Friday, February 21, 2014

An Author & Her Dog's Bite

By Cal Orey

UPDATE: Simon got a clean bill of dental health from our vet. No surgery! Very pleased with our home care. And we will continue to use the waterpik...

Today, as a health author my mind is distracted and on dog and human teeth--mine and my senior canine Simon. This topic goes way, way back. First of all, my dad wanted me to be a dental hygenist. I actually did go to dental school. During the internship at a dental office I experienced a mega meltdown. A businessman was getting a root canal and it was extremely painful for him (this is dog years ago). I began to cry. The dentist yelled at me and told me to leave the room and don't the let the door hit me on the way out. It was the end of this sensitive's dentistry career.

Moving on. I've had my share of dental caries, braces (I paid for them myself), a crown (or more), a root canal (I survived), and one extraction (I tried six years to save the back upper molar but it wasn't in the cards).  And that day of losing my beloved tooth was frightening...But I survived and appreciated the fact that I still had the rest of my choppers. I was taught you do everything to save a tooth--human or pet.  And this leads me to my canine's teeth. 

Last year before I brought the Aussie pup into my household Simon, my beloved 10 year old Brittany got a full exam. Time for a deep dental cleaning. Four extractions (I knew the night before which ones because intuitively I felt his pain); but he still maintains 38 teeth.  I confess that years back my doggy dental article graced the cover of Dog World Magazine. So this topic is not laughing matter since teeth can affect overall one's health and well-being.

This week I discovered my Britt has a gap between two upper back molars, thanks to his unique mouth anatomy. This can be a food trap just like it can be for humans. Tomorrow, I'm going to see his vet to get an opinion about the hole. But during Simon's surgery in September (he had a tumor removed from his forehead) his teeth were cleaned and flouride was used, too. So, I'm thinking why put him under anesthesia again when I have been and can up the regular home cleaning?

Yesterday, I was on a mission. Purchased a waterpik (for both of us, separate attachments), more canine toothpaste (with enzymes), a soft toothbrush, and more gauze. We are going to stay on top of his home care as I've done for the Aussie (he got the pearly whites and I'll never forget watching his baby teeth fall out, one by one), and for my Siamese-mix Zen (this breed has a predisposition to gingivitis).

Tomorrow hopefully we get a thumbs up from the doc (who raised my boy from the neuter snip, leg sprain from jumping snow berms, vaccines, and nose bite that required surgery) that by simply upping my tooth care for Simon that we don't have to resort going under (again)... The Rx will be to keep his teeth nice and clean. Today, I try the waterpik on my senior dog. So, after two cups of chamomile tea, I'll start with light pressure, warm water. He loves pampering and grooming (from baths to brushing) and I think he'll let me do my job. Stay tuned. UPDATE: Tried the magical waterpik on me in front of Simon; then he allowed me to do it for him. It works. He likes it! No kidding. His and Hers attachments. Caveat: While it's cordless, water sprayed everywhere light a a rainstorm. But we'll get the hang of it.

One more thing: Monday afternoon I am scheduled to have one small cavity filled and another one replaced. I haven't had a hole for years. I'm not looking forward to the ordeal, but dentistry is almost painless these days and I am grateful to be able to take care of it now rather than waiting until it's too late. It's just another day for an author and her dog's teeth.

No comments:

Post a Comment