|Denture Your Dog|
Stoic was the word the veterinarian used for Riley. Apparently the bump that had suddenly appeared under his right eye was what we feared. He had an abscess due to a cracked tooth. While she poked and prodded around in his mouth he surprisingly maintained his cool-as-a-cucumber composure thus prompting the one word compliment. Although, while having his temperature taken he hid his head in the crook of my elbow like an ostrich burying its head in the sand. My heart ached for the little guy.
Once the official exam was over, it was time to talk seriously about the options available to us. First and foremost antibiotics and pain pills would be prescribed to get the infection under control. Abscess's generally respond well to antibiotics but should the swelling not go down in a few days and if we notice any excessive drooling or stool issues, we would need to contact her immediately. Our next step would be what to do about the tooth to prevent future infections. Unfortunately because he was so young, only five, her concern was to save the tooth since it was one of his "big chompers" as she called it. Did you know dogs can have root canals performed now? It's either that or an extraction, and neither are cheap and they both have their pros and cons. Both require anesthesia and both have quite a bit of pain associated with them. A root canal carries no guarantee that we wouldn't have to yank the tooth further down the road. I also have my doubts about the associated cap/plug lasting very long in a dog's mouth, particularly Riley's as he is a heavy chewer (hence the cracked tooth.) However, having it extracted means the other "big chomper" on that side wouldn't get as much action since he'll begin to utilize the other side more. In typical slippery slope fashion this would lead to further decay to the teeth on the side of the extraction possibly leading to more extractions. Either that or more regular teeth cleanings at the vet's office, which are expensive and require putting him under each time.
So we have a lot to think about before next Friday's follow up appointment. In the meantime I am happy to report that the meds don't seem to have any adverse side affects and Riley remains stoic as ever.