My Dog’s Teeth

~~By NMNJ-GRL

(Cross-posted from InsightAnalytical)

Sometimes you realize that you’ve hit a “marker” in life, and today was one of them in Slicker’s…Slicker is my min pin, whom I rescued from the street. He’s just past what we think is his 8th birthday, and the min pin’s tendency to have tooth problems hit him today.

He had had his teeth cleaned a couple of years ago and things seemed fine. But on his annual visit just before the holidays, the vet scheduled an appointment for a dental, no ifs, ands, or buts.

Slick Around the Time of His November Check-up

I noticed that Slick’s gums were red but he was chewing on bones and they actually looked like they were getting cleaned up.  Not as easy as that, however…

When I brought him in yesterday morning (Friday, 2/26) the tech ran over the procedure and then warned me that about this age, some dogs start requiring extractions.

I went home and waited for the call…and about 2 p.m. the vet called to tell me that he really needed teeth taken out…a bunch of them.  Apparently, an infection had set in and spread around his gums.

It must have grabbed pretty quickly. I had noticed that Slick was a bit listless over the past couple of weeks and was a bit more testy when the two little ones, Toro and Tico, hassled him. He wasn’t jumping onto walls very often, nor did he go nuts over the thrasher hanging around the back yard.  His stomach was a little queasy, too, because over the last few days he was looking for grass to eat…We had the little patch of grass removed a couple of  weeks ago and replaced with gravel, so he had to search hard. I got some wheat grass yesterday, just in case.

Well, all this must have been because of the infection.

I worried all afternoon, then made some rice and went to get some soft food on the way to the vet when it was time to pick him up. I didn’t know what I expected.

When I got there, the assistant reviewed what had been done.  Of 40 teeth, 20 were gone!  However, most of them were the little front incisors, apprently so loose that the vet was surprised they hadn’t fallen out of his mouth!  A couple of molars were gone and a a few of the smaller canines, one of which apparently had an infection that had spread up to his sinuses.  But, thankfully, his main chewing teeth are still there!

I was shocked, but it was not because I had neglected anything.  But, at least he had been fighting the infection. He pre-op blood work was fine and he was very stable during the procedure. In fact, after he woke up, he was standing, looking around, and acting like he wanted attention.

When they finally brought him out, I half expected to see a lethargic dog, but there he was running out with his little bandana on, trying to make friends with another dog!  I was so relieved because he looked like my Slick!  I had been very melancholy, however, because I felt that needing teeth removed really meant he was, indeed, an aging dog.  I even shed some tears over this realization.

In a sad twist, as I was waiting to pay the $845.00 bill, a man, girl and woman came out of a room to the side, all in tears. Obviously, they had lost their pet. It made me grateful that we had taken care of Slick and that, according to the vet and tech, he would really be feeling a lot better now that the infection was going to be cleared up.

Coincidentally, an orthopedic foam bed I had ordered from Drs. Foster and Smith came while Slick was at the vet! So, I got it all ready for him and was so glad it was there for him when he got home!

Slick came into the house and went straight to my room where he sleeps and plopped right onto the bed.  Toro, who is the ornery 11-year-old chihuahua, sat next to Slick’s bed and whimpered. I think he was a bit concerned.  Tico, the chi-corgi mix, sat in the crate in the corner and growled, as usual, so I moved him out of the room!

Slick Crashes On His New Bed Post-Op

We go back in 2 weeks for a follow-up visit and in the meantime, it’s pain meds, anti-inflammatory meds, probiotics and soft food for about 7 days.

Slick’s Post-op Pharmacy

I’m just thankful he came through it all OK and that we caught things in time before his health was damaged.

So, we have more precious time with our precious boy, Slick.  Gosh, I love this guy!!

Advertisements

An Early Season Snowstorm with a Magnificent Reward…(Pics, including an adorable dog, too)

~~By NM-GRL (IA)

Okay, last time I posted it was green chile time…but hectic months stopped me from getting up a couple of ideas…but they will go up!

Today I awoke to our first snow of the season….several weeks early, by my reckoning…and quite a bit more dramatic than usual. It started yesterday afternoon with a nasty, cold rain and overnight it shifted over to snow.

The big deal here is not just getting snow on the ground (although it was already gone from the streets and sidwalks by the time I woke up!).  For me, it is watching the stormy weather clear and getting a clear view of the Organ Mountains and the snow on them!

So, here’s how it unfolded over the last 24 hours:

As you can see, Slick wasn’t particularly interested in getting up this morning! In fact, all the dogs were not going out yesterday and it was a cliffhanger for a couple of them in terms of how long their bladders would hold out. Even Slick rebelled at the cold rain late in the afternoon, although I got him out for about 2 seconds to pee pee.  Toro went out into the backyard, but Tico stayed put in the back of his crate all day until I threw him outside after things cleared today!  He is deathly afraid of storms…we adopted him from the animal shelter in February 2002. He had spent a month with people who had found him in a ditch. He was about 6 months old when we got him, so I figure he was out in some pretty cold, rotten weather as a baby.  So, I can understand his penchant for hiding under the bed, in his crate, and generally refusing to go out at all.

Slick Lingers in (My) Bed

I don’t blame him, because this was going on outside:

It was still snowing in fits and starts...

Fence Peaks

Not Even the Birds Were Out for Their Morning Meal...

Pretty icky for these parts, but sissy weather for back in New Jersey!  But, it’s so fleeting here, that this sort of raw, cold, dreary sort of weather is a shock!

Ah, but then it began to clear…the clouds started rolling away and sun came…and finally, I went out to the back…and…

The Organs Show Off Their Winter Coat...

…At least here there’s a magnificent payoff at the end of the nasty weather!