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Dog Teeth Cleaning – Our Dog’s First Experience

Kobi - Dog Teeth Cleaning

Kobi needs a dental exam

Our dog, Kobi, is a 6 year old Havanese and while we have been fairly good about brushing his teeth, we recently noticed they were getting a bit too dirty. At Kobi’s annual pet exam the veterinarian recommended we consider getting his teeth cleaned. Then about a week later, we found a chip of his tooth on the floor. That was the trigger – Kobi needed a dental exam asap!

We were really worried about the anesthesia and had heard about anesthesia-free dental cleanings (we even wrote an article about them). We did further research on anesthesia-free dog teeth cleaning, as well as those with anesthesia. One of the vets we really respect, Dr. Andy Roark, did a You Tube video recommending dog teeth cleaning with anesthesia. It is also the recommended procedure by the American Veterinary Dental College.

We decided Kobi’s long term health was more important than the risk of the anesthesia. We called up our vet, Dr. Timi Lee at Tribeca Soho Animal Hospital. As she had done a great job with Kobi’s neutering procedure, we felt safe with her as the right vet for the job.

Dog Teeth Cleaning

Circle shows Kobi’s dirty molar & chipped tooth

How Did the Dog Teeth Cleaning Go?

The procedure consisted of:

  • A pre-anesthetic exam and diagnostic lab tests
  • Dental X-Rays
  • Professional scaling – this removes plaque and tartar build-up
  • Full cleaning under the gum-line – it’s where periodontal disease lurks
  • Polishing – this leaves a completely smooth surface of the tooth, which helps discourage plaque and bacteria from adhering to the teeth

We also learned that sometimes there is the option of having a root canal done, thus avoiding extracting the teeth. We were fortunate Kobi’s teeth were in pretty good condition. No teeth needed to be pulled or have root canal. The tooth that was chipped was bonded.

Post Procedure Happy, Clean Teeth:

Dog Teeth Cleaning

After: Left Side Bonded & Cleaned

Dog Teeth Cleaning

After: Right Side: All Clean!

Kobi was at the vet for most of the day. When we picked him up he was happy and alert. At home, we gave him some food and it all went down well. It’s now 24hrs post procedure and can say there have been no bad post-op side effects.

We’d like to thank Dr. Timi Lee and the staff at the Tribeca Soho Animal Hospital for doing a great job with Kobi. We’ll definitely be coming back for another routine dental cleaning in the future.

Hip Replacement Surgery for Dogs

Hip replacement surgery for dogsDoes your dog have have hip dysplasia or other hip related problems with pain? Hip replacement surgery might be an option to consider to improve your dog’s life. It’s possible to have the damaged parts of the joint replaced with a prosthesis, just like with human hip replacement surgery. What a great solution option to help out our dogs in pain or reduced mobility get back to improved health!

The surgery involves removing the diseased diseased femoral head in the hip joint and socket (acetabulum) and replacing them with an artificial ball and socket joint. Each component of the artificial hip is made of cobalt chrome stainless steel or titanium and ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (plastic cup). The new prosthetic components are designed to allow the joint to move the same way as a normal hip. As with human hip implants, there are cemented and cementless total hip implants available.

hip replacement surgery for dogsThe goal of surgery is to return your pet to a pain-free, mechanically sound, normal hip function. Generally, dogs are found to be more comfortable and have an improved quality of life. Many owners report that their pet can do things they have not done since they were a puppy. Apparently post-surgery most dogs experience an increase in muscle mass, improved hip motion, and increased activity levels. The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center claims that some “mean” dogs have even developed a pleasant personality when the pain was eliminated from their hip(s). “We have found that 95% of the hips that have been replace by surgeons at OSU return to normal function or near normal function. More than 95% of owners feel that their dog’s quality of life is improved or markedly improved.”

According to the Animal Medical Center, independent clinical studies show that 96% of pets who undergo total hip replacement surgery will return to full, normal function, typically within 6-10 weeks following surgery. In fact, they can walk on their new hip immediately following surgery.

Here’s a video about the procedure from the Animal Medical Center:

Dog First Aid – Helpful Items to Keep at Home

firstaiddogIt’s National Pet First Aid Awareness Month – an effort started by the American Red Cross to draw attention to the need to know dog first aid. We’ve recently highlighted the American Red Cross’s guide for CPR for your dog, but thought it was important to highlight a few other dog first aid items that’s good to have around the home in case your dog has an accident or emergency.

dog first aidGimborn makes a number of great first aid products, several have been on the market for over 40 years and used by professional groomers and breeders:

  • Kwik-Stop Styptic Gel which forms an instant gel barrier to stop bleeding fast, especially for bleeding caused by clipping nails and minor cuts.
  • R-7 Antiseptic Spray specifically formulated to help speed the healing process of cuts, scrapes, and minor abrasions. It’s a gentle, cleansing formula does not contain alcohol and will not sting.
dog first aid

PawFlex

Need a band-aid for your dog, but it’s hard to find one that fits? Well PawFlex Bandages has created a line of bandages just for dogs. PawFlex bandages are a disposable non adhesive fur friendly super stretch all in one bandage that maintains a secure comfortable natural fit. The PawFlex sizes and designs are created for specific sized dogs and specific wound-care areas. Check out their website for more information: http://www.pawflex.com/

If your dog has skin issues/infections, hot spots, minor abrasions, and any other skin problems, povidone iodine is a great solution and you can buy it at any pharmacy or drug store. Dr. Karen Becker wrote a great article on the Huffington Post about the advantage of using povidone iodine for dog’s skin issues, “The solution I use will take care of staph, yeast, and pretty much any common bacteria but doesn’t sting or irritate the dog’s skin at all. And it’s safe if dogs lick the area after cleaning.”

You should also have a pair of tweezers at home in case your dog gets a tick. See our post on Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs which shows how to use the tweezers to pull out a tick.

dog first aid

ProCollar

Make sure you have the list of bad food for dogs. If you think your dog has eaten a dangerous food or been poisoned, call your vet or the Pet Poison Hotline immediately.

Last but not least is the dreaded dog cone. You probably already have one from your vet when your dog was spayed or neutered. The vet typically has them in clear plastic or a soft collar version. Last time we needed a collar for our dog Kobi, a Havanese, we used a different kind of collar – an inflatable collar from ProCollar. It seemed to fit our dog much better and he was less annoyed with it than the other collars we tried.

We hope your pet says safe and in case of an accident, remember to call your vet asap!

We Switched from Frontline to K9 Advantix II

Finally SPRINGTIME is almost here! We’ve been waiting for it far too long! That also means it’s fleas and ticks season. We hope you’ve already been using some sort of flea and tick medication for your pooch. Here’s our story about why we switched from Frontline to K9 Advantix II.

We initially used Frontline Plus on Kobi as it seemed like “the one” to use.Advantix It worked fine at first, but a few years ago we went to Washington DC on a trip to visit friends. Our friends also have a very cute dog and we thought it would be great for them to play together.

It was a fantastic trip and the weather was beautiful, but when we returned back to New York, we noticed (to our shock and horror) that Kobi had some fleas. Kobi is white and in the spring/summer we keep his hair shorter so it was easy to spot these new fleas.

I called my WDC friend and he mentioned that there was a strain of fleas down there in WDC that seem to be resistant to Frontline and his vet suggested K9 Advantix II. They used it on their dog and the fleas were gone within a day. So we ended up doing the same thing – we went straight out and got K9 Advantix and within a day those fleas were gone and we haven’t seen any since.

I’m hoping this Frontline resistant strain of fleas doesn’t spread, but we wanted to share our story in case it can help any other dogs and their owners. Note: we also don’t want to bash the Frontline name…perhaps they will change their formula to address this situation.