Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Savvy's Tooth

For the morbidly curious, here is a picture of poor Savage's extracted canine tooth. Because it was so damaged already, the tooth broke in half during the beginning of the surgery. Dr. Hanson said it was badly infected and probably the worst case he's seen.
On a lighter note: Savvy's swollen nose returned to normal soon after I started giving him more aspirin, and is now acting like himself again. Yesterday he got his first post-surgery chicken back meal, which he ate without hesitation. Today we played fetch for a bit, and he had no problem carrying around his tennis ball. I've been giving him smaller doses of aspirin every day now, and he'll soon be done with the antibiotics. I'm hoping that this is the end of his dental problems.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Recovery Update

Yesterday morning we noticed right away that Savvy's entire right cheek and muzzle had become very swollen overnight. Prior to having the tooth extraction done, Savage was on a 7 day course of an antibiotic called Clavamox, and then cephalexin (500mg 3x per day). He finished the cephalexin yesterday morning, so I was advised to switch to another antibiotic (!) because the first two might not have been effective against this specific infection. Currently I am giving my dog 500mg of Ciprofloxacin 3x per day, and have upped his aspirin dosage to two regular strength buffered aspirin tablets 3x per day. He'll be completely done with medication on the January 21st, providing the swelling goes away and he's no longer in pain.
This morning his nose looked much better than yesterday (the picture above is from yesterday afternoon), and he seems almost back to normal. He's got lots of energy and wants to get outside and play, though the weather is not cooperating with his plans. He's eating his meals eagerly and will chew on a tennis ball if I allow him to. He doesn't seem to even notice, or care, that he's missing one of his big teeth.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tooth Extraction

Savage and I picked possibly the coldest day of the winter to drive 2 1/2 hours to the vet so his tooth extraction could be done. On the way I periodically let him out of the truck, hoping he would go to the bathroom before his appointment, but at -35 degrees Savvy hit the ground, turned around, and immediately leaped back in. Savvy went into surgery shortly after we arrived at the clinic so I didn't get a chance to stress him out further by crying and worrying. I did that as I left the clinic. But he was already very anxious; he had started shaking and trying to get back out of the room as soon as we got there. I've never seen him more nervous.
The extraction (and tooth-cleaning) didn't take long, and when I got back to the vet's office a little over 2 hours later, he was ready to go. That's not to say he was normal; Baby Dog was still coming out of the anesthesia and staggering when he walked. I thought I might need help to get him into the cab of the truck, but he was very relieved to be out of the clinic and I only had to help him get his back legs into the seat. The pictures in this post were taken on the drive home. I stopped often to check on him and see if he was agitated or in a lot of pain, but all he wanted to do was go back to sleep. Most of the time he spent resting his head on a pillow I placed on the truck's center console, with his butt on the seat and his front legs on the floor.
By the time we got home he was more awake, and anxious to get his dinner (I had not fed him since 8:00pm the night before, on doctor's orders). I was cautioned to only feed him a small amount of food that night, so he got a little fish and mashed sweet potato. Since his surgery on January 13th I have been giving him only soft foods; oatmeal, liver, lean ground beef, etc. His appetite returned to normal, though he was very thirsty. I had to allow him only a cup or so of water at a time, to minimize the possible risk of bloat if he were to gulp a lot of air into his stomach along with the water.
I was very optimistic about his recovery, since he was acting lethargic only that night and the next morning, and I had him on anti-biotics and small doses of aspirin. Everything was progressing smoothly until this morning. Overnight, his muzzle and lip had swelled up considerably, which had me quite worried. Having been on the phone with my breeder and my vet most of the morning, I have to save the rest of the story till later this afternoon, or even tomorrow, but I'm still optimistic and not as worried. Please check back later to for updates on my boy.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Savage And Kita

My puppy looks like he has my sister's german shepherd "in his sights". Photo credit: Laura Marxen.