Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Seeking Tips for Dental Care

Just before the holidays, I got the sad news that the wonderful veterinary clinic where I have been taking Bow as well as my first basenji foster was closing due to bankruptcy, another victim of the economy. I’d searched for a long time to find the just right vet for basenjis, so I dreaded going through the process again.

Besides being knowledgeable of basenjis, having great rapport with Bow, supported by wonderful staff and reasonably priced, she was in a fairly quiet part of the big city and her waiting room was always calm and quiet. If there was ever a situation with another dog that stressed Bow out, she was good to get us to an examining room to keep the visit calm.

I guess that “quiet” that was good for us was bad for her and a sign of people that apparently aren’t giving their pets the medical care they need.

We were fortunate to find an equally, if not even more qualified vet through our trainer who said she caught things with her dogs that other vets never even detected. Unfortunately she’s in one of the busiest parts of the city with only three parking spaces, lots of traffic and a tiny, always full waiting room that makes the few minutes before we are seen a little more stressful but manageable. Once we’re in the examining room, all is fine and she has a good rapport with Bow.

Everything checked out fine with our annual check up, but she did recommend a tartar removal treatment. Important but not urgent, but we are schedule to have it done in early February. I was pleased that she did thorough blood work to make sure all would be fine for the anesthesia. The only issue is that one of her liver levels is a bit above normal, not a big concern, she said, but something she’ll check the day of the procedure. If it’s higher, she’d delay the procedure. She said sometimes this could be related to the tartar itself.

I recall seeing a post here on the BRAT blog recently about someone having their basenji go through the same procedure, and I remember the main caveat was to make sure that the vet is mindful of basenjis ability to take anesthesia compared to dogs with a different body muscle/fat ratio. She said she’s done this on a number of sight hounds and basenjis and is well aware of the precautions required.

So, I would appreciate any other concerns or preparations from those whose basenjis have been through this process. Fortunately she said that Bow’s teeth are in reasonably good shape for a seven-year-old, especially her back teeth which, as she put it, “Bow has done a nice job of tending to herself.” She also said that we would likely need to have me start brushing Bow’s teeth after the procedure. Are there any tips on those who’ve been through that process?

1 comment:

  1. I use Petzlife Oral Care Gel to maintain healthy, clean teeth. I use it on my Basenjis, Whippets and Chihuahua. If used properly, you can advoid the whole dental cleaning thing altogether. I swear by it and sell it in my Dog Boutique. If you wanted, you could use this instead of having Bow go under since her teeth aren't that bad. But some people get their dog's teeth cleaned and use Petzlife to maintain afterward. Check it out!