Teeth and diet

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    Simba had her annual MOT at the vet this week and i’ve been told she needs her teeth done under GA.

    I’ve been cleaning her teeth with Logic toothpaste the best I can manage and the front ones are ok, but I obviously haven’t got to the back ones very well.  She really protests at having her teeth done, and when she protests it aint fun and I don’t enjoy getting nipped at.  It’s just impossible really, she goes mental.

    Is there anything I can do to sort her teeth out?  I really don’t want her going under GA if it’s avoidable.

    Simba has a form of IBD and gets very sick if she eats certain things, the first year we had her she had colitis regularly and at the worst point (before we got all the testing done) she was vomiting constantly and I had to wash her rear end three times a day because she had uncontrollable diaorrhea.  She became very thin and her coat was dull.

    After the tests were done, it came back as ‘chronic inflammation of the intestines’, she has malabsorption issues and she had a calcium deficit, plus a high level of ‘enterococchus’ bacteria found.  The vet put her on an exclusion diet and since then she’s been on fish and potato kibble as it’s the only thing we found that doesn’t set her off.  She’s been on it 7/8 months now and since we started it she’s not been ill and has put on weight.

    Before that she had tried, chicken and rice, lamb, pork, beef (red meat is more likely to upset her) but fish seems to work best and we keep her grain or gluten free.  I occasionally give her a little something else to test if it upsets her, and a little bit in moderation doesn’t.  She snarfed some cat food over the summer though and was violently ill.

    I’ll talk to Bev about it when she is better and available again but I now know she’s got this problem and I want to sort it asap.

    What can I do to help her teeth? She’s not even four years old and it breaks my heart her teeth need an op already. The vet said that raw bones with stringy meat will help, but won’t they make her sick?

    I’m a bit worried at the moment!  


    go and read the stuff on food – bev on a rant etc…. only thing I know that will clean teeth is bones bones bones – dogs are supposed to eat bones – best find out what bones doggie can eat


    Thanks Mudgie

    I had a look at it and i’ve had Bev’s rant in person,  she knows what Simba’s problems are and has said raw may not work for her because of her IBD.  Only one way to find out but last time I tried something I was cleaning mess off the walls and poor Simba was miserable and clearly in pain… not nice.  :-\

    I am taking her advice regarding Oscar, and he’ll be having raw bones to keep his teethies clean, but his teeth are pretty good anyway, plus I reckon he’d let me clean them with a brush, unlike madam.

    Don’t know what to do for my poor girl though, she’s not very ‘well made’ unfortunately.

    I wonder if there are any great big fish bones I can get?  Maybe chicken might be ok, I don’t know.

    I’m so worried about her having a GA though.


    There are other options you may like to try before going down the descaling route via GA which are not as intrusive.

    If you do not want to give bones (and not all owners can provide them for various reasons just as some dogs cannot cope with them) then you could try fragaria which is a homeopathic pilule (wild strawberry) which can help with tartar.  It does not work on all dogs, but you can get it from Dorwest or Hilton Herbs.

    Another route is Plaque Off which is a seaweed based supplement which also works on dogs (and humans); something that you have to avoid if your dog has thyroid issues though.

    Neither of the above is expensive and should not cause any digestive issues.




    Have you tried Plaque Off? It looks a bit like a powdered form of seaweed and you just sprinkle a small amount on the dogs food each day, It should not upset even the most sensitive of stomachs. Have you tried Nylabone, this is a good thing for dogs with poor teeth, also steamed bones are good.

    Have you tried James Wellbeloved dog food? I have shelties and have found this good for sensitive tums? Try to get a free sample to try it. I have had dogs who reacted badly to pasta so keep away from that, always have deans gastric of Johnson’s diarrhoea tablets in (even human ones are ok.



    Thanks so much

    I will look into the ‘Plaque Off’ and the wild strawberry thing, will that help with the tartar that is already there though?

    She is getting signs of Gingivitis, her back teeth are quite dirty (the ones I haven’t reached in our pathetic toothbrush battles).

    I’m not sure if she’d eat a Nylabone, but i’ll certainly give it a try if they help.   Like many Rough Collies, she’s very fernickety and obtuse with what she will and won’t eat… I bought a filled bone from [email protected], a ‘herbadent’ thing and she really liked that, and it didn’t upset her but it made her gums bleed like mad and she had blood all down her ruff.

    It’s so difficult, i’m not averse to giving bones but if they upset her IBD then she’s in a lot of pain and I feel bad.

    I think she may have a predisposition to weak teeth and bones, she’s quite small and slight for her breed and she’s already had one broken leg… apparently from ‘jumping down out of the car’ (before I had her so who knows).  Her breeder told me she is ‘delicate’, whatever that means.

    I have looked at James Wellbeloved before, we’ve tried Arden Grange fish and potato and now she’s on ‘Oscar’s petfoods’ herring and potato.  Her actual IBD problems have gone on this diet and she’s healthier in that respect, but obviously it’s not enough to keep her teeth in order.

    I don’t know whether to agree to the dental under GA and then start anew with things like Plaque Off, or try and get her teeth in order without her having to go through a full op  ???


    I doubt if a month will make much difference in terms of having descaling under GA. 

    She obviously has poor gums if chewing a bone makes them bleed so much.

    It is up to you, weigh up the pros and cons of doing both in terms of safety and cost.  After all making one decision does not mean you cannot follow up with other route……..


    Thank you, yes that makes sense.

    I got her teeth checked because I noticed her breath had become a bit smelly recently, i’m glad I had the vet look at them, but the vet was adamant nothing except a full descaling under GA was an option.

    With her bleeding gums, is this something that may improve if I continue to give her bones?  She’s never really had hard things to chew, simply because she wouldn’t chew them.  It’s only since the addition of our second dog and watching him chew bones that she’s decided she will eat them too (she’s perverse like that).

    Either way, I will get the strawberry additive and the Plaque off (does it hurt to use both?) and start giving it to them, as i’m sure it would be a good idea for Oscar to have some of this as a preventative too.

    Simba doesn’t like to make anything easy!


    If you give bones it will strengthen the gums but this must be weighed against possible gastric issues.

    the problem of using both is that you will not know which is working………………..



    I would personally have her teeth scaled under a General Anaesthetic, If you ask your vet there is one recommended for collies and shelties. My oldest lady now 9 had hers done last year and she was fine. Her teeth have always been poor which I put down to a poor diet for her mum whilst in whelp and in weaning, we changed her diet when we got her but the damage had been done.

    Don’t worry about the bleeding gums as this is washing away all the poison there and will stop as her gums harden over time.



    good point!  :embarrass:

    I will talk to Bev about it when she’s able to come and visit us again, until then I can’t see how a Nylabone will hurt, if Simba will chew it.

    The Herbadent thing didn’t upset her tummy, so I could get another one of those.  It’s things with ‘meat derivatives’ in that are a huge  :nono: for Simba

    I’ll get started on one of the additives anyway as it can’t hurt, and maybe just get her teeth cleaned now and draw a line under this and start afresh.

    my granny’s dachshunds have horrendous teeth and have had to have them done 3 times in their life already, one has only half his teeth left, yet my springer spaniel got to 11 years old, never needing them done.

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