options for dog teeth cleaning

Old 03-21-05, 11:37 AM
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options for dog teeth cleaning

I have a small dog (schnauzer-poodle mix) whose teeth badly need cleaning. With other dogs in the past, I have had good luck using a person who specializes in cleaning dog's teeth without the use of anesthesia. However, this person recently declined to clean my dog's teeth, basically saying that teeth and gums are in such bad shape that they are beyond her abilities. She recommended that we take the dog to a vet and have cleaning done under anesthesia.

My concerns are: 1) whether it is truly essential to place the dog under anesthesia - have heard several stories about dogs dying as a result of being put under; and 2) the cost - have previously had quotes from vets starting at $600 and more.

So I'm looking for any suggestions or advice on whether it makes sense to have dog put under for teeth cleaning and also on how to contain costs. I have two other small dogs as well - can't possibly afford to spend $600 or more for three dogs when they need teeth cleaning.

Finally, if I do go the veterinary route with anesthesia, is there a way to specify what I want done so as to hold the cost down? I know fom experience that they come up with very high estimates but some of the procedures are optional.
Old 03-21-05, 11:52 AM
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i would say yes, it's necessary to put the dog under anesthesia for teeth cleaning - how in the world could you do it while they're awake? and yes, you can keep the costs to the minimum by saying no to all the other add-on's. my neighbor showed me the pre-bill "plan" for her dog's tooth cleaning, and she had already agreed to all sorts of "and while the dog's out, you might as well do this & this & this" extras! all kinds of lab work & exams & stuff. it was ridiculous. so just say no to all that & pay the basic cleaning fee. although, if your dog's mouth is already advanced to such a bad state that the other gal wouldn't do it, be prepared for what you're planning on doing when they possibly find a bunch of cavities & gum disease. are you willing to then pay to have all that fixed? if not, then don't even bother with the cleaning.
Old 03-21-05, 02:10 PM
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My vet charged about $300 to clean my Golden's teeth. Given the size of your dog $600 sounds really expensive. If you specify just a regular teeth cleaning the cost should come way down. There is a concern anytime you need to put a dog under but dental hygiene is very important for dogs.
Old 03-21-05, 05:14 PM
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Yes, a general anaesthetic always carries some degree of risk, in dogs as well as in people. However, having teeth and gums coated in bacteria and plaque can also be a serious risk to your dog's health, and has been linked to kidney and heart disease. Here's some more info:


The vast majority of dogs can be safely anesthetized for procedures such as these. Ask your veterinarian about the procedures and drugs he/she will use, and why. They should be able to tell you about the risks involved and their magnitude.

It's a good idea to teach your dog to tolerate you brushing her teeth with dog toothpaste. If you don't think that regular dog tooth-brushing is for you, there are a couple of biscuit-type foods especially made to clean teeth. My dogs love Hill's t/d cookies, and get a couple every night when they go in their crates. You can usually get t/d cookies at veterinarians.
Old 03-23-05, 05:52 PM
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I would agree with the others that it is necessary to put the dogs under.$600 is way out of line for any dog, I paid $120.00 for our Cairn Max's last cleaning
Old 04-01-05, 04:30 PM
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I have six dogs, two large and four small and all four small dogs get an annual teeth cleaning. My vet charges right around $100 for the small dogs; the cleaning is well worth the expense and trouble since it is a huge investment in the dog's health and definitely a medical care preventative.
Old 04-05-05, 06:30 PM
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I worked as a Vet Tech for 5 years and performed dental cleanings myself. I would definitely suggest getting them cleaned under anesthesia.
In order to ensure that your pet will not have any problems with the drug that is used to sedate him, blood chemistry panels are suggested to detect any possible reaction prior to administration (the tests are mostly for checking the liver and kidney enzymes which would indicate any possible adverse reaction to an anesthetic). I would recommend that it be done especially if the pet is older, just to be safe. While not having this pre-screening done will cut your cost, you won't know if your pet might not be healthy enough to safely undergo this procedure. Most Vet hospitals have a specific blood panel that they can run which only covers the most important values needed for any pre-anesthetic procedure and doesn't cost as much as an over-all blood panel.
Prices will increase if any teeth need to be extracted-but request that the staff call you before performing anything other than a routine cleaning.
Standard estimates will also include having IV fluids (which are administered while under sedation). You can talk to the Vet about whether or not you prefer to not have this.
Keep in mind that several things can happen if you dont' get them cleaned. In addition to what the other person posted, your pet's teeth could become impacted with food, hair, etc. and not be able to eat.
On average, I would say that your cost should be more like $200 range-$600 is too much.
Hope that I offered you some help!!

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