Want to strike fear in the hear of an average dog owner?
Vaccines? Most likely.
Dental Care? Yep.
Surprised that dental care would be up there with cancer and vaccines?
Many people avoid dealing with their dog's teeth. They never really look in there - it's one big mystery. Most don't train their dogs to accept brushing, and they're relieved because who wants to hassle with that every day? And people are definitely worried about putting their dog under anesthesia.
I fell for most of those traps myself.
Vida was eagerly chewing and eating a duck neck the day before she had 17 teeth removed. I had no idea she had some much going on in there! I knew dogs hid pain - had I been kidding myself over the last couple of years? Less toy playing, less vigorous chewing? It's not just old age!
I'd found one bad tooth over the summer, one of her lower premolars. I wasn't too surprised that at the age of 15 she might finally have some problems with lower teeth because of the radiation treatment she had five years ago. Clearly I had waited too long to really do something about it.
I'd had non-anesthesia cleaning done a few times, but not in the past year - she was just so stressed about it, and it was in my mind that I really should get a dental x-ray done so see if the radiation had done damage. But like most people I kept putting it off while I started brushing a few days a week and using an oral spray to help prevent tartar.
I brought Vida in for an appointment as soon as I got back from New Hampshire to have Dr. Bausone look at her mouth and discuss the dental procedure and what I expected from them. They had what I wanted: dental xray, the best anesthesia (propofol and sevoflourine), monitoring during anesthesia (it took 4 hours, so it's essential to have them ready for that), and allowing me to handle pain relief at home (though I discovered to late that she also got an injection of Rimadyl, grrrr).
Who knew I was going to spend the day in the vet's waiting room? It's 30 miles away so I had planned to wait, but I really thought it would only be a half-day. I was given updates on how she was doing (including the long wait before they started), which I was grateful for. While I waited I read the perfect book for a veterinary waiting room - a book of healing meditations. I had it on my Kindle and it was a wonderful respite to sit quietly and center myself and picture my dog whole, healthy, and happy. Sending Reiki and doing these meditations helped me remain calm throughout the day (despite seeing so many dogs and cats coming in for vaccinations throughout the day!).
Part Two: How did it go?