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DonMarie's post on the Heimlich for dogs prompted me to start this post. I just last night gave my pups a Virbac C.E.T. dental chew. After Gracie's root canal, these were recommended by her dental vet. It seems they are often recommended by vets. They are like rawhides and do have a beef hide component to them, however, they seemed less tough. They got soft and pasty quickly and are supposed to be more digestible. I researched these before ordering, and didn't see anything alarming, yet when I googled them again last night, I was some info. on gastrointestinal upset. Also, in reading the ingredients on the package, I am not real thrilled. I wouldn't consider giving these at all if it weren't for the fact that Gracie can't have ANY other chews and she really loves to chew.

So, anyone have any experience with these?? Thanks!

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Comment by DonMarie & Picco on February 26, 2016 at 10:29am

I couldn't find the ingredients on the site either.  Greenie's claim to be the #1 Vet-Recommended Dental Chew and they do list ingredients.  I grab those once in a while just for a different treat but not enough to know if they work or not.

Comment by CJ, Gracie, and Quinn on February 25, 2016 at 6:12pm

Yes, Jan, that's the problem--the more I read, the more concerned I became. I have to go back to the vet with Quinn in about 2 weeks, so I plan to talk to her about the product. I'm finding their ingredients and sourcing to be contradictory to the fact that they seem to be commonly recommended by veterinarians. Could it be a drug company sort of thing?? I don't know, but I hope to get some more information.

Comment by Jan, Lily & Nessy on February 25, 2016 at 1:44pm

Interesting discussion.

Looked at Virbac MSDS pdf, and found that they mention to "wash hands after using", which may be a red flag for salmonella (???)  Common warning with pet treats...  The company website is vague about actual ingredients (or I just missed it), which is what I was looking for, when I ran across that "suggestion".

Comment by CJ, Gracie, and Quinn on February 25, 2016 at 8:11am

I have been using coconut oil each AM for a couple of months now. Not sure how much it is helping with teeth, but Gracie and Quinn sure love breakfast!! I've never had a pup with teeth issues before, but it seems that Gracie develops tartar buildup pretty easily on her way-back teeth. I do think it's gotten better since I've been brushing more frequently and I think the bigger, crunchier biscuits have helped too. The Virbac chews are very expensive and they were on sale, so I thought I was being smart and bought 3 bags--that's 90 chews!! Since the directions said one a day, I figured it would be a 1 1/2 month supply. Now that I realize there is no way I'm giving them once a day, I guess I'm good for about a half year!! Ha! Thanks for all your thoughts my doodle friends. Happy day before Friday!

Comment by Harrison, Brodie & Kris on February 24, 2016 at 11:50pm

we only give nyla bones.. as for tarter, we have not had much of an issue since using coconut oil. really helps a lot

Comment by DonMarie & Picco on February 24, 2016 at 10:47am

I take it that some dogs are more susceptible to tarter build up than others.  The 2 dogs I've had in the past (both shep/husky mix) never had any signs of tarter, perfect teeth all their lives.  Picco started showing signs of tarter about a year ago at 3-1/2 yrs old. The only difference was that the past dogs got real bones once in a while and Picco doesn't.  I started brushing Picco's teeth 2-3 times a month and that has helped at least what I can see. I can't really get to the back surface very well.  Picco's guts are a little sensitive so I don't want to give him anything to upset it. The toothpaste doesn't seem to bother him but it's not like he's ingesting much.

Comment by Beverly and Eli on February 24, 2016 at 10:31am

Poor Gracie. If you go with your vet's recommendation, she may not have the tummy problems you've been reading about. Good Luck.

Comment by CJ, Gracie, and Quinn on February 24, 2016 at 9:51am

The problem I have is with Gracie's root canal. I can no longer give her anything "hard" to chew on, including nylabones; raw bones; antlers; bully sticks; Himalayan Chew sticks . . . The last two were her favorites and the elk antler is what she broke her tooth on. The dental vet gave me a list. It's short. She can have Kongs and Greenies, but she doesn't chew the Kongs once the stuffing is out, and she eats a Greenie in about 2-3 minutes, so not much teeth cleaning happening there. We give her IAMs puppy biscuits, which are like Milk Bones, but those are gobbled down in seconds so again, not much cleaning going on. I did Purchase Foster and Smith Grain Free Premium Natural Biscuits. They are a good size, very crunchy, and require a bit of chewing and I do think they broke up some of the tartar on Gracie's back teeth. However, their "Made in USA" statement is somewhat muddied by the fact that they couldn't guarantee the source of the ingredients :(

So, back to the Virbac C.E.T. -- Our dental vet recommended them, and the reviews for teeth cleaning were very good. However, there were also reviews about gastrointestinal upset that were a little spooky, and I really don't like some of the ingredients. I gave the first one to each pup the other evening. Gracie finished hers in about 20 minutes. Quinn worked on his for at least a half hour and didn't even get half way through it! I finally took it away and stuck it in the freezer. The whole thing made me nervous, but the good news is that aside from being thirsty, neither had any upset. So I'm thinking I will try giving them one a couple of times a week (the directions say one a day!!)

If I could give Gracie raw bones, Alessandra, I would try knuckle bones. They seem to be widely used for IWs and because they are smooth and rounded, they can't really chomp down on them. Raw bones are tougher than cooked bones. It's the cooked bones that are extremely dangerous--they easily splinter and break.

It's a dilemma. I'm trying to weigh the cost of teeth cleaning along with the inherent danger of the anesthesia against the negatives of these Virbac chews. Can't really come up with a decision, but I think I will cautiously proceed with the Virbacs.

The other important thing here of course is regular brushing. I have been told and I have read that just like with humans, the brushing must be daily and that's where I fail. The plaque needs to be scrubbed off so that it doesn't have time to change to tartar, and I need to get better at doing that every day.

Comment by Beverly and Eli on February 24, 2016 at 6:54am

So right about the few bites and done on the Milk Bones, but I feel like it's the consistence that helps. My sons use greenies. Their dogs love them, I just can't get past the color. Hahaha! Milk bones aren't expensive either.

Comment by Pedro & Alessandra on February 24, 2016 at 1:26am

I am not familiar with the Virbac CET dental chews, CJ but I've been fairly consistent with Greenies, which Pedro LOVES but are not that great for teeth cleaning. I think he's going to have another (expensive) teeth cleaning soon actually. A new local pet store that I really like (and where my credit card could easily be maxed out!) carries frozen raw buffalo bones and the owner, a puppy parent herself that has done a lot to educate herself and is anti-fillers and anti-traditional kibble and all for natural, organic stuff gave me a lengthy explanation on the benefits of the raw bones, told me how to give them to Pedro (start with 1/2 hour, rinse and freeze again) so I bought them but when I finally got around to giving it to him, he seemed unsure and Glen started questioning why I was introducing something new, raw, that could potentially break into small pieces (though she told me it wouldn't)  and I kinda got weary of it, so took it away after 20 minutes and haven't given it back... Same as the knuckle bones that Lois mentions, I did read that raw bones like that can be the best thing to clean the teeth... though I'm starting to consider Beverly's Milkbones, as they sound much easier and safer!

Being a Doodle Mom is hard work! Glad that I have you all to vent with and learn from!

Thanks!

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