He had an appointment with Dr. Julia mid-morning to look at the spot in his mouth that was red and puffy. He has been chewing only on the other side and has been grateful to Steve for adding a bit of moisture to his normal mix of soft, crisp, and crunchy foods. There was instant empathy just looking at his sad eyes and careful mouth movements from any creature that has ever suffered a toothache.
It does not help that our rescue boy comes with teeth that show the abuse of living on the street and not having proper dental care. The wonderful rescue he comes from, Chicagoland Eskie Rescue, had his teeth cleaned in March but their thorough vet even commented that our boy's teeth were among the worst she had ever seen.
So we stopped food after midnight last night on the possibility that Dr. Julia would want to take immediate action. Ferguson wanted pain relief more than breakfast as he plodded out to the van.
Despite his discomfort our elegant boy kept his cool in the crowded office. This was his fist encounter with our beloved vet. Ferg was calm and curiously watched the other dogs and kitties in the office while staying close to Steve's side.
Passing the doorway into the exam room, however, unleashed the frightened snapping pup in pain. He usually is very gentle in swinging his head in your direction if you try to do something he does not like; he pushes your hand away. Apparently he did not think anyone noticed as Steve picked him up to help him on to the hydraulic exam table and by the time the table has risen to exam height, Ferguson was snapping in earnest and scrambling to get down.
Steve stood at his side with his arm around the panicked boy but Ferguson would NOT let Dr. Julia handle his face or roll back his lips to get a good look. She bobbed around like a fighter to catch glimpses and finally called for a muzzle.
With Steve's arm reassuringly wrapped around Ferg's belly and our boy pressed against him, I gently held his head between my hands. He allowed me to slowly pull back the swollen area enough for our vet to clearly see but he clearly did not want her to touch his mouth. We slid the muzzle on so she could check over the rest of him.
Moving away from his mouth seemed to calm Fergus enough to let Dr. Julia check him over. She referred to his medical records that came with him and wondered about his crusty nose...a condition he has had since the day he arrived. The second she was done she indicated we could remove the blue cloth around his muzzle.
"OK," she began, "here is what we are going to do. He has some gingivitis going on around that one area so I am going to prescribe an antibiotic. I am also going to but him on the surgical schedule for next Monday in case the tooth needs to come out. I don't think we need to do a full dental although his teeth are nasty but just a better exam and single extraction. We can always cancel that if it all clears up but I want him to have a slot. In any case, I want to see him. He is a good weight and in good health. In fact, I would like to cut the rimadyl for his arthritis down a bit, just a little. No need to give him more than necessary. Let's put oil on his nose and see if that helps the crustiness." Steve mentioned that he started doing exactly that with coconut oil about a week ago and had noticed some improvement. "Then let's keep it up," she replied.
The White Dog Army tentatively gathered around when we got home, not sure if Ferguson would be up to the usual greeting. He went into the kitchen to be by himself. Steve took him out into the yard while I filled in the White Dog Army. When they came in, he got his first pill and breakfast, and then he settled down to rest.
|Dad, my mouth hurts.|