Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Positively Perfect Poodles

I like success stories.  I like stories that allow us all to see what is possible.  So this blog is about two positively perfect poodles.  Ok, perhaps they have a fault or two somewhere, but if they do, I don't know about it.  What I do know is that they are gracefully living life through their senior years.  One of these poodles is 16 years old and one is well over 17 years old.  What they have in common is being senior poodles with no bad breath, no mouth pain, both have nearly a complete set of teeth and good health. If you haven't been reading the news lately, good dental health often translates to good overall health. 

You may ask how is this possible.  After all, teeth are one of the genetic weaknesses of almost all small breed dogs.  There is some confusion about soft diets causing bad teeth and I think this is because often small breed dogs are fed canned or table food.  But food plays a very minor part in determining if a dog's teeth are healthy or diseased.  Genetics plays a much more dominant role.  Poodles can have some of the worse diseased teeth I have ever seen.  Perhaps until you see a little toy poodle screaming in its owners arms because rotting neglected teeth have eaten through the jawbone and caused the jaw bone to break in two, perhaps then you can appreciate what pain can be caused by rotten teeth.  This is the extreme, but all rotting teeth cause pain.  Unless the pain is extreme though, dogs seldom complain.  Maybe they will sleep a little more.  Maybe they will be a little more cranky.  Maybe they will drool or chew funny.  Maybe.  Often times they just deal with their chronic pain and live their lives.  But their pain is real.  Believe it.  And this is a story about how we can make a difference in our pets' lives by providing them with regular dental care if they need it.

So let me introduce you to the two positively perfect poodles.

Buffy age 16

Frodo age 17 

And as a special treat I have a picture of Frodo's teeth during his teeth cleaning at age 17.  Is this not the prettiest set of 17 year old poodle teeth you have ever seen?  Excuse the little bit of blood on his upper lip as Frodo did have one small tooth that needed to be pulled, but that was it.  I think of the 42 teeth that Frodo started his life with, he is only missing one or two.

Buffy is missing a few more teeth than Frodo, but not many and her teeth look just as lovely.

Buffy and Frodo have been blessed with owners who realize the importance of dental health and these two dogs have come in to get their teeth cleaned under anesthesia every single year starting when they were much younger poodles.  They don't have heart disease secondary to bad teeth.  They don't have kidney failure secondary to bad teeth.  They don't have liver disease secondary to bad teeth.  They don't have bad breath or mouth pain.  They are positively perfect poodles.

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