Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday Dinglehopper!

Oh my - yesterday when I wrote I totally forgot to mention that not only was Wednesday September 8th the day of Dingle's dental cleaning, but it was also his 5th birthday (yeah, vet schedules made it unavoidable - I tried to book a different day)


There were times when Dingle was dealing with so many challenges that I sometimes doubted that Dingle would make it to his 5th birthday - but he did!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

All Dingle wants for Christmas is his two front teeth?

If so... it's not happening.

Poor Dingle - this past Wednesday Dingle had his annual dental.

Yes, annual.

Dingle has had a dental cleaning every September for the past 3 years as despite dental food, dental treats, dental toys, teeth brushing, dental stuff for his water, $90 Leeba spray etc. Dingle's teeth are disgusting and his breath smells like he's got road kill trapped in his throat.

Every year it's been routine - just a cleaning and he's finished - no teeth extractions or anything like that.

Well, not this year.

When I called the vet to ask how Dingle was they told me that they needed to pull his two front incisors - the bottom ones. The vet said that the x-ray they showed that they detached from the bone, were loose and a pocket had formed under the gums.

That's not all I was told...

I was also told that when they ran the pre-anesthetic blood panel his ALT liver enzymes were high - 250 (normal is around 50). The vet said that while this could be related to those teeth that were pulled (the pockets forming under the gums could have been a breeding ground for infection), but it most often incidates that a dog has 'gotten into something' toxic.

Dingle has not eating anything he shouldn't have - at least that I have seen - and he had not shown any signs of having gotten into anything - no nausea, vomiting, etc.... absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. She said that perhaps Dingle had walked through something, licked his paws and ingested it that way.

I asked if perhaps it could be related to Dingle eating Orijin, a food very high in protein, but she didn't think it would be - said that would affect kidneys as well? At least that is what I think she said.

It's a mystery as to why his kidney enzymes are elevated.

I was told not to worry too much now - that all of the other liver levls are fine.

So the plan is for him to be on liver detoxifyer (Zentonil Advanced 200) for the next few weeks and then we'll check his levels then. Hopefully they have returned to normal.

Dingle is doing alright now. When I first brought him home he was high as a kite though and could barely stand. I guess that was from the hydromorphone pain injection more so than the anesthesia because he's been under anesthesia... ugh... at least 8 times now... and has recovered quickly.

Up until last night Dingle was getting Codeine gel rubbed into his ear for pain - but he's now finished that.

He is still on antibiotics (Antirobe aquadrops) and will be on them for a total of 10 days. They taste like crap and Dingle's face is pricess when I give them to him... but he takes them well.

So since Wednesday I've been busy with meds... which isn't all that uncommon as there's always something up with Dingle.

After his walk and feeding at 6:30am (on days I work nights) he'd get his Tears Natural II eye drops, the Cyclosporine eye gel, the antibiotics and for those 3 days the codeine.

Then later I'd sleep for a few hours and get up and give him the liver pills, which have to be given on an empty stomach.

The pamphlet in the pills said that they are 'palatable' - meaning they should taste good. But Dingle spit today's pill out 9 times - even when after I covered in peanut butter. This I found very, very strange. Dingle has been on pills so often that I could shake a pill bottle and he'd come running with excitement. So for him to not want one it must be repulsive.

After the liver pill I'd go back to bed for a few more hours and before work we'd start the morning routine again - eye drops, codeine and antibiotics.

The morning after the dental he was feeling well enough to eat. I think it was mainly because I allowed him to have Little Cesar wet food - he doesn't get wet food and so he scarfs it when he sees it... that and he hadn't eaten for such a long time since he couldn't eat after midnight the night before his surgery.

The night after the dental I was adding water to his kibble so that by the time my boyfriend fed him the food would be mush but Dingle spun in circles indicating he wanted the food right then and there - and he ate the hard kibbles fine.

He seems to be himself again - my usual Dingle... now with a gap in his front teeth.

In addition to being worried about his liver levels I'm (for some reason) absolutely devestated that Dingle had to have his teeth removed.

I once met a pom owner before I had Dingle and she made a point of saying "my dog has only 4 teeth left" (like that's something to brag about) and I said "oh, how old is your dog?". I expected her to say he was really old, but her response: "4". Holy shit lady - he's only 4 and only had 4 teeth left? Ugh.

I vowed to take care of Dingle's teeth so that he didn't end up like that pom and I know I've done everything I could have to help his dental health and I know that little dogs can be prone to bad teeth. Despite that I feel absolutely horrible that Dingle had 2 teeth pulled. Extremely terrible.

He's still got stitches in his mouth and I know losing two teeth doesn't seem to affect him, but for the last few days whenever I've seen him with his mouth open my eyes are drawn to the gap and I feel like shit.

Perhaps it's just a matter of adjusting to the fact he had teeth pulled?

All I know is I'm more concerned that Dingle just lost two teeth than I am affected by the damage to my bank account on Wednesday.

The damage? $1,063.32.

Yup - and not covered by insurance (well the liver meds may - I need to discuss this with the vet at our follow-up).

Oh Dingle.