In episode 16 of the podcast, I discuss this REALLY common question that so many pet parents have. When is my dog to old for a dental? BELOW IS THE SHOW NOTES for the episode but to really hear me deep dive into this topic, check out Podcast Episode 16 which can be found on Apple, Spotify and Stitcher.
EPISODE 16: IS MY DOG TOO OLD FOR A DENTAL- SHOW NOTES
Welcome to the Senior Dog Revolution with Dr. Monica Tarantino. In this episode, she will focus whether or not a senior aged dog should have dental care and anesthesia. She will offer three different situations to hopefully give you perspective on factors to consider when thinking of what could possibly be right for your dog.
Dr. Monica will describe how Sophie, Libby, Orwell, Bon Bon, and Frodo each had different decisions given in regard to their dental care. These decisions and health factors might help you decide what the best decision for your dog might be.
The most important factor is always talk to your veterinarian about what could be the best decision on dental care for your senior dog.
Key Notes and Stories:
· Age is not a factor; health status is the most important factor.
· Dental disease is a disease of chronic pain that can truly effect a pet’s quality of life. For older dogs, their quality of life is the most important thing.
· There is a point in every dog’s health status or life where a dental will not be recommended.
· Your veterinarian is the best one to guide you on decisions for your pet's health and happiness. Before making any decisions, always talk to your veterinarian about your options.
· Sophie was a 14 year 8-month-old black Labrador, and she had three rotten teeth. She had hypothyroid disease, early kidney disease, and some mobility issues.
o However, she was still very healthy, but the teeth were most likely causing pain for her. After discussing with her parents, they decided to move forward with the dental and wake her up as soon as the procedure was over to limit her time on anesthesia.
o By day two, she was back to her normal self, and she lived pain free for her remaining seven months.
· Libby was a tiny Chihuahua who was recommended for a dental starting at the age of ten.
o She had bad dental disease, but every time a dental appointment was scheduled the owners would cancel.
o By age 14, the owners were finally ready to proceed with the dental, but Libby at that time had developed a severe heart murmur. After being checked out by cardiologist, she was cleared for her dental.
o Unfortunately, the week before her scheduled dental, Libby had some scary neurologic events occur. After reexamining her, the dental was postponed until it was clear she could handle it.
· Orwell is a 12-and-a-half-year-old Maltipoo with doggy dementia, heart murmur, cough, history of vestibular disease, and more.
o However, after living with Orwell, Dr. Monica noticed he was smacking his gums together from time to time. She knew it was a good idea to get a dental before his health conditions progressed further.
o She did not want his teeth to hurt him anymore, and he had a total of 13 rotten teeth in mouth. Now that his pain is gone, he runs around chasing tennis balls and wants to play fetch all the time.
· Bon Bon was 14 years old and had many mammary masses, very bad dental disease, and a pretty bad heart murmur.
o Dr. Monica decided to immediately put her in a procedure to take care of as many of these issues as possible.
o When the short procedure occurred, they could only take care of some of the dental disease not all of it. The original plan was to give Bon Bon a break for about four to six months after the procedure and then to go back to take care of the rest if they could.
o Unfortunately, within those six months Bon Bon’s heart murmur got worse and she went into heart failure. She then went into pulmonary hypertension by age 15. By that time, she was not a good candidate for anesthesia, and so they decided to focus on her heart and lungs to make her as comfortable as possible for her remaining time.
· Frodo was about 15 years old and had severe lung disease. He had severe chronic bronchitis and pulmonary fibrosis.
o Dr. Monica would have preferred to give Frodo one more dental if she could, but she also knew that they had been consistent with his dentals throughout his life.
o This brought some relief when he got to the point where it was more of a risk than a benefit to give him a dental.