In early January I found that Elly had a broken tooth, not just the tip of a canine like a couple years ago, this time she went for the biggest tooth in her mouth. The official diagnosis was a complicated slab fracture of the upper 4th pre-molar. Complicated means the pulp is exposed…ouch!!! My first inclination was to have the tooth pulled and we scheduled the surgery for the following week and we also put her on Tramadol to help with pain, which of course she wasn’t showing at all. Once I got home and did some reading I had second thoughts. Doing a root canal would not only allow her to keep her tooth but it was much less invasive than pulling the tooth.
Even though I live in the CA Bay Area (near San Francisco) and I have access to almost any specialist you can think of, finding a doggie dentist is a challenge! There is one sort of near me but they were booked out until mid-February. The other option was a vet who came up to our area from Southern California every two weeks. I actually made appointments with both and told them I was going to take whichever could get the surgery done sooner. I had Elly scheduled for evaluation and surgery for February 12th with the nearest dentist. I also scheduled her with the traveling dentist for February 2nd, but my understanding was they would do the evaluation that day then schedule surgery for next time they were in our area, 2 weeks later. It turned out they could do the surgery the same day so I went with them and Elly had her evaluation and surgery on February 2nd.
I was very happy with the doctor and her tech, they took extra time to get Elly as comfortable as possible. After telling them she didn’t deal well with crates they elected to keep her out of the kennels and kept her on a blanket next to their desk. They made sure she was never alone and the tech held her when she could.
As it turns out they couldn’t save the pre-molar since it was broken up through the roots. In addition she lost 5 of her incisors! Those have been a problem since I adopted her, she had two previous surgeries to try and save them. Pretty much all the dog breeds in her makeup are brachycephalic (smushed faced) and it’s not uncommon for those types of dogs to have tooth-crowding problems. Even though she has a bit of a muzzle, her teeth are still over-crowded in her little mouth. All of the incisors removed were damaged and loose to some extent.
The poor girl came home with 7 sutures and a modified ‘smile’.
She wasn’t allowed to play with her stuffies for 12 days and she couldn’t chew on anything hard for two weeks. We also had to cut back on her balance and core exercises and walks while she healed. We had to drop out of two Nose Work Trials since they were just a week after her surgery, unfortunate because they were in my town.
Then the day before we went for her 2 week check up I found a rash or scrap under one of her front legs and a sore on her elbow. I have no idea where those came from especially since her activity level has been limited. Since we were already there I asked the vet to look at it and she gave me some spray to clear it up. The next day she seemed a bit tired and started sneezing, Pug boy Obie had been sneezing for a few days the week before. She got more lethargic over the next few days with more sneezing. I finally took her into the vet again after the President’s Day holiday just to be sure it wasn’t anything too serious. Was it related to her surgery? Did I taper off the pain meds too soon? But Obie was sneezing before, and she was just fine the week after surgery, to the point that I was having trouble entertaining her. We concluded that she might have some type of virus and we are just going to watch her. She had clean blood work before her surgery and her temp was normal. She was a bit perkier today- she initiated play a couple times, which she hasn’t done in a while. She didn’t play very long but it was definitely an improvement. We did have to miss another Nose Work class; I elected to keep her out this week just in case she has something contagious. Hopefully over the next several days she will continue to improve and get her energy back. Obie is back to normal now so hopefully in a couple days she will be as well.
Since she was on Tramadol for about 5 weeks (pre and post surgery) I took the opportunity to video some of the ways I get pills into the pups. I’ve been doing at least daily pills for one dog or another since 2001 when Tani was diagnosed with epilepsy. And I’ve tried to explain ‘cheesy plate’ several times in the forums when people are having trouble getting pills in their pups- it’s so much easier to show it!