Monday, January 21, 2013

Doggy dental mishaps, Bender the Unlucky

Barbie had to have teeth out a few months ago, and the vet encouraged us to give her more bones and things to chew on.

I bought her smoked bones from City Farmers and she had a great old time gnawing at them, making no particular progress.

Bender then stole them and had more of a go at them. He had some time with a lamb shank before I noticed he was actually biting chunks off it, then I threw it out.

When we went to New Zealand, we put the dogs in the kennel. When we got back to pick them up, the guy at the kennel said Bender had a lump under his eye which had come up overnight, but went down after he treated him with Benadryl. The lump came back a few weeks later and we took him to the Vet. Unfortunately it was a new vet who seemed petrified of him. She lifted his lip tentatively and he growled, and she 'teleported' to the other side of the room. She gave us antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and said she thought it was an abscess and that his premolar was broken and would have to come out. We decided that we would take him back and see our regular vet, Beryl, to get a second opinion.

In the mean time we went down south on our road trip, and Bender managed to fall down the stairs, so the anti-inflammatories did more for him than just help his tooth.

The abscess resolved with the antibiotics but he was still eating his dinner slowly and his tooth had a distinct brown line on it where it was fractured. When we took him back to the vet he was scheduled for surgery pretty much the next day.

Bender was very nervous at the vet, and when N dropped him off for his surgery, they drugged him straight away. I don't think they could get him into the holding cage. Poor guy has had too many vet visits in his life!

It was a difficult operation physically for the vet. She had to cut the tooth into three pieces and make some incisions into his gum to get the tooth out. The vet said it was a shame that he had to go through this as his teeth are perfect. This is a dog who eats exactly what Barbie eats, and is two years older. Just goes to show that genetics have as much to do with dental health as the diet of the dog.

When Bender came home he wanted to play, even though he could barely hold himself up. His eye was a little watery and that side of his face is a bit swollen. He looked like me after I had my wisdom teeth out. I gave him his regular biscuits for dinner soaked in a bit of water to make it easier for him to eat them. I will probably do that for the next couple of days so that his mouth can heal.

Hopefully he won't have any more teeth problems since he is now middle aged and has perfect teeth. I will watch him closely with any bones from now on, and they definitely won't be getting any more 'long bones', which are hard and can lead to tooth damage.

I previously thought that only 'cut' bones, like marrow bones split in half, were the ones that caused dogs to break their teeth, unfortunately for Bender, I was wrong!!
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