Dog Dental Update, or “The Flying House Marathon”

I’m sure you’ve been waiting with bated breath (ba-dump-bump) to hear what’s happening with Barnum’s health. Here’s the update!

I spoke with the vet yesterday morning, and even though Barnum’s white blood cell count is basically normal, given how his breath smells and that she palpated swelling in an area of his gums, she believes he has an infection. So Barnum is on a two-week course of clindamycin. I agree with her assessment and am glad that it’s finally being treated.

I really like Barnum’s vet. She’s been very accommodating about my disabilities, and she answers all my questions. She was also very flexible about helping me find the cheapest option for Barnum’s medication. In my experience, antibiotics are cheaper when purchased from a drugstore than through a veterinarian. The vet wasn’t sure though, so she told me the dosage and what she charges, and then I called my pharmacy to find out how much it would cost through them. It was $29 through the pharmacy and $85 through the vet! So I asked the vet to call it in to the pharmacy. She honestly hadn’t known what the difference would be.

Meanwhile, Barnum has an appointment on Friday, May 24, for dental x-rays with a different vet — the one who has the special dental x-ray machine. That was the soonest appointment we could get. But at least the blood work is done now, which is necessary before general anesthesia. And I’ve also started submitting claims to Trupanion, his health insurance company because the costs since February — when I started pursuing this problem — will likely surpass Barnum’s deductible.

I’m actually really curious what the cause of the problem will turn out to be. I’m tempted to start a pool! Is that weird?

What are our options? Retained puppy teeth? Fractured root? Abscess?

I’m not trying to be callous. I’ve been really worried, but now that we’re finally on the road to some sort of diagnosis and treatment I’m feeling more hopeful and curious. There’s this mystery about what’s lurking beneath the gumline, and I want to knows what it is, you know? (This is probably an indicator that it’s well past time to stop my marathon of watching the last four seasons of House.)

What do you think? Anyone want to place any bets in the comments?

P.S. This is my first post that I’ve written with Dragon (speech recognition software). Hopefully I’ve caught any weird speakos. Sometimes they really entertaining, and I’m tempted to leave them in, such as when I had above, “come to my flying house marathon.”


Dog Dental Update, or “The Flying House Marathon” — 9 Comments

  1. glad to hear you might finally have an answer to Barnum’s dental issue.

    the final season of House was wild, I should really see if I can get a hold of the earlier seasons because I only really watched the final few. It would be interesting to watch it from the beginning.

  2. That’s progress about Barnum! I’m not a gamblin’ girl, but very interested to see what’s the matter. Hope he is feeling better soon and your stress can be relieved.

  3. It certainly sounds like an infection of some sort–hope he is feeling better soon! Our first border collie had a crack in a tooth early in his life that gave him some problems–the pulp was even showing! The tooth had to be removed. Not very noticeable, but it gave him rapid improvement in his health.

    You’ve taught me to watch for bad doggy breath. My dog’s breath smells sweet and clean right now and we brush/give toys that clean but it would be easy for me to slide into dismissing “doggy breath” rather than questioning the change.

    • It’s so encouraging to get this comment. Thank you!

      I sometimes think I post about things that seem strange or perhaps TMI for many people, but I often do it because I think other people are not writing about it, or aware of it. I think “dog breath” is in this category of something people think is normal, and as a result dogs who are sick or in pain are not receiving treatment.

      So your comment is exactly the kind of thing that encourages me to keep writing about these “weird” subjects — because it supports my belief that it will make a difference.

      Two of the other posts I’ve done that I thought were “weird” in some ways (pretty unusual) were my posts about how to check your dog for ticks and Jewish ritual for grieving a dog. The tick-checking one gets more hits than any other post I’ve written (dozens of hits a day), and the Jewish grieving page gets a few visits every day. So, there’s something to be said for talking about what nobody else is talking about, I guess!

  4. I am glad you have such a great vet. My experience- antibiotics are always cheaper at a pharmacy They buy larger quantities for one thing, but I know my previous vet who was horrible when it came to saving me money admitted to padding RX prices significantly.
    That said-
    I’m glad they are addressing the infection before surgery. That is so important.
    I wonder about a small shard of bone having imbedded itself. With the issues he had with the raw diet feeding during puppyhood it just makes me think that way. I hope I am wrong and its something more typical though grin

    • Yeah, it’s taken quite a bit of shopping around to find a vet I like (since I moved away from Gadget’s vet). Barnum’s vet is new to the area.
      I will feel awful if there is a bone shard from Barnum’s adolescence! That would mean he’s had this problem for almost three years! Let’s hope it’s something easily remediable and something for which I’m not at fault. Eek.

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