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Yesterday AnnaBelle had to have her teeth cleaned.  AnnaBelle is 6 years old and Lucy is 11.  Lucy has beautiful teeth and has never had to have them cleaned.  We tried brushing AnnaBelles when she was little but it just became a huge fight and because Lucy was always fine I never really though too much about it (bad Momma).  I have always given them hard food and crunchy treats thinking this would help with cleaning the teeth.  So, imagine my surprise when I went to pick her up and she had 2 cracked teeth that had to be pulled.  I was totally shocked.  I have never worried too much about Antlers or Nyla Bones.  Neither of them are huge chewers so they don't really spend hours chewing on them.  They each got a BeneBone for their birthday and they were tossed aside in less than 15 mins.  So, I guess the question is, what's the difference in the teeth.  Wondering why AnnaBelle had so much tartar and Lucy basically has none.  Obviously the bones have now all been put up, but I wonder, is it really the bones or is all of this just a difference in genetic make up and one has good teeth and the other doesn't.  Just all things that have been going through my head since my shock when picking her up.

I asked the Tech at the Vet what I can do to help her teeth and she mentioned that there are Enzematic Chews that are made to help remove the plaque.  Anyone familiar with these or have any suggestions?

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We have just begun a water additive also. Is this the one you are using?

Ned cracked a molar years ago and we had it removed and his teeth cleaned. We assumed it was the antlers, so no more antlers.  Ned doesn't gnaw on much - prefers stuffies.  We also use to buy the bones at the pet store but became concerned about them, so we went to Nylabones.  We get the strong chewer type  - mostly for Clancy and Charlie and have been throwing them away when they begin to break down. 

We have started on Whimzees - don't see any changes from those or the water additive, but it has only been a couple of months for the Whimzees and a few weeks for the water additive.  Ned needs another major cleaning - even his breath smells, but we put it off to see if these new things help any inflammation before the vet begins digging into his gums. (actually his breath is much better).  Clancy and Charlie's teeth are okay and I am hoping that these two new things will keep them that way.

I am searching for something to give them as a chew that I can leave laying around - like you do for a bone or a Nylabone.  I want them to chew when they want and not have to supervise and take it away after a time period to save for later. I tried Kongs and none of my boys likes them.  Do I go back to bones?

I'd give the big beef tracheas a try. Cheap, harmless, no supervision necessary,and they can be left lying around. I don't know that they will do much good for the teeth, but maybe worth a try. 

Thanks, Karen. I will get some today.  Hopefully the Whimzees daily and the water additive will do part of the job also. 

Are beef tracheas are smelly like bully sticks?????  That's sort of what it seems like when I looked them up.  How about split antlers - should I give them a check?   (The one Ned broke a tooth on was a whole antler.)  Also some seem softer than others.  Perhaps that would be an okay chew?  What do you think?

I don't find the tracheas to be smelly at all, for sure not as smelly as bully sticks. Try one. 
I give my dogs antlers; but none of my dogs have broken a tooth, lol. JD got the whole ones, huge. Jasper gets smaller split antlers. I can't tell you to get them, because I don;t want to be responsible for another broken tooth. 

Riley has had a split antler and a whole antler... they are about the same hardness so I wouldn't use that as a reason to buy one.  She does mostly focus on the marrow part instead of the harder outside but once the marrow is gone she chews the harder part too.

I think I've heard elk antlers tend to be softer than deer antlers.

Funny, Maggie just had her teeth cleaned today and she's only 2 1/2. I agree about the genetics. My parents GSP lived to be 14, had junky food, minimal vet care, and never had a dental and she had absolutely no tartar on her teeth. She wasn't a big chewer either. Maggie's teeth didn't look horrible, they just didn't look great and I wanted to stay on top of it. Maybe now I will be better about brushing. I'm going to try.

When Ava came to me her teeth were disgusting. I had every intention of having a dental done, but I gave her an antler, she chewed on that thing, the tartar popped off like veneers and she had pearly whites underneath. She did end up having some extensive dental work, but that was because of a tumor, not dirty teeth. 

I did get rid of the antlers at the recommendation of the dentist, but we have all sorts of nylabones around. Some of them are the rubbery flexible ones, and those would probably be dentist approved, but we also have the rigid plastic ones and I haven't had a problem with a dog breaking a tooth yet. Of course, they're not crazy chewers. But I still think dental health is mostly just the luck of the draw. I'm going to just keep letting them do what they're doing and hope for the best. Oh, and I'm really going to try to work brushing teeth into our routine!

Here's another tip for those who want to try brushing their teeth more often. You only need to focus on the outer surfaces. My vet told me that the inner surfaces are bathed constantly in saliva and don't need cleaning like the outer surfaces do. Makes sense to me. And it's a lot less work to only do the outsides.

This is what I always did with Luna - the insides of her teeth never looked dirty to me.  Takes maybe 20 seconds to just do the outsides.

I think after AnnaBelle heals I'll try brushing hers again.  Maybe she has grown up a little, lol!  If that doesn't work I'll try and figure out which of the enzymatic products we want to try.  Fortunately neither of them are big chewers and won't really miss the bones or antlers if they aren't around for them to see.  Lucy can't have the things like bully sticks or Himalayan chews because of her allergies, and I don't like her having those extra calories anyway (she is like her momma and tends to fluff up with too much junk!  Right now we are just trying to figure out what soft foods AnnaBelle will eat.  We have 10-14 days of soft food time and so far she thru up day one, ugh!  Gonna be a long 2 weeks.

When Ava had to be on soft food after her dental surgery I used The Honest Kitchen and she was a very happy dog. That stuff smells good. Then later when I was trying anything to convince her to eat we used Fromm canned. It's Karen approved. As far as canned goes it's not as gross as some of the others. 

I bought the canned zignature which is the brand of food that she eats.  I thought she would love it but she is just sort of ehhh ... I could a couple different flavors so we will see what happens this evening.  

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