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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, That'll Be 4 Teeth Please

Saturday, February 12 was our Tinker boy's 11th birthday. We couldn't really do anything special for him because he was not too with it.

On Friday, Tink went to the vet to have a broken canine tooth pulled and to get his first dental. Ever since his back surgery, we've put off having him put under for fear of the possible neurological affect the anesthesia might have. But, a broken tooth can allow bacteria to get into the bloodstream... so it was time to get it done.

While he was under, they found the canine tooth on the opposite side had been shaved down on one side, causing the root to be exposed. Make that two teeth pulled.

But wait...the two small teeth behind the canines had no support with the big guys gone, so they had to come out too. Our poor little man had four teeth pulled!

We learned something fascinating, too. No stitches and no putting pressure on where the teeth were pulled. They actually pack the areas with dissolvable foam. Who knew?

Since we didn't want to put Tinker on Rimadyl or Deramaxx (we are well aware of the dangers), they gave him a shot of an long-acting (opiate) pain killer that lasts 3-4 days. Between that and the anesthesia... it was stupor city for our super hero.

Needless to say, having only one dog in the house from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday was beyond weird... especially since the gates blocking the up and down stairs didn't need to be put up. We've always joked that Tinker loves Virginia and Virginia tolerates Tinker. But even Virginia was showing signs of wondering what was up in the afternoon. She was more restless than usual, as if she might be wondering, "Where's that guy who keeps licking my head?"

We picked Tink up at the vet around 4 in the afternoon, after they had observed him for several hours. He came running right up to us, his usual happy self. That lasted about two minutes and then he was back in a fog.

Each time he would wake up from a nap on Saturday, he wasn't quite "there" right away. Being true to his Beagle nature, he did have his appetite though.

But thankfully his fog has lifted and our now 11-year-old boy is back home where he belongs. :) We haven't gotten any of his complimentary nose licks (our nose, his tongue), but he has given us a couple of hand baths.

Thankfully it doesn't affect his chewing since the front and back teeth are responsible for that, but it's kind of hard to gnaw on a soft rubber Kong bone without the canines. It's also good he isn't out seeking prey since they would be needed for that too. :)

Today, Sunday, he's about 90% back to normal. From Friday night until this morning, he didn't want to go for walks and was kind of stumbling when he walked around the house. His mouth is still a little swollen- you can see it on the bridge of his nose- but it's much better than two days ago.

One thing we noticed right away is the disappearance of something we've taken to refer to as "Boo breath" (Based on his nicknames "Boo" and "Boo Boo"). Tinker always had a distinctive mouth odor that wasn't bad, but kind of distinctive. You always knew when he was licking something or someone, because you could smell it. The smell is gone and replaced with a nice fresh scent. We have to admit that in a weird way we will miss it... but we're happy he has clean teeth and the baddies were removed. :) Happy birthday, little man. We love you!!

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