Monday, February 19, 2007

tatos in the news

This here is my boydog Opie.

...actually no.
This is my taterman...

The vet pulled every tooth from his upper jaw two days ago. All he has left up there are the incisors.

I am a sucky dog owner.

Now, in our defense I will say that neither my husband or myself have ever owned a dog that lived to be Opie's age (either 14 or 18, depending on who examines him. We got him from the pound as an adult dog.) So when he gradually became smellier, skinnier and grouchy about having his head touched we figured 'well, he's just getting old' and continued on in our ignorant, brain-dead stupor. Then my husband happened to catch him asleep and lifted his flews to see what was going on...and came into the kitchen white as a ghost. That poor dog's mouth was BAD. I won't even describe it and that's not to spare your sensitive constitutions but because I'm ashamed that something in my care reached such a condition and I never noticed.

The good news is, we took him to the vet, they cleaned him up, and now three days later he is tatoing around, burping and farting and saying 'eeuroop' like NOTHING HAPPENED. He is a new dog. He slept off the anaesthetic and never looked back. He has to eat soft food now; that's it. I am absolutely blown away.

I really feel like shit about this. He must have been miserable for so long. It's a lot like when you have an infant and they get an ear infection...they can't tell you what's wrong, they just cry all the time, as usual, and you never get a clue until they get really bad.

I want to apologize to the poor little guy. But he's a dog. So he still loves me like nothing ever happened and nothing was ever wrong.
I just feel like shit.


  1. Anonymous12:17 PM

    Thank you Ms FN - you are a friend to the canine world, as yoy can iamgine I would have no trouble mentioning if I had a little toothache!

  2. muttley: i would kiss it and make it better. until it got horrifically infected.

  3. oh! how unconditional and loyal. we have so much to learn from our doggy friends. don't feel bad love. give him a gentle squeeze for me, and a bowl of beef icecream

  4. what a cutie-patootie!

    now, repeat after me:
    I am not a horrible pet-owner.
    I am not a horrible pet-owner.
    I am not a horrible pet-owner.

    The number of dogs who suffer on in that condition and worse is shocking, because some people can't be bothered to "waste" money on them for vet bills. When you realized there was a problem you took immidiate and appropriate action, and the result is a loving happy animal. You are a good dog owner.

  5. At least you acknowledge that you felt terrible.? You are a good person and I bet you've checked the teeth of everyone else in the household.
    Footnote: Gene has a buddy.Called Chuck, of course!

  6. Anonymous2:32 PM

    I know you feel bad for not noticing it straight off but stop beating yourself up over this. CB (and everyone else) is right. When you found out what the problem was you took action straight away and now it's sorted. That's a good owner - he's got you well trained!
    PS. He is so cute!

  7. Aw. You know that's not true, and the tater still lobs you because you are his Mummy and he lobs his Mummy.
    So there.
    And hell, at least you did something about it.
    So many people don't.
    I'd be proud.

  8. As long as the incisors are intact varmints can still be hunted. A happy outcome.

    Can you put me in touch with your vet? My molars need some attention.

  9. Awww , well its not the easiest thing to spot when they start getting old , few months and his gums will go as hard as the original teeth and he will be crunching away like a goodun.

  10. Should dogs do dental hygiene, I mean brushing and flossing and all?

  11. I am now left wondering how one cares for dog's teeth. Is it the dogfood? I have no idea.

  12. oooh, look at the eyes on that cute little guy!! He's so sweet!!

    You are a good person and your baby is lucky to have you.

  13. everyone: thank you. it helps. the tato is doing fine. and to answer realdoc and others, yes, they would have me belive that you should be caring for your dogs' teeth...they have a glop that you run over their teeth and gums twice a week that kills the plaque forming aliens. as the companion dog population gets older this is becoming a huge problem as it is a geriatric disorder of dogs. in the wild, of course, they don't live long enough for plaque to become a problem.

  14. OH, poor tato! i know how you feel about letting it go too long and not knowing that there's something wrong. it's such a horrible feeling to know that you could have fixed it. My bigdog has a bit of a limp and i'm scared to death that it's hip displasia and i can't afford a vet trip right now and am HOPING that it goes away..... am feeling like a bad parent, myself.

    so glad he will be ok...

  15. Don't feel bad, FN - you didn't know. We know our Schmoo has been due for a teeth-cleaning for a couple years now, but have been avoiding it because we don't want to anaesthetize her at her age. You have lit a fire under my butt to just call the damn vet, so now both Tato and Schmoo will be healthy. :o)

  16. Anonymous10:05 PM

    Ooh, I appear to be Nick at the mo.
    Unsure why.
    But that's who Nick is.

  17. Don't feel bad. I had a cat once whose ears, I thought, were 'just waxy.' Several vets even just said, "well, it's not ear mites, so yeah, it's jsut wax." The cat had constant diahrrea, and whined constantly. I thought he was just needy and had a delicate stoman. Finally, a new vet had the solution. It was a yeast infection. Two days on ear meds for that, and the loose poos stopped completely and he was a happy cat.

    For a good year, until he died of stomach cancer. Didn't see THAT coming. But at least his ears felt good!

  18. I should have spell-checked that comment. Stomach, not stoman. Dayam.

  19. It's true, the babies - both human and pups can't tell us what's wrong. You took care of him and will continue to do so. Hell, you adopted him as an adult pup, how many people can say they would do that? Give him a pat for me.

  20. I hated brushing Jack's teeth with that putrid beef flavored toothpaste ((Gag)) but his penchant for devouring expired multi cellular objects demanded that his breath be attended to..especially since he loved to kiss his daddy oh yes he did.
    Gawd how I miss him.
    You are a saint for being so kind to tater..he is soo cute..and grateful..oh yes he is!

  21. Strangely contented-looking creature

    In tongs

    "So I'm ugly.. whaddya gonna do about it?"

    Well I liked it. Is please for more of his adventures.

  22. aw, he's beautiful. At least you made it up karma wise so he wont be pissed with you. I swear animals know that when you pay money on them at the vet that you love them.

    He's just gorgeous!

    i bought my cat, Ace from the pound as well. I always go for the neglected, underfed, underloved ones.. bit like my men really.. hmmm