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Old 06-12-2014, 06:09 PM   #1
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Default Dog with heart disease getting a sedated dental cleaning?

I have a little 8 year old Chihuahua who has the beginning stages of heart disease. She has a grade 2 heart murmur and a bit of plaque on one of her valves. She has had it for at least a year (maybe 2-3 years) and has no symptoms and is not on any medication.

She has quite a bit of tartar build-up on her teeth. The tops of her white teeth are now a yellow-y brown so she needs to get her teeth cleaned. However, that means she needs to get sedated with anesthesia. I am wondering what are people’s experience with their dogs with heart disease and dental cleanings? Is it worth the risk? I am so scared that she will not make it out of the anesthesia alive. I know that even completely healthy dogs die during dental cleanings so it makes me more nervous to get her teeth cleaned now that I know her heart is weak. But of course I know she can get worse diseases and problems if she does not get her teeth cleaned.

If anyone is wondering, her teeth were last cleaned about 5 years ago but her teeth really weren't that bad until a few months ago. Vets kept saying she could wait to get her teeth cleaned but now they are saying she really needs it done.

Also, if I do get my dog’s teeth cleaned it will be with a veterinary dentist.


I am just looking for people’s experiences with their dogs with heart disease getting dental cleanings. Like, did you opt out of a dental and why?

Or did your dog get a dental and everything was fine?

Also did you get your dog checked out by a veterinary cardiologist before getting the dental done?

I would just like to know any and all information you could give me on dogs with heart disease getting sedated dental cleanings. Thank you

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Old 06-12-2014, 06:33 PM   #2
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Welcome yellowdaisy2, great to have you join us :-) Kudos to you for being so careful about having your dog's dental issues addressed. Given your dog's heart condition, I would definitely take her to a veterinary cardiologist before allowing any procedure involving anesthesia; as well, I would ask that cardiologist for a referral to a veterinary dentist known to him/her so that your dog's needs are known before the cleaning. I think such prudence would give you the best information regarding her care and peace of mind for you.
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:08 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply. My dog got an ultrasound and the pictures were sent to a cardiologist. Do you think that is the same as going to a cardiologist? The cardiologist is 5 hours away from me. I have a medical condition that keeps me from being able to drive so it would be crazy hard to get to the cardiologist. If I really have to go to the cardiologist, I will find a way. But if the cardiologist looking at the ultrasound pictures is just the same, then that would be good to know that I don't have to try to find someone to take off work and drive me.

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Old 06-12-2014, 07:45 PM   #4
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I think if the cardiologist has a copy of your dogs records and ultrasound report, that perhaps a simple phone call to him might yield the information you need. He must have reviewed your dog's records and test results to come up with the diagnosis you have. It's surprising these days, how easy it is for vets to share information about patients via phone or computer. I have a friend who lived on an island off of Australia and the specialist she had to deal with was in Colorado! Her local vet was able to communicate with the specialist to treat her dog...amazing! You might ask your local vet to contact the cardiologist on your behalf as well to discuss the case and ask for a dental referral.
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:50 PM   #5
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Thank you, that is what I was thinking. I will talk to my dog's vet and the veterinary dentist and see what they think as well. My dog got the ultrasound 6 months ago so I am wondering if they will want to get her checked again before getting anesthesia. I just so wish that there were more vet cardiologists so I could just easily see one in person!

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Old 06-12-2014, 09:18 PM   #6
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Are you in Texas?
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:20 PM   #7
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Yes. The cardiologist I am talking about is the one at A&M university (well actually I think there are about 3 there, since they are technically professors).

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Old 06-13-2014, 12:11 AM   #8
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I used to live in Irving, while I never needed a vet specialist while I was there (just a general vet) this may be closer to you and they have both cardiology and dental services in the same place.

Veterinary Care Specialty Services in Irving, TX | VCA Metroplex Animal Hospital & Pet Lodge
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:06 AM   #9
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Yellowdaisy2, welcome to the forum. Thank goodness for knowledgeable forum members like JGLI. She has given you excellent advice as well as info about a specialty clinic in your area. Good luck to you and your dog. Keep us posted on how everything works out.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:12 AM   #10
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Welcome along, JGLI has given you very good advice and information. I hope can get peace of mind to make the decision.

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