Sheridan Belle and the Abscessed Tooth


Here’s Sheridan Belle, also known as “The Baby Loo.”

So our grrl, Belle, is getting up there in years.  She’s 13 years old, which is amazing to me because most of the time she doesn’t act like a senior citizen.  She’s had a few medical problems along the way but for the most part she’s a healthy, hearty grrl.

She had a cracked molar surgically removed about a year ago, and I had made her some chicken & rice soup to ease her recovery while she healed.  It’s a very simple soup, nothing more than chicken thighs simmered with celery, carrot and rosemary, and then some white rice.  NO salt, pepper, onion, garlic, hot sauce, or any of those other things that make food worth eating for humans!

Turned out she didn’t really NEED the soup, she just chewed on the opposite side of her mouth.  When she actually did chew her kibble–most of the time she just swallowed it whole. Little weasel.  I think her tooth extraction was harder for ME than it was for her.

Last week, she got quite sick with dental problems again.  Our friend and her vet, Dr. Kara, came to see her and said that Belle had an abscess somewhere in her mouth, most likely a tooth, but she couldn’t tell for certain without x-rays.  Belle started taking an antibiotic and painkillers and we made arrangements for her to come to the vet’s office this morning for x-rays, a tooth cleaning and potential extraction, all under general anesthesia. 

Bonus!  February is Pet Dental Health Month, so Belle got a $50 discount on the procedure!  Wooo!

I was concerned, though.  She’s getting up there in years, and general anesthesia is hard for anybody, much less a senior citizen. No other options, though–she is NOT going to sit quietly while Dr. Kara scrapes, cuts, pulls abscessed teeth and then stitches her back up. And we can’t let her suffer with a rotten tooth periodically abscessing again and again. I think watching her (or any of our furkids) suffer is the worst part: She’s miserable and there’s nothing I can do for her except give her the pain pills and try to fix her food so she can eat it.

No worries, though–she’s out of the operating room already and has awakened from the anesthesia.  The extractions went well, and she’ll have to be eating soft food for a few days to protect her stitches.  I’ll go pick her up at 4 p.m., and I’ve got chicken breasts thawing to be chopped and boiled for her dinner.  She’ll like THAT.

It’s important to know, however, that many canine dental problems, especially those like Belle’s, can be avoided. Use caution in giving your dog chew toys–make sure that whatever they’re chewing on isn’t so hard that they’ll crack their teeth on it.  Yes, this can really happen, especially if your dog is an aggressive chewer!

Also, get your dog used to having you handle his or her mouth and brush their teeth.  This can prevent plaque buildup which can cause a bacterial infection of the heart, along with rotting their teeth. Take care of your dog’s teeth and ensure their overall well-being!

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