Friday, April 6, 2012

Dog Thoughts- Flossing and Heartworms

I did two things this week, with my dogs, that I've never done before.

 First, I took them in to have their teeth cleaned.  Up until this year, I never heard of such a thing! But, after several conversations with vet friends, it turns out bad teeth are a concern in older dogs due to poor maintenance throughout their lives.  Our Westie passed away last year and the vet who euthanized her later mentioned to me he noticed her teeth were very bad and would have caused major problems (of course, if it hadn't been for the cancer!).  I took my two male Brits in and had their teeth cleaned.  They sedate the dog, then clean the scale and polish the teeth.  It did wonders for their breath, too.  I'm not sure there is anything that can be done with active bird dogs to ensure it won't build up again.  With house dogs, brushing and additive to the water will help.  But, I'm glad it is done and suspect this will be an annual thing. 

Second, I gave them an injection that will cover heartworms for six months. I'm pretty sure heartworms are everywhere, but here, in the southland, they are a real problem.  Every month, year round, I give them some form of ivermectin.  For years, I bought it at the feed store and measured out the appropriate dose and squirted it down their throats.  That was the cheapest way to administer and I never had a problem.  Then, I converted over to heartgard and had to rob a bank every month. I was about to go back to the feed store when I heard about the 6 mos. shot.  My two Brit pups are on it now.  My main dog, Ace, is still on the chewable since there is a 7 year old dog limit on the shots and he just turned 7 this month.  I'm not sure where my vet got that information, since I couldn't find it in the literature, but I wasn't going to take any chances with the "franchise". 

Anyone have any comments on either of my adventures?