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Dental care for older dog.

Species: Dog
Breed: terrier mix
Age: 11-15 years
I have an older dog with bad teeth but no way to afford doggy dental. I was wondering what over the counter human pain pills and antibiotics I can safely give my dog.
The vet wont prescribe any thing without expensive test because of the dogs advanced age. I can't afford the vets mark up on meds let a lone the price of the tests. I'm will to take the chance if it means my dog can live a more comfortable life.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Dental disease can be a really difficult thing to deal with. Unfortunately there is no easy solution. The only way to give a dog with dental disease good relief is to have a dental procedure done, and yes, this would be done under an anesthetic. I don't have a problem with administering an anesthetic to an older animal as long a their blood tests are ok. So, yes, blood work would be necessary.

If I have a patient that has really bad dental problems but can't go under anesthetic then I will often prescribe antibiotics. I will sometimes do something called pulse therapy antibiotics. This is where I give antibiotics for the first week of every month.

This doesn't cure the problem, but it cuts down on the infection which usually helps the dog to feel an awful lot better.

Your vet should be willing to prescribe antibiotics without doing blood tests. If not, I would perhaps seek an opinion from another veterinarian.

Unfortunately there is no human over the counter drug that I would consider safe to use in a case like this. There are some human antibiotics that could be used, but you would still need to get a prescription from your vet in order to get them. This can sometimes work out to be less expensive than getting them through your vet, but not always.

I wish I could give you better advice! I really wish there was a less expensive way to treat dental problems in dogs. Please don't pay any attention to things you will read online as miracle cures (i.e. by adding something to the water or food). If it was that easy I would be prescribing those things!

I hope things improve soon.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.