Sunday, August 31, 2014

In Defense of Teeth

This morning I woke up after falling asleep on the couch and while I was re entering the land of the awake and watching my dogs swirl and wag around me as they always do, my eyes settled on Ein.  Something was Not Right.  And I knew exactly what it was.

Last September when Ein had his annual exam at the vet, the vet that saw him abruptly told me that he would need a dental and extraction of both carnassial teeth.  Whoah!  Ein's right carnassial tooth is a bit iffy looking, and his left has a small chip off of it.  I was additionally told that Ein would be required to have a flu vaccination in order to have a dental procedure done at my vet's office.  When I showed the slightest bit of resistance, I was given the ominous warning that the teeth could abscess.  I opted to be conservative about Ein's teeth and "keep an eye on them".

This decision came back to bite me (do you see what I did there??) this morning, because as soon as I saw Ein I knew exactly what was wrong with him.  He had a tooth root abscess.

I fed the girldogs, Ein asked me where in the hell was his food?  We went to the e-vet, got antibiotics, and some judgemental vibes regarding my decisions to hold off on a dental and returned home.  Ein ate all his food, his pills and settled down to chomp on a nylabone.  I don't think he is in pain!

I do not want to give my dog a flu shot.
I do not want my dog to go under anesthesia.
I do not want to pull teeth unecessarily.
I do not want Ein to lose both of his carnassial teeth.
I do not want to take all of Ein's chew bones away from him.
I do not want to live in fear and subject my dog to unnecessary procedures because of that.
I do not want to subject my dog to the risk of a fractured jaw from these tooth pulls unless it is Necessary.

I felt a big fat "Told ya so!" vibe when I was at the e-vet.  I was consoled that anesthesia complications are not so common as they used to be.  Jaw fractures are more of a risk when working with the canines versus the carnassials.  That is all very kind to discuss with me.  But guess what?  Those things are still risks.  Risks that I was not willing to take unless they were necessary.  And I do not regret the decision that I made for my dog.  In Ein's case, we came to the same destination: a dental cleaning and extraction of the carnassial tooth and I ended up paying some extra cash to treat this abscess.  But in my opinion, it was possible that my dog could have gone until the day he died without an abscess.  I was willing to take that risk.  

Is there something on my face?

We will need to make an appointment with our regular vet for the extraction.  I would very much like to avoid a flu shot.  I will need to make a decision to have the carnassial tooth that is not abscessed, but with a small fracture, pulled as well while Ein is under anesthesia.  This is not a decision that I am able to take lightly.  Ein will miss his carnassial teeth and it makes me more sad than I can express that he will have his major chompin' teeth gone from his mouth.  

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