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Dentals, Seniors and Petplan

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Arny, Jul 3, 2019.


  1. Arny

    Arny PetForums Senior

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    I'm currently trying to decide if a dental might be worth having for my 15 year old staffy cross.

    I've been wondering about it for the last year but the vet didn't mention anything about his teeth at his last booster so decided to put it off even more. He recently had his rabies booster (for his passport) and that vet did mention weighing up the benefits and risks.
    Would it help his overall health? Would it be worth it? I know that's probably only something I can answer but putting them under is always a worry. He is in pretty good health, no arthritis, on no medication for anything etc. He doesn't show any signs of being unconformable but they are quite brown especially the back.

    Also does anyone know if this would be covered by petplan? It says it covers dental for injury and illness but unsure whether it'd be classed as an illness. In case the last vet put anything in his notes about teeth (I can check that) I'll have to get it done within 3 months.
    Thanks
     
  2. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    A lot of dental issues are common in toy breeds and pointy sighthounds due to their dentition.

    At 15 if he's only got a bit of staining on his back teeth I would say he's doing brilliantly to be fair.

    If your vet was worried about his teeth, regardless of age they would definitely raise it as a concern.

    To be honest I wouldn't be worried if my vet wasn't.
     
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  3. Arny

    Arny PetForums Senior

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    Thanks for replying @lullabydream I suppose you're right if the vets aren't overly concerned I shouldn't be.
    The main reason I was thinking of having it done was for overall health, protecting his organs etc from the bacteria.

    He's my first and only dog and I don't want to lose him anytime soon.
     
  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    You could use an enzymatic pet toothpaste - it probably won't get rid of the staining but it would help prevent any further build-up. Rather than using a brush, start getting him used to it by using a piece of clean fabric over your finger - a textured weave like muslin is very slightly abrasive and more effective.
     
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  5. Arny

    Arny PetForums Senior

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    I do try to brush with dentisept but no where near as often as I should and he tries to eat the toothbrush!
    Thanks for the tip @JoanneF not using a brush could well be easier. Why did I not think to ask years ago.
     
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  6. Leanne77

    Leanne77 PetForums VIP

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    I would query with Pet Plan about whether they would pay. I'm sure there is something about they will only pay if the dog has had dental check ups regularly and the vet must feel they need one. I think if you just decide to have it done for mainly cosmetic reasons then they wont pay.

    Another alternative is that some groomer offer dental cleans. They arent as thorough as one done by a vet as the dog is not under GA and so the clean depends on how co-operative your dog is, and they dont clean under the gum line either.
     
  7. Arny

    Arny PetForums Senior

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    I definitely wouldn't do it for cosmetic reasons, like I said it'd be for overall health and to protect his teeth for future.
    I had put it to the back of my mind waiting for a vet to bring it up and now one has I'm exploring whether it'd be worth it.
    He gets health checks each year when having his booster done so there'd be no issue there.
     
  8. Leanne77

    Leanne77 PetForums VIP

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    What I meant was that unless your vet said your dog needed a dental because they'd got excessive build up, gingivitis, rotten teeth, broken teeth etc then insurance probably wouldnt pay. Yes, clean teeth and a healthy mouth contribute to overall health but thats probably not a good enough reason for the insurance company, hence why I used the term 'cosmetic'.
     
  9. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    Insurance companies rarely pay for dental work unless its caused by injury. Ive had to pay for most of my lots basic dental work (like scale, rotten tooth removal) but they have covered a tooth abcess and a broken tooth as they are classed more as injuries then 'wear and tear'.
    Id say to ask your vet TBH. If its just staining then I wouldnt worry but if he could use a scale and polish it might be worth getting it done to prevent problems when he's older.
     
  10. Arny

    Arny PetForums Senior

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    For the last couple of weeks he's been very slow eating, highly unusual for him.
    He's had a once over and a blood test to rule out any issue that could cause lack of appetite. Given the all clear on that front so he will be having a dental.

    Not too bothered if petplan don't cover it but it would be nice. It definitely says dental treatment for injury or illness in the policy (illness being defined as "any changes to normal healthy state, sickness, disease, defects and abnormalities") so we'll see.
     
  11. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I only just saw this post and I see you have decided to have a dental anyway. Personally I see no reason at all to subject an old dog with no real tooth problems to an anaesthetic. Does the vet think the teeth are the problem with his slow eating. Being realistic, if he is 15, you are going to lose him some time soon. He has already exceeded the age most dogs run into problems and have to be either put to sleep or die. Sorry if that is upsetting but it is the truth and to put him through unnecessary surgery in the hope he will live for years is totally unrealistic. I would be amazed if your insurance pays up. Old dogs have tooth problems and dirty teeth and his dirty teeth are not caused by illness but by age.
     
  12. Arny

    Arny PetForums Senior

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    I didn't decide to just do it anyway, I had listened to the advice was going to follow that but he is now struggling to eat. This has literally only come about within the last couple of weeks.
    Honestly asking, do you expect me to sit back and watch him struggle?

    The vet said he has bruising to one or two teeth (what this means I don't know and is the first time its been mentioned) that could be causing it.
    She wanted to do a full blood panel to rule out if maybe he just had lack of appetite as apparently kidney and liver disease in particular could cause this. The results came back and his organ function etc is excellent for a dog of his age. She also had a good feel of his abdomen and couldn't feel anything.

    I put an 18 year old cat through dental when she was struggling to eat (turned out it was really a tumour under her tongue causing the issue) so I suppose I'm just that sort of person.

    Edited to say, have done some reading and looks like what the vet was saying is it appears he could have pulpitis which can definitely be a cause for pain.
     
    #12 Arny, Aug 14, 2019 at 6:47 PM
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 8:46 PM
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