28 January 2013

A Vet's Own Dog

Ruby looses a tooth...
I don't tend to blog much about my work, because I try to keep my personal life separate from my professional life as much as possible.  BUT sometimes the two collide.  A couple of weeks ago, my Ruby-dog suddenly started shying away when I touched one side of her face.  Upon further examination, I realized she had a very subtle swelling underneath her left eye.   Her energy level-normal, appetite-normal, behavior-basically normal.    She's a good little dog and she let me do a full exam of her mouth and teeth...not bad - just a little calculus and mild gingivitis, no fractured teeth that I could see.  However, the most likely cause of the swelling observed in my own little Ruby-dog is a tooth root abscess.  So I decided to anesthetize her, clean her teeth with our ultrasonic scaler, and shoot some intraoral films...and remove an teeth with abscessed roots.  I dreaded it, but I had a strong inclination that it was the big, bad carnassial on her left side.  This bad boy is the biggest tooth in the dog mouth and has 3 roots.  So removing it involves using a scapel to cut a mucosal flap, drilling away the alveolar bone covering the roots, sectioning the tooth into 3 pieces corresponding to each of the 3 roots, elevating each root, smoothing out any sharp bony points that might poke on her gums, and then suturing down the flap covering that big ole hole.  Basically...it's outright oral surgery.  So I take her to work with me one Saturday so I can get her done after I finish seeing appointments.

 She had the first allergic reaction I've ever seen to our anesthetic protocol.   My boss in all her years of using this protocol has never had a dog break out in immediate hives either.   Therefore Ruby-dog got a shot of benedryl and her hives cleared right up.   As soon as I took the dental x-rays, my fear was confirmed...Ruby-dog's carnassial tooth needed to come out.  It had a big ole periapical lucency (ie, an abscessed root).  The procedure itself went fairly well.  I held back my tears as I sectioned her tooth and drilled away bone from my Ruby-dog's mouth.  I fussed that the gums didn't suture as pretty as I would like...I fussed that there was so much blood.   I admit...I  fussed a lot.  The techs couldn't understand why I was fussing so much when the procedure was going along just fine.  I fussed as she was waking up, because she cried with every breath unless I had her in my lap.   I even had the senior technician come in so I could fuss to her as well.  In the end, my Ruby-dog was up and walking within 10 minutes of sewing up her mouth, and the bad tooth was out.  I cried as I drove her home, and spent the rest of the evening snuggling with her on the couch and hoping her pain meds were strong enough.   Her little swollen face upset me so badly.   That night, I even tucked her in next to me in bed...under my sheets and the heating blanket.  

So here's my conclusion...I can't calmly and rationally be a veterinarian to my own precious doggies.  Their blood freaks me out, and even giving them a shot makes the tears start flowing.   And..and I never...never...want to perform anesthesia on my own doggies again.   Chase and I don't have any human children, so our pets are like our kids...especially our dogs.

2 weeks later... She's not gaurding that side of her face, and her face is almost back to its symmetrical cuteness.  Now I can address the next health concern with my Ruby-dog....

Ruby-dog has a fat butt...
Here's a picture of my Ruby-dog...my family is constantly teasing me that my dog is fat.  They say she looks like a sausage with pointy little toothpick-legs.    Well...hmph...she's not that fat.  However...I will grant you that she is...a touch...overweight.  So if you read the above story about removing her tooth, you probably know that I'm not entirely rational about my dogs.  So when a food rep came and talked to us about an objective way of measuring body fat and calculating a healthy weight, I volunteered Ruby.  According to Hill's new Healthy Weight Protocol measurements...Ruby-dog has a body fat index of 40% and she needs to lose 8 pounds.  8 pounds!!!  8 pounds is a ton of weight when you're talking about a 30 pound dog!  Regardless if I agree with her target weight of 22 pounds or not...I'm going to give this new prescription weight loss dog food a shot...We'll see what she looks like with every pound of weight loss and stop when she gets to a healthy weight.  If I can get my own dog to loose weight...I'm sure this plan will work for clients too.

Ruby has lost her girly figure - her waist isn't as prominent as it should be and you can't easily palpate her ribs.

When viewed from the side, she should have a distinct abdominal tuck.  She doesn't.  If you look at her from behind...she has a distinctly plump rear end.  Oh, Ruby-dog, you are indeed...fat.

Prayers for my grandpa
My grandpa is in his mid-90s... He fell at the assisted living facility last week and broke his femur.  His surgery to repair the fracture went well, but he has a long road to recovery.   Please send him your prayers and good thoughts.   He's been ready to be with the lord for quite some time now, and I can't imagine how discouraging this must be for him.

Peace and Love, y'all!

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1 comment:

Anna said...

Poor Ruby! How embarrassing! I am glad that no one puts me on a blog showing my fat! Ruby, I feel your pain. From your overweight human grandma.