Author Topic: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?  (Read 8955 times)

Offline Walt

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2017, 10:16:21 AM »
Walt, Buster had been fed on a raw diet since he was about nine weeks old.  I still have to clean his teeth.....

As I know his diet includes what a 'dog' should eat and not processed foods, and big, meaty bones,    I've come to the conclusion it's his beard hair causing damage to his teeth.  The hair from his beard is constantly in his mouth and I think this contributes to his teeth issues, so I also brush his teeth daily.

I have noticed a difference in his teeth since cutting his beard as he doesn't seem to have hair in his mouth as much as before.  I make sure on the days he doesn't have a raw bone that he has some chewy treat, like dried meat, dried mango or a veggie stick, as I know if I don't keep on top of brushing his teeth they will stain and plaque will appear.

I did pop into the vets with Buster to ask for advice on tooth cleaning and basically, they don't clean unless the teeth are terrible due to the risks involved in knocking him out, so to keep brushing daily was the advice from them!

Liz, I really don't want to argue with anyone about this issue.  Everyone has an opinion.  However, you say Buster has been on a raw meat and bones diet.  Then you say when he doesn't get a bone then he gets a chewey treat and include dried mango and a veggie stick among the treats you give him.  I would never, ever feed my dog fruit or veggies, especially a mango.  Mango is extremely high in carbohydrates ... lots of sugar.  It is about the same as feeding him candy.  Personally, I don't consume much sugar and I would never feed Bruno anything high in carbohydrates or sugar content as fruits [especially mango] are loaded with sugar.  Carbohydrates, can linger around in your dogs mouth quickly breaking down into simple sugars.  Bacteria in your dogs mouth feed on these sugars, and produce acids that cause tooth decay.  On the issue of the beard ... Bruno's beard was horribly smelly and always looked dirty when he was on kibble.    Once, I got Claire to agree to the raw meat and bones diet his beard never smells and stays clean unless he is outside digging in wet soil etc.  I just don't see how Buster's beard/hair can have anything to do with his teeth.

We have two vets ... in the same vet clinic.  We have talked to both of them about their views on brushing dogs teeth.  Neither of them do it and don't think it is very effective.  I do give you lots of credit for brushing Buster's teeth.  I tried it a couple of times with Bruno and he had no interest in me brushing his teeth.  Bruno is aptly named as he is a very strong willed and physically strong dog.  When he doesn't want you to do something he is hard to contain.  :smiley:

I don't think there is any answer to lots of our dogs health issues.  We are constantly checking Bruno's teeth, hair and weight.  We weigh his food every meal.  We don't give him treats of any kind.  And, we do our best to feed him high quality food, make sure he gets lots of exercise and keep his water dishes full.  Plus, he gets lots of love and attention.
Bruno, male B&S Miniature Schnauzer, born June 22, 2016

Offline Liz W

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2017, 12:34:44 PM »
Do you know, having given up sugar myself (terrible week and a half!!) , I hadn't even considered it in Busters diet!  I was just looking for natural chewy things for his teeth!  Goes to show what can happen if you just concentrate on one thing...., I think you are right, I shall drop the dried mango from his diet - good spot, Walt!

I'll stick to bones and dried meat and see how we get on, but will continue to brush as it's a good excuse to check his teeth - and he's used to it!  His beard has never been smelly (thankfully!) and I've found that giving him bottled water really improves the whiteness of his beard too.  I stumbled across this when we went in holiday a couple of years ago and rented a cottage with poor quality water, so I bought some bottled water and Busters beard went really white.  I noticed the red tinge return when he went back into tap water when we got home, so I've stuck to bottled water since.  Not that he's spoilt!! 
Buster, male P&S Miniature Schnauzer, born January 17, 2014
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Offline Walt

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2017, 01:09:57 PM »
Do you know, having given up sugar myself (terrible week and a half!!) , I hadn't even considered it in Busters diet!  I was just looking for natural chewy things for his teeth!  Goes to show what can happen if you just concentrate on one thing...., I think you are right, I shall drop the dried mango from his diet - good spot, Walt!

I'll stick to bones and dried meat and see how we get on, but will continue to brush as it's a good excuse to check his teeth - and he's used to it!  His beard has never been smelly (thankfully!) and I've found that giving him bottled water really improves the whiteness of his beard too.  I stumbled across this when we went in holiday a couple of years ago and rented a cottage with poor quality water, so I bought some bottled water and Busters beard went really white.  I noticed the red tinge return when he went back into tap water when we got home, so I've stuck to bottled water since.  Not that he's spoilt!!


Here is a link that I like ... suppose I like it because my science training says it is spot on  :grin:  You might enjoy reading it. 

http://www.dog-nutrition-naturally.com/dog-digestive-system.html

Just a couple of things.  First, you brushing Buster's teeth probably is a really good thing.  What could it hurt?  Second, I painted with a broad brush on the sugar bit.  All sugars aren't bad.  Fructose, most likely would be ok in small amounts.  Third, dogs get somef minerals out of the water they drink.  The worst thing you could do is give your dog distilled water.  Distilled water is pure H2O ... nothing but H2O.  It is also slightly acidic.  That happens when distilled water is subject to air as it takes up C02 and creates carbonic acid which makes the water slightly acidic.  Unless your water contains some harmful minerals such as arsenic, lead etc I wouldn't worry about Bruno drinking it.  Minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium in drinking water is good.  Bruno likes to eat dirt ... probably in search of some mineral.

Bruno, male B&S Miniature Schnauzer, born June 22, 2016

Offline Liz W

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2017, 10:49:35 PM »
Thanks Walt, I'll have a read of the link - and to be clear, Buster gets Mineral water, not distilled or RO water!  I'd wondered if it's the high amounts of iron in our water - which tends to leave a red/brown colour on things (I use iron oxide as a wash for my pottery, lovely range from black to a dark red!)

Who knows?!  Our tap water is perfectly safe for him to drink and he also has two water bowls outside to drink rain water from if he wants - but despite tip toeing around muddy puddles when we are out, he is happy to drink from them.....yuk!!
Buster, male P&S Miniature Schnauzer, born January 17, 2014
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Offline Walt

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2017, 10:51:39 AM »
Thanks Walt, I'll have a read of the link - and to be clear, Buster gets Mineral water, not distilled or RO water!  I'd wondered if it's the high amounts of iron in our water - which tends to leave a red/brown colour on things (I use iron oxide as a wash for my pottery, lovely range from black to a dark red!)

Who knows?!  Our tap water is perfectly safe for him to drink and he also has two water bowls outside to drink rain water from if he wants - but despite tip toeing around muddy puddles when we are out, he is happy to drink from them.....yuk!!

Liz, in a PM we exchanged a long time ago you mentioned fish.  That is something I have struggled with.  I worry about parasites in fish.  I bought some salmon fish heads that also have some meat and skin attached.  I've had them in our freezer for about 6 weeks thinking about whether I really want to use them or not.  I've thought about buying some frozen shrimp with the shell intact, just for a little variety.

I've also read quite a bit about freezing meat to kill parasites etc.  It is about how low the temperature is and how long it has been exposed to the temperature.  Flash freezing will do a good job. 

Do you removed the fat from the raw meat you feed your Buster?

Just a few questions about what others do.

Also what have you been doing in relation to organ meat.  Getting a wide variety of organ meat is pretty difficult.  I bought some beef liver, but Bruno won't eat it.  Chicken liver, yes.  I don't feed it to often, maybe once a week. 

Do you have any ideas?
Bruno, male B&S Miniature Schnauzer, born June 22, 2016

Offline Liz W

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2017, 01:24:04 PM »
Walt, we are getting way, way off topic here (!) but I think I mentioned that I'm a coward and feed Buster a ready made raw diet - it arrived all done and frozen in ice cube portions ready for me to defrost.

I use companies like Nutriment, wolf tucker, Cotswold raw and at the moment, Natures Menu (country hunter range).  I also supliment his food with bones - without fat as there is more than enough fat in the marrow, chicken wings, hearts and liver (but never more that a few pieces as it can upset tummies).

I do feed dried sprats as a treat, but interestingly the TV show that did the piece on teeth cleaning also looked at the high rate of kidney issues in cats and said it was due to the high quantities of fish that was being fed to cats.  Most cat food - even beef flavour - has a high level of fish in and fish contains.......arsenic, which causes kidney failure.  Their advice was to feed fish no more than once or twice a week. 

Buster LOVES fish. One of his meals is salmon and chicken and I'm a bit leery now to continue this and the dried sprats, in case this overload of arsenic from the fish will overload his kidneys too.  I don't know, I worry about him as I want him to be in top condition and healthy forever!  I only added fish as, like you, wanted a bit of variety in his diet - but to be honest, Buster will eat ANYTHING and I wonder if I just worry too much about these things as his diet is overall very good!
Buster, male P&S Miniature Schnauzer, born January 17, 2014
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Offline Walt

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2017, 02:59:02 PM »
Walt, we are getting way, way off topic here (!) but I think I mentioned that I'm a coward and feed Buster a ready made raw diet - it arrived all done and frozen in ice cube portions ready for me to defrost.

I use companies like Nutriment, wolf tucker, Cotswold raw and at the moment, Natures Menu (country hunter range).  I also supliment his food with bones - without fat as there is more than enough fat in the marrow, chicken wings, hearts and liver (but never more that a few pieces as it can upset tummies).

I do feed dried sprats as a treat, but interestingly the TV show that did the piece on teeth cleaning also looked at the high rate of kidney issues in cats and said it was due to the high quantities of fish that was being fed to cats.  Most cat food - even beef flavour - has a high level of fish in and fish contains.......arsenic, which causes kidney failure.  Their advice was to feed fish no more than once or twice a week. 

Buster LOVES fish. One of his meals is salmon and chicken and I'm a bit leery now to continue this and the dried sprats, in case this overload of arsenic from the fish will overload his kidneys too.  I don't know, I worry about him as I want him to be in top condition and healthy forever!  I only added fish as, like you, wanted a bit of variety in his diet - but to be honest, Buster will eat ANYTHING and I wonder if I just worry too much about these things as his diet is overall very good!

Well, I can ask you what toothpaste you use on Buster  :smiley:  I do remember now about your deal on the raw diet.  My gut tells me that dogs don't really need a great variety of raw meat and bones.  But, I do think a fish head every once in a while couldn't hurt.  Salmon is pretty rich in fat, especially salmon heads.  I trim most of the fat off of the raw meat I give him.  Still dogs, as do humans, need some fat in their diet. 

Ok, I will stick to the topic from now on.
Bruno, male B&S Miniature Schnauzer, born June 22, 2016

Offline Liz W

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2017, 12:07:36 AM »
Walt,  I use virbac enzymatic toothpaste - I think it's turkey flavour and a child's normal toothbrush.

https://www.pet-supermarket.co.uk/Enzymatic-Toothpaste/p/I0039854?_fp1=ppc&_fp2=818920777&_fp3=44652947920&_fp4=I0006836&gclid=CJG7l__oxtQCFQafGwod4v8HXw

It was recommended to me by a dog breeder who uses it on her dogs.  A little lasts a long time!  I use a pea sized blob on each half of his mouth and I brush Busters teeth during our evening brush - where he lies on his back over my knee.  I brush and comb him through and brush his teeth, file his claws and rub balm into his feet.  Have I mentioned I'm a bit smitten with my dog?!?

I think also that I take care of variety in Busters food by using lots of manufacturers food too, so he gets a change in consistency as well as flavour!  He loves the rabbit one he has at the moment...and the pheasant.....and the turkey.......and the venison........so I think he is doing OK! 
Buster, male P&S Miniature Schnauzer, born January 17, 2014
Buster's Scrapbook

Offline Walt

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2017, 08:25:51 AM »
Walt,  I use virbac enzymatic toothpaste - I think it's turkey flavour and a child's normal toothbrush.

https://www.pet-supermarket.co.uk/Enzymatic-Toothpaste/p/I0039854?_fp1=ppc&_fp2=818920777&_fp3=44652947920&_fp4=I0006836&gclid=CJG7l__oxtQCFQafGwod4v8HXw

It was recommended to me by a dog breeder who uses it on her dogs.  A little lasts a long time!  I use a pea sized blob on each half of his mouth and I brush Busters teeth during our evening brush - where he lies on his back over my knee.  I brush and comb him through and brush his teeth, file his claws and rub balm into his feet.  Have I mentioned I'm a bit smitten with my dog?!?

I think also that I take care of variety in Busters food by using lots of manufacturers food too, so he gets a change in consistency as well as flavour!  He loves the rabbit one he has at the moment...and the pheasant.....and the turkey.......and the venison........so I think he is doing OK!

Well, thanks. 

Just for the record, your writing shows you love Buster very much and want to take the best care of him, possible.  Buster is an extremely luck dog.  Bruno is as well. 
Bruno, male B&S Miniature Schnauzer, born June 22, 2016

Offline Liz W

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2017, 11:00:23 AM »
Walt, yes, Bruno is a very lucky chap too!

One more point though that I picked up on my first puppy class with Buster, we were told we needed to touch the dogs EVERYWHERE as the last thing you need is if you dog is ever injured and needs a vet, is for it also to be the first time he was ever touched in that area, so we have been messing with Buster all over, including inside his mouth with his teeth since we had him.  The addition of the toothpaste REALLY helped us to move on with the brushing.  I first let him lick the toothpaste tube before opening his mouth and brushing away!

There is a great picture on here somewhere by Doris on how to best open the mouth to brush - its worth a look!
Buster, male P&S Miniature Schnauzer, born January 17, 2014
Buster's Scrapbook

Offline Rock

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2017, 05:41:21 PM »
Liz, absolutely agree about the dog becoming familiar with being handled, touched, poked, prodded, squeezed, even pinched.   This is all common sensations that occur during grooming, vet visits or with daily activities.  Shadow has always had these sensations.  He is to the point where he can sit looking at me, I can place both index fingers in each of his ears and sits and looks at me.  The expression in his eyes is quite comical, I know he is thinking, "Just what do you think you are doing with your fingers in my ears??"

Regarding touching.  Shadow's only touch problem is when the toe nail guillotine clipper is out.  I can handle his paws without issue.  I can handle individual toes to examine or trim hair, but when the toe nail cutter is out.........   Soon as it touches his toe, he begins to get anxious and pulls away to escape.  I have never quicked him, although I do know he has had bad experience at a groomers.   All of his toes were bleeding.  YES, I startled satan out of bed.  Not that it mattered, damage was done, never returning to that groomer.

The only problem with brushing is getting that tongue corralled.   Geesh.....  How to control the tongue??? :confused: :confused:
Shadow, male Salt & Pepper (mostly Pepper) Miniature Schnauzer, born May 3, 2016

Offline Liz W

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2017, 12:57:31 AM »
Update to Busters teeth!

I've been brushing Busters teeth since he was a pup, but still really disappointed that they weren't really great to be honest.  I'd cut his beard and moustache back to stop them going in his mouth as I was blaming them for the discolouration of (mainly) his canines.

I was chatting to Busters chiropractor at his last appointment and she mentioned some groomers now doing a 'real' dental clean, so I investigated!  I found an ex-dental hygienist who was now a dog teeth cleaner.  It was about 30 miles away from us, and her website recommended that Buster would need about six sessions.  She used an ultrasonic toothbrush to remove plaque and staining on teeth, and the results looked pretty amazing:



In the picture above, Buster's teeth were not quite as bad as the bottom right 'before' one. 

More research and I found the human equivalent of the toothbrush.  The only difference between the human and dog version is the human one buzzes slightly.  Having worked out the cost of driving 60 miles and the cost of each session multiplied by six.....I bought the ultra sonic toothbrush.  I've been using it on Buster now for two weeks and he has wonderful shiny white teeth!  All staining has gone, there is no plaque at all.  It did take quite a few treats for him to get used to it, but now, he lies back over my knee, and let's me brush away with both the descaling and brush attachments.  Because it's ultrasonic, you don't really brush either, just hold the brush or descaler next to his teeth.

I can't tell you how happy I am with this brush - it's made my a company called Emmi-dent and yes, it was quite pricey, but it was worth every penny to me!  Oh, and to be fair, I kept the toothpaste the same so I know it was the brush that has worked. 
Buster, male P&S Miniature Schnauzer, born January 17, 2014
Buster's Scrapbook

Offline Karen Brittan

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2017, 07:29:13 AM »
Thinking about those two veterinarians who do not recommend teeth cleaning.... I wonder if they brush their own teeth?

I do not brush my dogs' teeth as I have too many dogs, and other things in my life need to get done around here. When they start to get dirty as in the previous photos, I use a double-edged tooth scaler and basically just pop that crud off the teeth.  Schnauzer teeth MUST be kept clean or those teeth will loosen and fall out. That is a fact of schnauzer life.

Mine do get things to chew on periodically (at least once a week).... beef-basted bones, various rawhide sticks, or pig/cow ears. That does help a bit, but not entirely.... so out comes the tooth scaler.

Most of mine still have their beards (older dogs are getting them removed so that they do not have to be combed/brushed out anymore).... the bearded ones do NOT smell, and they are not red since I put everyone on the Diamond Natural Chicken and Rice kibble. (They got VERY red from certain other kibble [Blue Buffalo] when I was searching for the "perfect" food for them.)

We are on well water out here in the country, and our wonderful water was the buying point for me when we first saw this house.
Britmor Miniature Schnauzers
http://britmorschnauzers.com
Minnesota, USA
 
       Pedigree indicates what the animal should be.
 Conformation indicates what the animal appears to be.
  But performance indicates what the animal actually is.
                           -Author Unknown-


Offline Walt

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2017, 07:42:16 AM »
Jacob.  IMHO, the "control group" in this test offers little additional data.   It is reasonable to believe with out "cleaning" the plaque buildup would be worst case.


Think of it like this.  4 people buy new AUDI TT from the dealer which have been completely detailed.  Driver 1 cleans his car daily, Driver 2 cleans his car weekly, Driver 3 cleans his car monthly, Driver 4 only drives his car.  At the end of a 6 month trial, who's car will be most dirty?

The data from the "control group" would only show an effectiveness difference between the lowest groups.  Brushing would remain as the most effective.

You are wrong on not having a control group and it isn't  surprise that a vet wouldn't have used a control group as he likely has no knowledge about the scientific method and/or statistics.  Every valid research project has to have a control group as otherwise you have no clue as to the effectiveness of any of the other groups.  The control group could have come out at 1.25 the same as the brushing group.  What would that mean?

It would mean that brushing was worthless and the other two were contributing in causing tooth problems in dogs.  I've designed and conducted hundreds of research studies and the control group is the key to understanding how the other treatments relate to your theory.  Pharmaceutical companies running drug trials have to include control groups, otherwise their results would mean nothing.
Bruno, male B&S Miniature Schnauzer, born June 22, 2016

Offline Walt

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Re: Is teeth cleaning really necessary?
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2017, 08:13:40 AM »
I really enjoy reading these kinds of threads.  Part of the reason I enjoy them is that I learn just what little factual information we all have about the health and good practices we should use in feeding and keeping our dogs healthy.  The reason we have so little information is that there is hardly any sound scientific research on any aspects of our dogs.  All we really know is what the people involved in making and selling food and other items such as toothpaste, vitamin supplements and health toys tell us.  I can't trust any of it.  So I try to use logic and common sense in making decisions for my dogs health.

I would challenge anyone who has advocated brushing dogs teeth to try to brush Bruno's teeth   :grin:  He is 20 pounds of muscle with a mouth full of very sharp teeth and a defiant attitude.   :tongue:  I've tried it and it doesn't work.  All I have accomplished is to put a dab on the end of my finger and rub some on his gums.  I only do that about twice a week and that keeps the tarter off of his teeth.

I'm 76 years old and have had dogs all my life.  Until commercial kibble come along have I ever ever had a dog die without a mouth full of teeth.  Logic tells me tooth issue in dogs is related to commercial kibble.  I also believe that the long term and on going efforts of dog breeders are complacent in this issue as well, perhaps more so than is kibble.  Wild K9s do not consume lots sugar loaded food items.  I don't feed any dog treats.  But, again we just don't know for sure about anything.  Everything in this thread is basically personal experience, including mine.

Bruno, male B&S Miniature Schnauzer, born June 22, 2016