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Last evening Casper visited his new DR.,and for the first time ever in any of my dogs it was advised that he would benefit from a good cleaning. Because Casper is a senior and this is dental health month I'll get a free check up,guaranteed estimate,10% discount, free dental treats, a free follow inspection in 6 months and a 2 kg bag of food.
This sounds great but caspers heart murmur (which hes had for 7 years) is getting worse and he will soon start having to take meds. My fear is at his advanced age and with a heart murmur the antistetic may put him in a permanent sleep. Anybody out there that can eleviate my fears or weigh in on the value of good dental health.
 

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What did the vet say about the anesthesia? Maggie hasn't needed to have her teeth cleaned but I know that what they use on cats is very light and they can be brought out quickly if needed. My vet always tries to do my senior cats while they are still relatively healthy and then says we won't do it again unless its a life or death situation.
Bad or infected teeth can also affect Casper's heart so you need to take that into account.
If you trust your vet and he advised the cleaning I would probably do it now before Casper's condition worsens.
 

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I guess you would have to ask the vet if there are any potential problems with sedating a dog with a heart murmur. I am in the dental field and worked for an oral surgeon for a while. We sedated people with heart murmurs all of the time for extractions, dental implants, etc. As far as I know there was never a concern about sedating those people.

As far as the importance of the cleaning goes: At least for humans, regular dental cleanings and good dental health are even more important for those with heart murmurs or other heart conditions. The reason is because when dental health is poor simple acts like brushing, flossing or even chewing certain things can cause bleeding of the gums. When the gums bleed the blood vessels are open (obviously, haha) which means that the bacteria from the mouth can get in the blood stream which ultimately takes the bacteria to the heart. This can lead to an infection of the heart or the surrounding tissues and this is especially dangerous for those with heart murmurs, defects or otherwise weak hearts. In humans, up until recently, it was required that they pre-medicate with an antibiotic before dental cleaning to reduce the risk of infection. I don't know if all of this is true for dogs. I also don't know about the severity of Casper's heart murmur. A heart murmur simply means that an abnormal sound was heard when the vet listened to his heart. Heart murmurs can be caused by any number of things and can be totally innocent.

I would ask your vet to help you weigh the potential risks and benefits to determine whether or not it is worth it.
 
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