Cesar Millan Must Pull 22 Rotting Teeth To Save A Chihuahua’s Life
Dog Expert Cesar Millan has to have more than half of a Chihuahua’s teeth pulled due to severe periodontal disease.
Did you know that approximately 80% of dogs over 2 years old suffer from some level of periodontal disease? Although periodontal disease is the most common disease affecting house pets, chihuahuas like Target are especially prone to it because their teeth are so tiny and the disease can be easily overlooked by an uneducated eye. If you haven’t heard of it before, periodontal disease is a term used to describe infection and the associated inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth. It starts as gingivitis, but when left untreated, infection will spread into the sockets of your dog’s teeth and destroy the bone. Eventually, the teeth and gums will rot to the point of falling out.
On this episode of “Cesar 911,” Dog Expert Cesar Millan calls in his personal vet to examine Target’s teeth after suspecting Target was in pain and noting that hurting dogs have a tendency to act out. The vet is shocked at the advanced periodontal disease present in Target’s mouth, and has to remove more than half of the chihuahua’s teeth. If the teeth had been left in Target’s mouth, the periodontal disease could have caused dangerous bacteria to infect Target’s heart valves or other organs, potentially costing the little dog his life. Watch Target’s miraculous recovery in the below clip!
Cesar 911 is on Sundays 10:00AM Eastern | 9:00AM Central!
After Target’s teeth extraction surgery, he is no longer in pain, which should improve his mental health and aggressive behavior. However, severe periodontal disease can be prevented in dogs before it gets as bad as it did for Target. Just like people, dogs develop plaque and tartar on their teeth. In addition to annual or semi-annual deep dental cleanings conducted by professionals, your dog’s teeth also require daily maintenance. Make sure you follow these tips to keep your pup’s mouth healthy and prolong his life!
Schedule deep cleanings.
Depending on the breed, you should plan to take your dog to your veterinarian for professional teeth cleaning once or twice per year. Little dogs who are more prone to developing periodontal disease will likely need to go more often, while bigger breeds can get away with once per year unless your vet advises otherwise or you have cause for concern. Your vet will likely put your dog under anesthesia for the cleaning, and will examine his mouth for signs of potential issues while your pup is peacefully asleep. Having annual or semi-annual appointments will allow your vet to identify any problems before they become severe, so they can be treated early.
Some doggy daycares will also offer non-anesthetic dental cleaning clinics, which may be less expensive than making an appointment with your vet. Check with your local doggie daycare for prices and clinic dates. Dog grooming companies will likely offer teeth brushing as part of their services as well, but be wary of relying solely on your dog groomer. Dog groomers rarely do the deep cleaning and dental examination your pet needs to stay healthy.
Brush your dog’s teeth.
Your vet can help you create a dental hygiene plan that is right for your pet, but generally it’s advised to brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week. Your dog may need to be trained to allow you to brush his teeth, but with persistence and patience he will quickly learn to love it. Make sure to purchase a pet toothbrush that can fit on the tip of your finger, and toothpaste that is specifically made for dogs. This is very important, as toothpaste used by people contains toxic ingredients, like xylitol and fluoride, that can cause serious harm to your dog. Canine toothpaste usually comes in tasty flavors, such as peanut butter, beef, or chicken, and won’t hurt your dog. Before long, your dog might even associate teeth brushing as a time he gets delicious treats!
Use pet dental spray or dental wipes.
If your dog doesn’t tolerate teeth brushing well or you are looking for some extra hygiene between cleanings, consider using pet dental sprays. If your dog suffers from bad breath, you’ll be glad to know that dental sprays kill plaque-causing bacteria, leaving your dog with fresh breath. It is also effective for removing and preventing buildup of tartar and plaque. Ideally, you will want to apply the spray as a few quick spritzes on your dog’s teeth and gums. If your dog won’t tolerate this, you can also apply the spray to his favorite toy so it will do its work while he plays. For the spray to be most effective, withhold food and water for the half hour before and after using the spray.
Another alternative or complement to your dog’s normal teeth brushing is using dental wipes. Dog dental wipes are made to be quickly rubbed across your dog’s teeth and gums to remove plaque and tartar. They won’t get into all the nooks and crannies that your dog’s toothbrush can, but it’s still a great way to clean your dog’s teeth.
Get your dog chewing.
There are probably hundreds of dog chews available for purchase, and almost all of them will naturally help keep your dog’s teeth clean. In addition to providing fun and mental stimulation, chewing and gnawing scrapes plaque off your dog’s teeth. Many dogs love long-lasting chews, such as bully sticks or deer and elk antlers. Alternatively, you can also purchase dental chews that are specifically made with enzymes in order to promote dental health. If your dog has food allergies or is on a diet, rubber or nylon dog chews will also do the job well!
Want more pet parenting tips? Check out some of our related stories below: