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Dental disaster: check your dog’s teeth regularly

Photo: Dr Quito recovering from his operation

Photo: Dr Quito recovering from his operation

A week ago we noticed that Dr Quito had lost weight and was off his food. Quito has had a crummy shake of the dice. He was attacked by a lurcher at 10 months old and has been semi-crippled since then. From a pup, he’s always been a picky eater so we tried soaking his food in delicious gravy, bought different dog food, changed the toppings.
“It’s like The Caesar Syndrome,” muttered Danny as he hand fed our best boy.

I was curious. What could The Caesar Syndrome be? Some sort of dog related condition discovered by Pliny?

I’d forgotten that before The Contessa joined our family, Quito would only eat Caesar dog food. Excellent but expensive gourmet food for small dogs. With a hungry new wife at the table his tastes broadened rapidly and to our joy, discovered the delights of cheaper dog food.

Quito was looking very ill indeed on Wednesday. He had to be carried into the garden to pee and had no interest in food. Danny rang the vet immediately.

Quito was put on antibiotics and this morning and underwent x-rays and a blood test. Under anaesthetic, his teeth were descaled and many were removed. Although he will shortly hit seventy in dog years, we don’t think of him as an old dog and had no idea that he had a problem with his teeth. Poor Quito must have been in agony. We suspected cancer so are hugely relieved.

So was the Contessa. Apparently on his return Quito was heralded with lots and licks and attention from his trophy wife. When Dr Q and I climbed into Jalopy this morning and drove away, she crept under the duvet and seemed very depressed all day.

But we have let this little fellow down. We didn’t know that it was important to examine his teeth regularly. I’ve kept dogs for over fifty years and have never had a problem with bad teeth in any but the most ancient dog. So we are now starting a new weekly regime with all our Min Pins. We are going to check and clean their teeth. We’ll try using our toothpaste but if they rebel I’ve seen dog toothpaste at Pets At Home. They’ll hate this ‘manhandling’ but better to prempt a dental problem. We’re also investing in some dental chews. They used to love them when they were younger. They also enjoy crunching fresh carrots, which are great for their teeth and also supposed to be a great alternative treatment for worms.

Their water bowl has filtered water. Perhaps we should use water straight from the mains as it contains fluoride. What do you think?

This evening Dr Q ate some Weetabix soaked in a little milk and goose stock before falling deeply asleep after a long and stressful day.

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  1. Casalba- I have had bad experiences with dogs and chicken bones. Chickens bones are fragile and dogs have no trouble eating them completely. I would chicken bones all together.

  2. Casalba, raw bones are the only safe ones for dogs. Cooked bones (roasted, boiled or whatever) are brittle and very dangerous. Raw ones, if intended to be swallowed, should have a good covering of meat to help avoid impaction (yes it does happen) in the gut.

  3. casalba

    Are chicken bones safe? If so, does it depend on the size of the dog? I’d never give my medium sized dogs a chicken bone without being absolutely certain. Morris (who is also a Dr BTW) can chomp through a marrow bone in minutes and I always thought that chicken bones shouldn’t be given to dogs because they can splinter… Or, is this only if they’ve been cooked?

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