for the neuter.

you will find vets where ever your studies/work takes you. as per specialist- if  you are currently using a specialist  seem to be hooked up with each other. Annie's opthomoligist  had referrals for her in just about any state we were vacationing in. 

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