21 April 2015

How to Care for your Toothless Senior Dog

I am extremely blessed to have my Bebe for over 12 years now. She has been the perfect little dog since the day I got her in March of 2003. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world, and not only because it was St. Patrick's Day, but because I had made my first adult decision, I had just turned 18 and was crazy excited to finally have my first dog. Sure I had dogs before, but they weren't mine. They were my dads hunting dogs, they were never allowed to sleep inside, and for sure they were never allowed to wear outfits or bows. I couldn't be more excited to take care of my at the time 8 week old Bebe. Today she is 8 months away from turning 13 and I'm still as lucky as ever to be her doggy mommy. Until she decides to leave me here on Earth, which by the way I hope isn't for another decade!

Over the past decade, boy does time fly, Bebe has had some real dental problems. It is common in the Yorkshire Terrier breed, and trust me it's not your fault. I've always fed her the best food, filtered water, and yearly teeth cleanings, however she still has very bad teeth.

A few weeks ago, as part of her weekly bath, Bebe's back molar fell out. YES, it just fell out. I heard a loud clank and thought initially my hair clip fell to the floor, nope, her tooth.

I was so mortified, I jumped out of the shower, shampoo still in my hair and wrapped Jolie into a towel and set her in the sink. As I examined Bebe, she was fine. She didn't have any discomfort or bleeding, but what I did have was a very foul smelling tooth in my hand. On the plus side, better to have it in my hand rather than in her mouth.


Bebe has her snaggle tooth holding on strong but only 3 back molars, I want the vet to remove all of these teeth for many reasons.

  • because of Bebe's age, vets charge a fortune now to always get a blood panel done before anesthesia, and some vets aren't even putting dogs Bebe's age under for teeth cleaning.
  • Bebe's teeth are bad, it's a host for infection and I'd rather have the remaining removed rather than an infection bleeding into other areas of her body, and also correlated diseases to gingivitis, heart disease.
  • her breath! I welcome puppy kisses all day and everyday but I have to admit I have turned away from Bebe due to her foul odor in her mouth.
How do you care for a pup with no teeth? Well, imagine yourself with no teeth or dentures, you would make sure to feed yourself with shakes and soups and the same should be done with your fur kid. Bebe has a difficult time ripping treats apart so I obviously am not buying her Milk Bones. Instead I feed her mushy food and purees that I prepare her. Using the only very best ingredients.

You can puree basically anything these days. I through everything into the blender. Carrots, fish oil, chicken, and vitamins. It doesn't bother me to do it, I know my dog is healthier this way and still getting all her vitamins. I meal prep routinely on Sunday and meal prepping for Bebe daily has gotten me more into meal prepping in general.

Please keep in mind that infections can spread so that if your pup has had teeth fall out it needs to be checked out by a veterinarian. If there is an active infection, it can spread to the dog's sinus cavities or even to the brain. Be sure to monitor your dogs mouth.

No teeth are certainly better than rotten teeth!