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Dr. Lee
Dr. Lee, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5355
Experience:  8 years of experience in veterinary medicine and surgery
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I have a 9 year old dog that needs a couple teeth removed and

Customer Question

I have a 9 year old dog that needs a couple teeth removed and is put on anti-biotics either a couple days before or interveniously while the procedure, why couldn't the animal have the remaining teeth scaled before or after while the anti-biotics are still in the system allowing the animal to come out of sedation sooner? Questioned by a dental assistant that has a hygenist friend who works on dogs.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 7 years ago.

Hi. I'm Dr. Lee and will do my best to help.


Having antibiotics on board does not reduce the anesthesia duration. Also, proper teeth cleaning and teeth extraction must be done under general anesthesia, sedation is not enough and is considered to be malpractice and below the standard of care if that is done. Teeth removal, in general, has nothing to do with antibiotics. Antibiotic should only be used IF there is an abscess, a tooth root abscess that is. Normally, if there is a very bad abscess that can be identified before the procedure, then antibiotic is started before the procedure, and will continue for at least a week after the procedure. If there is no obvious abscess, then the use of antibiotic is determined when the patient is under general anesthesia, after a proper dental examination by a veterinarian.


Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi might not phrased my question right or you misunderstand me. This hygenist can scale the inside of dogs' teeth and polishes without sedating. Because the dog is 9 years of age he would be put on anti-biotics while the prophy procedure regardless of capturing the tartar/calculus, bacteria will be released into the saliva and if there is any infection (gingivitis) and any bleeding occurs, while working under the gingiva margin, if blood goes out, bacteria can go in.


My question is can't the prophy be performed before or after the actual removal of the teeth. When removing the teeth whether one rooted incisors, two rooted pre-molars, or three rooted M1's & M2's if the dog is on anit-biotics any of the bacteria which is on the surrounding dirty teeth should the dog ibe protected from bacteria entering any open wound because it's on anti-biotics. Canine Hygiene Specialists are legal in British Columbia, but they can't extract teeth,or perscribe anti-biotics, they can clean dogs' teeth thoroughly without any sedation.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: possibly misunderstood my question.
possibly misunderstood my question
Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 7 years ago.

Ok. And I am trying to tell you that the hygienist (your friend) is completely out of line. If she is scaling the teeth and advertising as such, without general anesthesia, then she definitely does not know enough about canine dental hygiene. It is well known that a proper canine periodontal prophylaxis (teeth cleaning) CANNOT be done and SHOULD NOT be done without general anesthesia. You can go to and read the statement from the dentistry college. And yes, it also governs and accredits and certifies Canadian veterinary dentists. Again, what they are doing is COMPLETELY wrong. Goto "Information for Pet Owners". In BC (yes I am familiar with that as well since I am Canadian and knows well their system as I am also accredited to practice in Canada, across all provinces because there is reciprocal system in Canada for veterinary medicine), general anesthesia is needed as well. I highly suggest for you to ask a licensed veterinarian and I am sure you will get the same response as what I just said. If you are in doubt, go find a board certified veterinary dentist in BC. One that I know of that is good is Judy Rochette in Vancouver. There are a few other ones as well. Feel free to just call and ask.


And to answer your question, NO, absolutely not, antibiotic is NOT needed for general cleaning. If there is any "bacterial showering", which is what you are saying, the bacteria is ALREADY getting into blood stream now, before the cleaning. Teeth extraction should be done AFTER cleaning. Those so called open wound, is not a problem because if you find a properly trained veterinarian, extraction of teeth requires curettage of the socket, and closing of the wound with sutures via a mucogingival flap.


I would HIGHLY suggest for you to go to the website to get more information on teeth for pets. Or call your local board-certified veterinary dentist.


Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

F.Y.I. These individuals are called Canine Hygiene Specialists and are highly qualified and legal in B.C. Canada. I think your ego got in the way with this one and you are wrong about the anti-biotics concerning an older dog. How would you know until you put the dog under general anesthesic before you can even assess the situation. Don't assume something can't be done if you can't do it.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Still didn't answer the actual question, quoting things he doesn't know about or isn't practised in B.C. Canada. I would like to know if this can be done. Remove the 4 incisors under anesthesic,and under anti-biotics so the bacteria from the surrounding dirty teeth with tartar/calculus would the dog be safe with the open wounds and get the dental prophy? I don't want to get a question of why I am asking this, can it be done without putting the 9 year old dog in jeopardy.
Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 7 years ago.

Please read again. After removal of teeth, the wound is CLOSED with sutures. Not open. Please read again. It should NOT be an open wound. And ABSOLUTELY NOT, canine teeth removal or cleaning CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT BE DONE WITHOUT GENERAL ANESTHESIA.


This is the law for British Columbia, for the practice of veterinary medicine, which cleaning teeth IS practice of veterinary medicine. Feel free to call BCVMA (British Columbia Veterinary Medical Association) to find out.


And here you go since you obviously does not want to read what is right and what is wrong, here is AVDC position statement, you can see it here: It addresses dental scaling without general anesthesia.

First paragraph:


In the United States and Canada, only licensed veterinarians can practice veterinary medicine. Veterinary medicine includes veterinary surgery, medicine and dentistry. Anyone providing dental services other than a licensed veterinarian, or a supervised and trained veterinary technician, is practicing veterinary medicine without a license and is subject to criminal charges.


Please go read up on this, or just call BCVMA if you prefer to talk to someone. This is to help educate you to better understand veterinary dentistry.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

No you didn't, you don't know what you're talking about except to be condscending. Do you actually do any dental prophy, I highly doubt it, it's the vet. techs. and there is no bacterial spray as you put it because an ultrasonic scaler is not used in no sedating scaling!!!!! This woman I am referring to was a vet. tech for 7 years +++ 22 years working in a dental clinic as a hygienist.


The answer I was looking for is can the teeth be extracted without doing any prophy first. Just think for a moment maybe a person can't afford your outrageous prices. She also went to court with your so called DVM association in B.C. and won!!!!! This stuff will be the downfall of your profession.


I want a refund!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.


Your experts are dead wrong, and I am putting this into dispute. Prophy (preventable maintanence ) is what the actual word stands for, is legal. You all have your facts wrong, and who's law is it that a dog has to be put under general anesthesic for routine dental prophy your little veternarian assiocations rules. "THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, OF THE MATTER OF THE VETERINARIANS ACT R.S.B.C. 1996 c.476 between one of these Oral Canine Hygiene Specialist ruled in their favour! Do your research, I did before I looked into alternative dental prophy. Court case No. L033371 Vancouver Registry!


I will be posting your response in large font in the dental office I work at as a dental assistant and I am sure the hygienist I will be taking my dog to will probably do the same, where we have a lot of dog owners etc. Whatever avenue I can find to worn people to be buyer beware of your bias uninformed responses, until I get a refund for the ranting you gave me which I didn't ask for, evading the actual question and I paid for this!!!!! Where's the satifaction guaranteed? I'm filing a dispute with paypal for my money back. It's not the money, it's the principal!



Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 7 years ago.

1. You have only left a deposit, which is refundable. It takes time for them to do this.


2. Just so you are clear on the actual ruling. Here it is:



The BC Court of Appeal on April 8, 2005 confirmed the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of BCVMA v. K-9 Dental Care and Sylvia MacDonald. The case concerns representations and activity relating to the cleaning of dogs' teeth.


The BCVMA pursuant to the Veterinarians Act had sought a civil injunction against the respondents prohibiting them from performing dentistry including scaling of teeth; from offering, providing or making representations that they provide or are competent to provide 'dental care', oral health, services that are comparable or an alternate to what would be provided by a veterinarian, examinations, or assessment or evaluation of oral health or whether an animal should be referred to a veterinarian.


The BCMVA obtained the bulk of the relief that was sought.


The Court clearly found that the representations made by the respondents were confusing to the public, deemed them to be the practice of veterinary medicine and in violation of the Veterinarians Act. The Court issued an injunction against them, granting most of the prohibitions described above. K9 Dental Care and Sylvia MacDonald must remove the term 'Dental' from the name; and remove all advertising from the veterinary section of the yellow pages phone book. Further, the proprietor has now changed the name of the business to 'K-9 Bright Bark', and the former website is gone.


'K9' and Sylvia MacDonald are also prevented from representing that they provide 'dental' care and from the other above activities, with one exception.


The exception is the Court could not find that cleaning above the gum line, including by scaling, is 'dentistry' under the Veterinarians Act. The Court was clear that the lack of a definition of dentistry in the Act was the major factor and it is up to the BCVMA to lobby the government for a clear definition. The Court understood that all activity carries risk, but found that the line between what is 'dentistry' versus what is cosmetic must be drawn clearly in the Act and in the absence of that clear direction from the legislature, the Court should not and will not presume to do so.


3. Proper canine dental prophylaxis INCLUDE subgingival scaling/cleaning. Human dental hygienist also must do subgingival scaling. For canine species, subgingival scaling is considered to be the practice of veterinary medicine, thus only veterinarians or persons under the DIRECT supervision of a veterinarian can provide this service.


4. A little vocab correction, it is principle, NOT principal.


5. BotXXXXX XXXXXne is that proper canine dental prophylaxis must include teeth assessment via probing, supragingival and subgingival scaling/cleaning. Both teeth assessment and subgingival scaling have been ruled by the court (in B.C.) to be the practice of veterinary medicine. Thus only veterinarians are authorized to perform canine dental prophylaxis.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I got my refund. I read the court case before I decided to take my dog to her. I don't need to be clear on anything, my husband is a full-time major in the Canadian Forces, between the two of us we make quite good money, and are educated inividuals. We have lawyers as friends in the forces-----and guess what, people don't have to abide by your silly little veternarian laws, as long as it isn't inhuman. I never once said I wanted this person who is exceptionally qualified to do this cleaning procedure was going to remove any of the teeth, did I. But my husband who happens to be a dentist sure as hell can perscribe an anti-biotic for the inflamation of my dogs gums and the periodontal disease that has caused the loose teeth. This little banter we have got going is certainly going up in our office. You're a won-a-be doctor that can only work on animals, what a joke!!!! Like really!
Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 7 years ago.

I am sure you are well-educated, hence the use of "inhuman" instead of "inhumane", and use of "won-a-be" instead of "want-to-be" or "wanna be". No doubt you are an educated individual.


And yes, veterinarians are doctors, except that we treat more than just one species, so need to know much more than our human counterpart.


For your husband's sake, I would discourage from him writing a prescription because it is illegal to do so. It is illegal for a dentist to write prescriptions for an animal. If he is currently a licensed dentist, then he will risk his licensure and reprimand from B.C. Ministry of Health and/or College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia. If he is not currently licensed, then that would become a criminal case. But I am sure your husband is educated enough to know that. And I am sure your lawyer friends would know that as well. But of course, there are always the bad apples, who prefer to do things illegally.