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February 11, 2012


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Mary Straus

I rescued a 13-year-old Pom who was emaciated due to pain from his bad teeth. He had a heart murmur but his blood work was normal, so the next day he was anesthetized and all his teeth were removed. He felt so much better even the day of the surgery, and began eating like a horse and taking an interest in life again.

Shame on the first vet for leaving that poor dog in such pain. It's wonderful that you were able to help him.


Hello, Mary,

I think that there were a couple of different factors in the other doctor's decision. One was perhaps the fact that his monitoring and anesthetic capabilities are not exactly state of the art.

The second was underestimating the client's willingness to deal with the problem. Sometimes you just get a wrong idea in your head: "Oh, well, she just got stuck with this dog, and it's pretty old anyway. She probably doesn't want to spend a fortune on it. We'll sort of make do."

One of our worst mistakes as veterinarians is pre-judging a client's willingness or ability. You just have to offer what's best for the animal, then make compromises if you have to. You can't start out offering "Plan B" (or worse, "Plan D").

Thanks for reading and writing.


That sounds so painful for that poor dog, thank you for helping.

In this case the first vet might have made some cost estimates available, such as less extensive pre anesthesia testing. When we have low cost spay and neuters for adoptive pets, they do skip the blood work. It is not ideal but we decide it is better than not doing the surgery at all.

Cat food

Your veterinarian will need to examine your cat's teeth for enamel hypocalcification, which will show exposed and stained dentin, and will also test the stability of the dentin. Sound dentin is hard, and will not yield to a dental explorer, whereas carious dentin is soft and will yield to a sharp instrument.

dentist Sippy Downs

I guess it doesn't make much of a difference if it's man or beast. Pulling a tooth is just as painful regardless of species. The only thing to look forward to is the relief afterwards.

dentist in old bridge

It may be painful, but it's for the good of the animal. You might want to get an expert to do it though just to avoid getting bitten.


Unless the tooth is so loose that it is about to fall out on its own, you cannot safely extract teeth in a conscious animal.

It's not just dangerous for the surgeon. Many teeth have multiple roots, and one of them may still be very solidly attached. Trying to "pull it" would probably break it off. That's no good for the animal.

Multi-rooted teeth have to be cut into sections and each root individually elevated away from the surrounding tissue. This is a slow process. It's just not possible in a conscious animal (to say nothing of the pain involved).

Since dogs and cats won't bite down on a roll of gauze for 30 minutes, extraction sites need to be sutured. Again, not possible on a conscious animal.

Anesthesia is a necessary part of veterinary dentistry. Pain control is enhanced with local anesthetic to block the nerves, and post-op pain medications are absolutely necessary.

Wild Bird Food

Poor fellow might have gone through a such pain. Glad to hear that he is alright now. Hope after the surgery he will be completely ok.

Read More

There are may benifits to exercise including as Dr. Low states helping with gum disease. This disease is all about inflamation which exercise helps keep at bay.


Amongst all pest attacks, flea attacks are the most typical knowledgeable by people and their animals. These can be handled with lotions, but better yet, you can avoid them by maintaining your animals and home clean!

Sean Thomas

That is good that he doesn't need teeth to eat dog food, sure doesn't sound that pleasant though. Thanks for sharing.


Hi, Glad to see you mentioning the problem of dog teeth cleaning as it is often overlooked by owners.

Gabinete Dentario

Poor dog. Good you helped him out!

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