Pearly Whites

Earlier this week Kali had her world rocked!  I think her brain short circuited for a short time evidenced by a few puffs of smoke billowing from her ears.

The morning started out normal enough:  rise and shine at sun-up, head downstairs and go outside to take care of “business”, dad freshens the water bowls, come back in, perform histrionics while dad fills the bowl with kibble, and eat breakfast.  But the bowl never came out and the kibble remained locked tight in the magic container.

Kali had a teeth cleaning scheduled for that morning at 8:30 am.  Because she would be receiving anesthesia she couldn’t eat anything.    So as I got my coffee and sat at the table to read the sports section all Kali could do was stare at me -indignantly- and wonder why I was not going into the closet to fill her bowl with kibble.  As I sat down I could swear her head did a few Scooby-Doo-like swivels as her lips uttered, “Wha…?”    To Kali’s credit she settled down quickly, stopped doing double takes towards the closet, and laid at my feet as I drank coffee and read the paper.

I brush Kali’s teeth regularly, often,…. I should be better about brushing Kali’s teeth.  She’s relatively tolerant of my gauze wrapped finger in her mouth mostly because it’s slathered in liver flavored tooth paste (yum, right?).  The biscuit interludes as rewards for being patient are also appreciated.   So I should be better and more disciplined about brushing Kali’s teeth.  When we changed vets earlier this year and Dr. Brenda was checking Kali’s teeth I say something like, “I’ve been brushing them often and they look pretty good, right?”.  Brenda says, “Well the front teeth look pretty good”, and then she pulls back her lips (Kali’s lips, not her own) to expose the molars and says, “but back here she has some pretty bad gingivitis.  You should get her in soon for a teeth cleaning”.  So we got her in for the cleaning last week….

Later in the afternoon I go back to pick up Kali with great anticipation of what will surely be her pearly white teeth and a happy dog hungry and anxious use those pearly whites to chomp into a biscuit or two as a warm up for dinner.

Have you ever gone in for an oil change for your car and when you come back to pick it up the service advisor meets you at the door and says something like, “The front end is out of alignment and you have an emissions error on the computer.  We’ll need to do some more diagnostics to see exactly what’s needed.  It’s safe to drive for now but you’ll want to have these repairs done soon”.

Dr. Brenda comes out to greet me saying, “Everybody always get’s nervous when the vet comes out to talk to you, but don’t worry Kali is just fine”.  I have to admit that when Brenda came out I thought something was up and began processing: if something had gone bad they would have called me, Kali’s ok, but why is Brenda here and not just the tech to say thanks and see you next time?…

Brenda explained to me that the ECG picked up Arrhythmia – abnormal heart rhythm – while Kali was anesthetized. More specifically, Premature Ventricular Complexes (PVC).  PVCs, for those of you with inquiring minds, [from Wikipedia] “are characterized by a premature ventricular contraction without a preceding P wave, with a duration of more than 0.12 seconds (P waves dissociated from the QRS complex)”. OK – now I’m doing a Scooby-Doo double take, “Wha….”.

Brenda went on to say that Kali was fine throughout the procedure and never in any danger.  Her oxygen saturation was well within normal limits and she showed no signs of distress.  Still, Brenda being conservative and not wanting to take any chances will speak with a Cardiologist about Kali’s PVC. I also learned that Kali has a cracked incisor and also has a molar that is separated from the jawbone.  Yikes!  Another “procedure” that will preempt breakfast… But before the extractions we’ll need to make sure the heart is good and that the combination of anesthesia and the PVC is not a risk.  That’s where the cardiologist comes in.  Dr. Brenda says it could be nothing, or something that is very treatable, but she doesn’t like to leave anything to chance.  This is why we like Dr. Brenda and the great care Kali gets at Livermore Country Pet Hospital.

The gingivitis is probably years in the making and the problem with the molar is likely related to that.  The cracked incisor is a mystery.  Kali has never exhibited any pain or discomfort while eating but then again, she’s a Golden and she’s Kali; never complaining and always wanting to please.   She may or may not be in any pain when she eats but we may never know.  Dogs have a great way of adapting to their environment and as an owner it can be easy to become complacent.

Oh yeah, and the PVC… Dr. Brenda will be calling this week after she hears from the Cardiologist and we’ll go from there.  Meanwhile, guess who will be jumping head first into research about PVC, causes, and treatments?  On the other hand it is what it is and maybe we’ll just sit tight and wait to hear from the experts before we get too much education on something that could be nothing.  Paws crossed!

Hey - those molars look real nice now but what's up with the sweat band on your leg?

Hey – those molars look real nice now but what’s up with the sweat band on your leg?

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Woof!

1 Comment

It is so easy to get caught up in Googling these things but then you have to determine the credibility of the information that you are presented with! Giving the ultimate bill that you are no doubt going to get, and given all the time that vets have spent study these things (and not to mention all the additional resources that they have available to them) my preference is to wait and get the benefit of their expertise first (after all, that is what we are paying them for). 🙂

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