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      News — health

      Would you get your teeth cleaned at the mall?

      Okay...maybe it is just me and I am a little over protective of my dogs...but it seems like at just about every dog event we get invited to someone is doing "teeth cleaning - no anesthesia" for $40 -$50? Does anyone else see a problem with this or is it just me?

      It is positioned as a safe alternative to using anesthesia on your dog as well as being low cost. From agility fun runs, lure coursing events - even the hunt test...there is now someone there offering to clean your dog's teeth on the spot. So I get it...maybe its not a thorough cleaning, or a substitute for a full dental cleaning by your veterinarian, but rather more of a grooming thing...get'em brushed up and cleaned periodically as you would a bath. It is touted as safe, no anesthesia, quick and low cost.

      I guess what really bothers me the most is that for the most part none of this is done under the supervision of a veterinarian. Everything that I have read and studied on cleaning your dog's teeth has indicated that in order to get a good, thorough cleaning, it needs to be done by a veterinarian and underneath the gum line, which can be uncomfortable and stressful for your dog to experience. While as humans, we can tolerate someone working in our mouths and deal with any pain associated with it (or not!) - most dogs are a lot less tolerant.

      What happens if this person (you don't have to be licensed or certified by anyone to do this), makes a mistake in your dog's mouth? What if your dog gets hurt? (not to mention stressed) How do you go about getting care for your dog on the spot? Are there any standards of cleanliness? How well can these really be maintained when you are out at an event under a tent?

      I understand the risk of anesthesia...and if you and your vet feel this is a risk for your dog...there are many vets that offer this same ultrasonic cleaning in their office without anesthesia, under veterinarian supervision, in a safe environment, everything clean and sterile. I've said enough...not for my dogs even as a maintenance thing. I equate this with going to the mall and letting someone at a kiosk clean my teeth for me....I just wouldn't do it, even if it was an inexpensive alternative...just wouldn't! Is it just me? Would love to hear what you think...