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I have a consistent regimen of maintencance for Annie. Daily, I groom her coat with an undercoat rake and a grooming brush. Twice per week, I put prescription-grade drops in her eyes (no medical condition, just a preventive measure with respect to flushing the eyes), clean her ears with a veterinary-grade malacetic wipe (geez, are those ever expensive), and brush her teeth with a special canine toothpaste provided by the vet.

 

My issue relates to the tooth brushing. This activity is not exactly one of Annie's favorites. I tried using the fingertip brushing tool that came with the toothpaste; fortunately, the surgery to re-attach the finger was successful. Now I use a toothbrush, and keep my fingers between the upper and lower teeth to keep the mouth open. (Incidentally, in case you didn't know this, BC's appear to have a bite pressure approximately equal to that of a Great White Shark or Salt Water Crocodile; but I endure the pain because I know that the brushing is essential for my dog's health.) My main concern is with respect to the possibility that Annie could injure herself if my hand was to slip out of her mouth (or if she were to accidentally sever the fingers) and she was to bite down on the toothbrush's handle. I tried a baby toothbrush presuming that it would have a soft handle; it did not, and the surface area of the bristles was insufficient to do the job effectively. I now use a regular adult toothbrush with extra soft bristles. But I am still concerned about the possibility that Annie might accidentally bite down on the handle and injure herself. Does anyone know of a full-sized extra-soft bristled toothbrush with a soft cushioned handle that might be available? I cannot find one anywhere in this area, even at the drugstores and pet stores. I know that I can't be the only one who brushes my dog's teeth, so maybe you cna share your wisdom with me.

 

Thank you for any guidance that you can provide.

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Did a quick search on the web for "Toothbrushes with soft handles" and came up with this link:

 

http://www.radiustoothbrush.com/

 

The one on the upper right has a soft handle, and looks like it would be easier to hold while brushing a dogs teeth (even though it's a people brush).

 

Hope this is helpful!!!

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Here's another brush with "soft grip" handles that might work for what you're needing.

 

http://www.petfooddirect.com/store/product...5Q6273KUME3DUN6

 

Thanks for bringing up this topic. While I used to brush Ruth's teeth regularly, I'm embarrassed to say I haven't brushed Belle's (though I've looked at her teeth and they didn't seem to be building up much plaque yet). I better get going with Belle's dental care.

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Unless Annie has dental issues you haven't mentioned, if she bit down on even a regular tooth brush handle, I doubt if it will hurt her teeth. And if she has bite inhibition, it is amazing how quick they can stop a bite. To save your fingers from future surgery, I think I would get a rawhide twist stick to put in-between her teeth or something similar. Keep on brushing!

 

One thing to others who may be reading this, use ONLY toothpaste made for pets. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE USE PEOPLE TOOTHPASTE!

 

I know cuz I tried it on a cat that rolled in a dead animal and in licking her fur, had the smell in her mouth. I don't even think they made pet toothpaste then. It didn't hurt her, but she foamed at the mouth for a loooonnnnnggggg time!

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Daily, I groom her coat with an undercoat rake and a grooming brush. Twice per week, I put prescription-grade drops in her eyes (no medical condition, just a preventive measure with respect to flushing the eyes), clean her ears with a veterinary-grade malacetic wipe (geez, are those ever expensive), and brush her teeth with a special canine toothpaste provided by the vet.

 

Wow. I don't have that much of a grooming regimen for myself, let alone my dogs! When mine roll in a really fresh cowpie, they might get hosed off. No brushing. Ever. But then, they are smoothies. If they get an eye infection, then they probably get eye drops. I've got some ear cleaner that I use maybe a couple of times a year--maybe. And for their teeth--they eat raw food. Life's pretty simple around here,

 

A

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I am impressed with the grooming regimen! I think the only time Chesney gets brushed (who is semi rough) is when I need to get fox tails out of his coat after working him or the twice a year blowing coat week and that's a maybe every other day thing with a horse spiral shedding blade (so out of 365 days maybe 30 days he gets a brush quickly run through him). I have never used vet ear drops in my dogs ears, they are too expensive and I find that if they are shaking their head from either water in it or in Tucker's case a mild mild ear infection or irritation, rubbing alcohol usually takes care of the water (like it does for swimmers) and 50/50 solution of Apple Cider Vinegar for the irritations. As far as the teeth cleaning, I find that the raw meaty bones that I use to clean Chesney and Tucker's teeth are far harder than a tooth brush and the added bonus I don't have to stick my hands in their mouths for them to have clean teeth so all are much happier if they do it them selves :rolleyes:

 

I wouldn't worry about hurting the mouth with a bit on a tooth brush unless you let the chewing continue. I'd be more worried for my fingers if they are biting as hard as you say they are

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Eyes are a self cleaning organ, why in the world would you routinely mess with them? The ears are certainly over kill. If you want to brush some hair, have at it. But the rest just sounds a bit obsessive. When my dogs were on raw, their teeth looked better than mine! Think of what your dog must be thinking when you come at her with all that uncomfortable stuff. Stick to hair brushing.

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Actually, ErinKate, the regimen is the one recommended by my vet; consdering how well she has guided us over the years with all our pets, I feel that it is wise to follow her recommendations. The flushing of the eyes is important because of material that builds up (Annie has sensitive eyes and does a lot of running in our backyard); the use of the eye drops is akin to humans using OTC eye drops regularly to soothe their eyes, but I prefer to use something certified as safe for my dog. The ears need to be cleaned out regularly due to dust and dirt that get into them as a result of her backyard play. The grooming of the coat keeps her comfortable (especially in warmer weather) and also lessens the amount of shed fur around our house (despite this, I still have the vacuum the entire house weekly with a Dyson Pet hair vacuum). The tooth brushing keeps plaque from building up on the teeth and causing gum disease and tooth decay. If you believe that is obsessive, you are of course entitled to that opinion. But, to be blunt, I really don't care what others think about the regimen, and I wasn't asking for anyone's endorsement or critique; given a choice between a layperson's opinion and the recommendations of my vet, I would prefer to abide by my vet's direction, thank you.

 

Chesney's SLUgirl, I do not use ear drops. What I use is a malacetic wipe, applied to the inside of the ears but not down into the ear canal. Given the amount of time that Annie spends playing outside each day, you would be amazed as to how much dirt builds up on the ears (unless, of course, you have young children; in that case, it needs no expanation). As for raw food, that is an excellent point, and in normal circumstances would be excellent advice. But Annie has a very delicate digestive system, and can only eat prescription dog food (Royal Canin Intestinal HE); any other kind of food causes diarrhea and intestinal blockage. (One of these days, I may actually own a normal dog, instead of taking in every hard-luck case I can find.) Oh, and the reference to injured fingers was a joke; Annie does not bite per se, but does try to resist the brushing. Fortunately, she does seem to enjoy the rest of the routine.

 

DixieGirl, as usual you are right on target with your caution. Human toothpaste should NEVER be used on a dog. The special canine toothpastes have a taste that appeals to dogs, and can be swallowed with causing harm to the animal.

 

And RuthBelle, thank you for the leads; that is exactly the kind of guidance I was seeking. I will definitely pursue them.

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Chesney's SLUgirl, I do not use ear drops. What I use is a malacetic wipe, applied to the inside of the ears but not down into the ear canal. Given the amount of time that Annie spends playing outside each day, you would be amazed as to how much dirt builds up on the ears (unless, of course, you have young children; in that case, it needs no expanation). As for raw food, that is an excellent point, and in normal circumstances would be excellent advice. But Annie has a very delicate digestive system, and can only eat prescription dog food (Royal Canin Intestinal HE); any other kind of food causes diarrhea and intestinal blockage. (One of these days, I may actually own a normal dog, instead of taking in every hard-luck case I can find.) Oh, and the reference to injured fingers was a joke; Annie does not bite per se, but does try to resist the brushing. Fortuantely, she does seem to enjoy the rest of the routine.

 

Will Annie chew on bones herself? If so you can get the durable Nylabones and they can clean teeth and keep them healthy pretty well. If she can handle chewing marrow bones with the marrow removed that might be a possibility too since marrow is really rich. As far as the fingers I too was not being serious, since I would figure you wouldn't do it the same way if it cause injury. :rolleyes: As far as the ear wipes... I miss read it. Hope you can find something because brushing teeth for dogs sounds difficult.

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Danielle, again you cite excellent advice. Regrettably, Annie has absolutely no interest in any kind of bones. (Have I ever mentioned my opinion that the terms "Border Collie" and "normal" are mutually exclusive?) Given her digestive sensitivity, she cannot ingest any kind of edible bones; as far as the Nylabones, believe me, we tried (including every flavor variation), but she wants nothing to do with them; that is why we need to have a disciplined tooth-brushing regimen.

 

But thank you for your constructive input. :rolleyes:

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I am not sure if this would work because of the difference in angles with a human brushing a dog's teeth, as compared to a human brushing another human's teeth, but---

 

The dog toothbrush we had for our old guy (Kip resists any such manuevers absolutely...we're still working on that.) was long handled and the business end was angled...so the end that went in his mouth was only very short---but he was very cooperative too...

 

With humans who needed help in the hospital (poor dexterity/fine motor control, weak grip, limited cognition, etc.) we (I am a nurse) often used a soft foam rubber adapter that went over the handle of utensils---looks a bit like the soft foam wrap you put around pipes to insulate them. In fact, for cheap, this pipe-wrapping can be used to build up the handles of various things to make them easier for folks with arthritis, etc. to use. This was primarily so that a person who could not use an unadapted utensil could use it themselves, but it also made things less awkward if the person needed to have their teeth brushed by someone else and was less cooperative.

 

I wonder if that might help in the event of a bite down?

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I think it's mostly a matter of positive training. Our Meg HATES having anything done to her and it took a long time to get her to accept tooth brushing. She got a yummy cookie first, then I let her lick the poultry flavored toothbrush, then a quick swipe on the teeth, and finally complete brushing.

 

Molly gets worried about anything being done to her, but when she saw the other dogs getting cookies and tasty licks, she decided that she really loves getting her teeth brushed after all...

 

 

Mollyteeth3.jpg

 

Mollyteeth1.jpg

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If you could quit tooting your own horn for just a moment, and try to focus. You DID ask for advice. Read your topic title. As for, "your vet recommends", they see you coming. My dogs work in dusty pens, and I have no need to clean their eyes. They are healthy animals. I let their bodies function natuarally. God gave you tear ducts to wash your eyes. I would highly doubt your dog gets any dirtier, any more dust in the ears, than these tough working dogs.

You have at it, I could not care any less what you do with your animals. I just simply think you sound foolish and obsessive. To each their own.

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Bustopher, I too am impressed with your regimen. I don't have a regular treatment for Polly's years or eyes unless needed, but I do inspect/groom her weekly. I also do not brush her daily, I'm lazy.

 

I brush with the fingertip brush and I think it helps to remember that with these brushes, a gentle massage starting with the gums--Polly likes this--then sneaking down to get the base of the tooth helps keep fingers out of harms way. Polly hardly opens her mouth out all, I tuck my finger in the pocket of her jaw and kind of rub, more than brush. Hard to explain over the internet. I like using the fingertip brush because it gives more "feel" to the areas I'm trying to reach. She really only has her mouth full open at the very end so I can do a quick inside of the teeth swoop and the tips. She also gets knucklebones.

 

BTW--harder to do with my cat, teeny mouth :rolleyes:

 

There's an added benefit to weekly handling. I have labeled body parts for her so she knows what I'm checking/grooming. The vet/staff has picked up on this--last week Dr. Cross remarked that it is a tremendous help to her as she cheerfully told Polly, "I'm going to check your tummy!" Polly knows "tummy" so she stood calmly while palpated. I implemented this for her because she was submissive peeing at the vet's office and I felt terrible that she was so afraid. Sounds corny, but it's almost like she is empowered now, and is very nonchalant about vet visits.

 

Great regimen! Good for you!

Charlene

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Bustopher, as groomer, I commend you for the care you take with your dogs. It is rare that most folks do much of anything at all with their dogs or are that concientious about their daily health. But, when something goes wrong, you can hear them crying for a mile at the cost of the vet bills. Having your hands on your dog, and in her coat, ears, eyes, and mouth is all preventitive and your vet knows it. He doesnt "see" you coming, he doesnt want to see you coming. He wants you to be an aware owner, that knows his dog. Thats why he has laid down a plan for you and your pets. If only more folks would listen. (sigh) Handling a dog every day in this way, allows you to make sure that no problems arise and that if one does, that you catch it in time, before it can become dangerous and probably painful to the dog. Most folks dont look for problems till they see them limping or licking. I go over ALL my dogs, and I have 7 most every time I get my hands on them. And that is every day. It only takes a mineut per dog. I also watch them poop and look at that too. If that is over kill, then so be it, at least I know that my dogs are fine and that later down the road, when I do see some thing wrong, I'll have caught it in time before its too late. You should see the dogs that I handle everyday. Im not even talking stockdogs here, but Fluffy the spoiled rotten house pet poodle, that If some one had opened its mouth and took a look in it every now and then, I could hold its face to shave it without causing it pain because of the swollen and infected gums from bad teeth, and their owners wouldnt be whining about the enormous vet bills to have to fix it . "I" am the one to finally bring it to their attention. You keep up the good work, and keep listening to your vet. He only has the best interests of you, your pets and your pocket book in mind.

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There's an added benefit to weekly handling. I have labeled body parts for her so she knows what I'm checking/grooming. The vet/staff has picked up on this--last week Dr. Cross remarked that it is a tremendous help to her as she cheerfully told Polly, "I'm going to check your tummy!" Polly knows "tummy" so she stood calmly while palpated. I implemented this for her because she was submissive peeing at the vet's office and I felt terrible that she was so afraid. Sounds corny, but it's almost like she is empowered now, and is very nonchalant about vet visits.

 

 

That is such a good idea! I can really see it helping such smart animals to know what's happening to them (a little).

 

I used to have a great grooming routine with Odin (nightly) but he has decided he's too old for grooming now. :D He acts really scared of the brush all of the sudden. No, I did not beat him with the backside of the brush, or pull on a tangle harder than normal, or anything. He goes and hides under the bed as soon as he sees it,when he used to jump up in my lap when I asked him if he wanted grooming. It makes it really funny in our canine good citizen prep class when we practice the handling/brushing steps. At our trainer's recommendation, we put the brush by his food bowl. It was hilarious, he runs into his crate where the bowl is and runs back out with a mouthful of food to eat far away from the scary brush I haven't even tried to touch him with in days. :rolleyes: Teenagers!

 

My vet also recommended regular ear cleaning, which I am sad to admit we aren't as regular about as we should be. The rules governing the deposition of ear filth are mysterious to me, though - sometimes they look filthy a day after we've just cleaned them , and sometimes they haven't been cleaned in a good while and look very clean. Sometimes Benway licks his ears. :D We don't do anything for his eyes. I hate drops, myself. As for soft toothbrushes, ours is a free one from my dentist and is kind of bubbly with rubbery grips and stuff, so it's sort of soft. Not made for dogs, though.

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I just simply think you sound foolish and obsessive.

ErinKate, I think that 1sheepdoggal expressed a response that is far more eloquent than I could have generated by engaging in further debate on the topic, so I will leave it at that. We have been amicable in the past, I do like and respect you, and I would prefer not to continue to escalate this issue into a confrontation that would damage future discussion. :rolleyes:

 

Darci, thank you for your insight. Perhaps I pamper my dogs to a degree; but that is the way I was raised, to provide the very best care I can for my pets. (I am a great believer in the old cliche that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".) And as you note about my vet, she has been our vet for over a quarter-century, has known every one of our dogs since they were puppies or came into our home from a rescue situation, and knows what level of care each requires based on its individual needs. When we went through the prolonged crisis with Missy, there were times when she did not charge us for the weekly office visits, only for the medication involved. She even goes to the extent that when we do on rare occasion go away on vacation, she will not allow us to board our dogs with a kennel; instead, she insists that we leave the dogs with her, and charges us less that a kennel would. (If the trip is over a weekend, she will even take Annie home with her to her farm.) I would concur that this does not sound like a vet who is trying to take advantage of us.

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Perhaps I pamper my dogs to a degree; but that is the way I was raised, to provide the very best care I can for my pets. (I am a great believer in the old cliche that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".) And as you note about my vet, she has been our vet for over a quarter-century, has known ev ery one of our dogs since they were puppies or came into our home from a rescue situation, and knows what level of care each requires based on ints individual needs. When we went through the prolonged crisis with Missy, there were times when she did not charge us for the weekly office visits, only for the medication involved. She even goes to the extent that when we do on rare occasion go away on vacation, she will not allow us to board our dogs with a kennel; instead, she insists that we leave the dogs with her, and charges us less that a kennel would. (If the trip is over a weekend, she will even take Annie home with her to her farm.) I would concur that this does not sound like a vet who is trying to take advantage of us.

 

 

Bustopher,

You sound very sensible to me. When Riley was sick (anemia brought on by a giant tumor under her ribs), the cancer came as a complete and utter surprise to us. She had had cruciate ligament surgery about two years previous and I had been regularly picking her up to put her into the SUV for our walks on the outskirts of town. She would always do a "hrumph" when I would lift her, but I figured it was the kind of awkward feeling you get when your feet are taken off the ground plus the tenderness of her leg joints. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it was discomfort caused by the tumour everytime I put pressure on her chest. So, you can see where I'm going with this....

Best wishes for your fingers :rolleyes:

Ailsa

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Agreed. I just want to say, as someone was eluding to, I never said hands on wasn't wonderful. I too do daily checks, but mine is for ticks. It is quick, maybe 3-5 min per dog. Honestly my issue is really with the (imo) over cleaning of the eyes and ears. These are both self cleaning. Yes, occasionally, they may require further care, but not just for the heck of it.

I know this is not the example anyone wants to hear, but here goes! I work in a OB/GYN office. A huge problem is that women think the need to "internally flush" there vaginal vault. (hopefully we all know what I mean) Marketing brain washes women into believing this organ should be cleaned. It is SELF CLEANING!! This action causes women more problems because it does not allow the organ to function as it should. They believe it is needed, and is preventative maintenance. It is asking for touble. That is how I feel about routinely cleaning the eyes and ears. Ears need their wax. It actually stops stuff from going further. If you keep cleaning it before it can build up, you could be asking for more trouble than you want. I don't know of the wipes you are using, but I would think a quick swipe with a damp rag would remove the dirt, but leave to benificial wax. Your eye is the quickest healing organ in your body. The tears aid in this incredible power. If there is a minor scratch in that lense, you wouldn't want to take away that natural lubrication.

I am sure your dog is loved and fine, just think about it. Dogs live happy healthy lives all the time without us poking things in every orfice they have. Proactive, sure whatever, but where does it stop? I know a lady who lotioned the dog's feet every night because they were cracked and scratchy. I am sure when she told the vet she was going to put on lotion, he/she thought nothing of it. Until the feet became burnt from the pavement, (walking at night, which they had done for years) and infected. Things are fine until they go too far.

 

Enjoy your dogs. Hopefully you will be able to add to your family soon. Agree to now shut my overactive obsessive mouth. :rolleyes:

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