Basenji dental
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  • First Basenji's

    Bowpi came to us with gunky teeth, and is in need of dental work.

    We considered anesthesia-free dental, but the person who checked her out said she'll need to go under; it doesn't look like her teeth have ever been done (she's about 5 or 6 years old) and while her gums look good, they'll want to look underneath the gumline.

    We got an estimate done at one vet so far. They quoted us $560 for everything without extractions (including pre-dental bloodwork, IV, fluids, a technician to monitor her all day, a special sealant after the cleaning…), or up to $950 in the "unlikely" possibility of three extractions (they included the price of a molar in this estimate, just in case). :eek:

    Now keep in mind that this is skewed for California cost of living, but that seems awfully high. I know dental work is supposed to be expensive, but never having a dog that needed dental work before, I was a little shocked!

    Just curious as to what Basenji dental work costs in other parts of the world/country? Not that I can do anything about it… except envy the rest of you who are able to get the job done at half these prices. :cool:

    At any rate, we're going to ask around for a couple more estimates. The vet said Bowpi could probably wait until February, which is "Pet Dental Month," and they would knock 25% off the bill. Meanwhile, she gets daily PlaqueOff supplements, occasional raw meaty bones, Himalayan yak chews, and C.E.T. dental chews, which have already improved her teeth and breath a LOT compared to when we first got her.

    Also, I love this link on the BRAT page about Basenji dental work:
    http://www.basenjirescue.org/Chey_Miller/Dental/dental.html

    Unfortunately, Bowpi's teeth are in worse shape.


    Tartarrrrr by ilovemytank, on Flickr (sorry, I don't have a better picture of her teeth at this time)

    But we're going to make them better!

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  • Nicky's Root Canal was around $1200, I would have to look up the exact amount.

    I think a regular dental is between $350-$450 because of the anesthesia, pre-op blood work, IV fluids, etc.

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  • Here in the Bay Area, you can count on 500.00 for a regular Dental without any type of extractions

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  • First Basenji's

    Root canal… egads.

    I mentioned the estimate to my friend who lives in San Diego, and she was aghast. She'd recently gotten dental work on her 50 pound border collie-pit bull mix, and paid $550 including extractions (two molars). But then I found out that she got the dental work done in Virginia.... Times like this make me realize just how vast and, well, different this country can be from coast to coast. ;)

    Looks like we'll be saving up for Pet Dental Month! Everybody gets mix CDs for Christmas this year! We've spent well over $1000 on vet bills (mostly on the other dog) since we got her this year, and our dog food budget has about tripled since we've been putting them both on much higher quality food and raw meat. They're worth it though.

    (Meanwhile, I've spent a grand total of $60 on my own dental work in the last three years... no joke.)

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  • More motivation for us all to brush our B's teeth. :)

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  • I spent about $350 to have my b's teeth cleaned (including anesthia, blood work, etc.) earlier this year. The crazy thing is has been about 5 months and his teeth are already getting bad again! You are right Kananga, we need to make sure we are taking better care of our b's teetht as the last thing I want is to put him under again because of my laziness of not brushing. P.S./ I live in MN

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  • Arwen has horrible teeth… we have had to have them cleaned every six mos since she was 4. Understand I feed raw and in 15 yrs have never had to have a dog's teeth CLEANED other than rescues (and when spousal unit threw Kong and cracked one tooth and broke another with the Rottweiler). So we brush, we spray, we use wipes, she get Dental twists... still they have to be cleaned every six mos and she lost THREE teeth last time, one twice before. Last time the entire bill was under $250 with anesthesia, antibiotics and removals. LOL send me your dog, I'll have them done and sent back for what, about half that cost. I hate GA but gosh there are some benefits. And btw, my vet is NOT close to being the cheapest around.

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  • I brush Buddy's teeth with a toothbrush 1/day. He's 2, teeth are white and breath is great. He chews on them a bit so I just throw it out after about 3 weeks. I buy the 4 packs at Target. I always did my last 2 Basenjis as well but only like 3-4 times a week and they never had teeth problems. I think I never had to get their teeth cleaned. It's an overall health hazard to have dirty teeth. Tooth brush works the best! Of course that's not to say there might be tooth issues like maybe a cavity or cracked/broken tooth.

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  • I still swear by Petzlife Oral Gel. I don't have the best habit of brushing Kananga's teeth, I usually only do it once or twice per week, but I use the oral spray usually every or every other night. I have found it helps prevent and break down tartar. It also freshens up their breath quite well.

    A quick spray or two inside their mouth before bedtime and that's it. :)

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  • I just get in the habit of doing it before I go to work everyday. I have the Petzlife oral gel too. Have only tried it once. I can keep them clean for now without it. It's not just keeping the the teeth clean but the gums stimulated too by using the brush.

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  • S

    Cody had dental work done, it was over $600. with one tooth pulled and all the cleaning, drugs because the tooth was causing issues with his eye, infection going up into his nasel area.
    Really, as expensive as it is, its something to be done sooner than later, or you have a b with infections in his head…like I did...

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  • Hi, In Richmond VA we are very lucky to have "Helping Hands Vet. They cleaned Lucy's teeth (6yrs old) for $155.00 included everything! That even includes extractions (Lucy didn't need it). They specialize in providing quality yet affordable surgical procedures. You might call you local SPCA…& see if your area has this wonderful option. Good Luck!

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  • First Basenji's

    Infections in the head sound hideous… we will do what we can ASAP. The suggestion to wait until February was raised by the vet, and she seemed confident that her gums looked good, though with the caveat that they can never know for sure until they x-ray and get in there under anesthesia.

    It's all going on my credit card, at any rate!

    Meanwhile, looks like I'll be learning to brush teeth other than my own. The Doggy Daddy will loooove this, heh. What about those finger toothbrushes? Those look more manageable to me than a regular toothbrush. Whatever we use will take some practice, regardless...

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  • @curlytails:

    Infections in the head sound hideous… we will do what we can ASAP. The suggestion to wait until February was raised by the vet, and she seemed confident that her gums looked good, though with the caveat that they can never know for sure until they x-ray and get in there under anesthesia.

    It's all going on my credit card, at any rate!

    Meanwhile, looks like I'll be learning to brush teeth other than my own. The Doggy Daddy will loooove this, heh. What about those finger toothbrushes? Those look more manageable to me than a regular toothbrush. Whatever we use will take some practice, regardless...

    Read through this thread. Using a brush is actually easy.
    http://www.basenjiforums.com/showthread.php?t=1485

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  • Does Bowpi have a lot of eye gunk? Poor dental health can manifest that way as well. I'd definitely say clean now versus later. The last time one of my basenjis had his teeth cleaned he had an infection in one of the very back teeth, which is hard to get to and brush.

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  • And another little story about bad teeth, my old boy, OJ had horrible teeth, as did many in his bloodlines….. While other then looking "not so nice" he really didn't have horrible breath, but you could tell he was just a bit off... At first we just thought it was his age and that he was getting a bit cranky as he aged... however after a dental were the poor guy had 3 teeth extracted and 2 that just fell out... we have a totally NEW boy... he changed 110% and was back to that nutty happy fellow!!

    I am a big one now on teeth and gums.... and better to do it as soon as possible and then work really hard at keeping them clean. Sometimes easier said then done, especially if they happen to come from a line were seems bad teeth are genetic... but it really does make a difference.

    There are a lot of products out there that can help. There is one called Happy Mouth that you mix in the water. There is a new one that you sprinkle on the food that people that have told me about it, swear by it, still waiting to get the name and will pass along

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  • I have found the easiest way to do Arwen's teeth is put her on her back, open her mouth wide and brush. I won't lie, she'd bite if she could but with pressure on the lower jaw she can't get much momentum. She has gotten used to it over time but she hates it and me during the time. But it was the only position that let me see and get to the very back teeth.

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  • First Basenji's

    @Nemo:

    Does Bowpi have a lot of eye gunk? Poor dental health can manifest that way as well. I'd definitely say clean now versus later. The last time one of my basenjis had his teeth cleaned he had an infection in one of the very back teeth, which is hard to get to and brush.

    Actually, since you mention it, her right eye does tear slightly. It's not much, and there's never any color to it. Her previous owner said she was always like that, possibly from a near-eye injury she received two owners ago. Supposedly she got in a fight with another dog and was bitten/scratched near her eye – there's still the slightest scar beneath her eye from that incident. (It's hard for me to imagine her being the instigator of anything that extreme!)

    The high estimate we received from the vet includes the possibility of having to extract one of the back molars, which was quoted at $168 a pop because they can apparently take a whole hour to extract. It's one of the gunkier teeth.

    So I picked up a Virbac C.E.T. dental kit, since I like their chews so much.

    http://www.virbacvet.com/cet/product/cet_oral_hygiene_kit_for_dogs_70g_poultry_flavd/34/

    It's hard to get in there because she sleeps sooo much and her favorite position is the tightly coiled donut. But we are going slowly, as recommended.

    The other link to the dental discussion was really helpful, too.

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  • I make brushing fun with Buddy. I call the couch the dental chair. I tell him "in the dental chair Mister" and he runs over and lays at one end ready. I don't force it ever and if he fidgets twisting his head away I back off for a 15-30 seconds and let him lick/chew the brush a little and relax. My previous 2 Basenjis were easy too. Tell them as your doing it "what a gooood dog"! Maybe he just likes his teeth clean.

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  • First Basenji's

    Here's an update…

    My attempts at learning to brush Bowpi's teeth kind of failed. I didn't get further than letting her lick the special enzymatic toothpaste off the brush, as opposed to actually getting to her teeth.

    Meanwhile, we were able to continue knocking off more plaque with the same regimen of raw meaty bones, dental chews, anti-plaque additives and hard kibble which we'd had going on before. But still, not enough.

    Got quotes from a couple more vets, none of which thought her condition urgent either. In the end, we just decided to go with the first vet because I do want to establish a good relationship with a "regular" vet instead of shopping around all the time, and they seem to be good people at this practice.

    Bowpi went in for her dental appointment this morning. I felt awful having to rouse her out of deep sleep. She was totally spread out underneath the blanket, taking up the space that I had vacated when I got up in the morning. Dropped her off at 8 AM, got her back about 3 PM.

    Total damage, < $500 after Dental Month discounts, no extractions. Yay!

    She cried for about twenty minutes straight after we picked her up... poor thing. I had never heard her vocalize quite so much, at least not so continuously. I gave her some anti-anxiety drops in a bit of yogurt, and she settled down. Now she's sleeping off her tough day.

    We'll go back in a couple weeks later just to follow up, and they'll try to show me how to brush her teeth. The vet is also supposed to send me some before and after pictures they took of the process, so that should be fun.

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  • Glad she made it through with flying colors! Mine love the chicken flavored toothpaste and don't mind a quick scrubbing (which I don't do as often as I should). My vet includes a non-anesthesia ultrasound cleaning with the yearly exam for an extra $25, last year they found 2 bad teeth on Eddie, showed me, knocked him right out then pulled them and I don't think it was but an extra hundred or so, I got a groggy boy back in about 30 minutes. We had just done the yearly lab work and looked at results, so a quick puff of anesthesia then pulling 2 teeth that were really bad under the gumline tarter was easy for the vet. I was very lucky he charged me so little for the extractions.
    I have paid $600 just for an extraction for a cracked molar with another vet. (same city)

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