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Update: Old dog had tooth extraction; doing well

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  • Update: Old dog had tooth extraction; doing well

    My 11 year old greyhound lab mix has a painful lump below his eye.
    Vet diagnosed a cracked infected tooth.
    She put him on antibiotics and is going to review his bloodwork from September before scheduling an extraction.

    Besides being part greyhound, he has pulmonary fibrosis.
    I am very worried about anesthesia.
    Can anyone help set my mind at ease?

    He's getting it done now.
    Waiting to hear from them.
    Last edited by Paddys Mom; Jan. 5, 2012, 10:13 PM. Reason: Update

  • #2
    My recent shelter acquisition border collie had a cracked tooth. No infection, thankfully--ut it was a pretty nasty crack on the backside of one of his lower front incisors. They discovered it when I took him in a week or two after pulling him for a teeth cleaning.

    He was under anesthesia and did just fine. He was a little groggy afterwards, but was back to normal within a few hours of bringing him home. Gave him water in the evening (dental work was in the morning), held food off until the next day. The tooth socket itself had a tiny little bit of blood drainage later that evening, but only a little fleck or two. Healed up very nicely and hasn't had any trouble since.

    Granted, my boy is a little younger and has no underlying conditions (that we're aware of), but a tooth extraction is still a fairly straightforward procedure. So hoping for an uneventful procedure and a quick recovery for your boy!
    The Western Adventures of Loki, a Florida Swampdog in Los Angeles


    • #3
      Our senior great dane had to have a a tooth removed right after Thanksgiving last year. The front of the tooth had just sheered off! As a result, she had really bad breath and the tooth was very infected.

      She was just fine, even with her high liver function values. I brought her to the vet office in the morning and picked her up in the early evening. She was eating like a champ the next day (gave her really mushy food for a few days though). Honestly I think she felt A LOT better after the tooth removal because the next day because she was her sassy old self. She even got in trouble a few times.

      Your beloved poochy should be just fine.
      Last edited by TheHotSensitiveType; Dec. 15, 2011, 04:56 PM. Reason: typo


      • #4
        My dog was a 13 year old Min. Schnauzer, and one morning I looked over at him, and he had blood and gunk running down his face. It was an infected tooth, and it kept going until it hit soft tissue. I darned near had heart failure on the spot. I took him right to the vet's office, and they said it was an abcessed tooth, and the only remedy was full anesthesia, and he weathered the surgery just fine.
        You can't fix stupid-Ron White


        • #5
          My 10-year-old heeler had to have a tooth removed last year. There was no infection, but he broke it out partially in a fight with my neighbors' dogs who were harassing our livestock. He went through the anesthesia and everything just fine.

          When I was a kid we had a 12 year old Lab have a tooth removed. He had some heart issue as well, but I don't remember what it was because I was only 12 when he died. IIRC there was some infection in the tooth, but he had no complications and lived another 3 years after the surgery. I only remember it so vividly because I remember my mom was really worried but trying to hide it from us kids. Still, a Lab dying at 15 is nothing to sneeze at. We only got him when he was 8 or 9 too, and before that he'd been a stray. In fact, he had to have his spleen removed at 9 or 10 and came through that just fine too, and that's a much bigger surgery than a tooth extraction.

          There is increased risk when putting an old dog under, but it by no means guarantees that they're going to have complications. For something like this it has to be done. I'll be jingling that things go smoothly, but I wouldn't fret too much (well, I would because I'm not Spock, but you know what I mean ).
          exploring the relationship between horse and human


          • Original Poster

            Oh thanks...you guys are great!
            He is my buddy...velcro dog.
            I am feeling a little better too because the vet was all over his potential issues before I could open my mouth.



            • #7
              You are anxious about putting your greyhound under anaesthetic but an experienced vet will know how to deal with that. Our beloved greyhound had such a foul mouth the vet - over three years - took out all her teeth. She was a new dog. Her coat improved, she was not swallowing all that bacteria and fighting it. She managed fine on her normal kibble.

              Then our 15 year old daschie had awful teeth and I did not want to put him under because I imagined it would be tough on him., Not so, our vet said, the numbers are good. So he lost all his teeth, too, and boy, did hed perk up. Lived another two years, healthy and happy and not stinky.

              Attending to teeth is the best thing we can do for our dogs, so don't worry.
              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


              • #8
                i know Sighthounds are sensitive to certain Anesth. But i am sure your vet knows all about it. Can they just give the dog some lidocaine and pull the tooth?


                • #9
                  My heeler/lab mix (35 pounds) cracked off the top part of her bottom canine tooth at age 10. I decided to do a root canal to try to save the tooth...put a crown on it and she was good for 2 years. Then the tooth cracked below the gum line somehow and was abscessing. She then went through the extraction at 12 years old. Doing just fine. She loved her special diet after both proceedures..wet dog food blended with jar gravy.

                  I hope your pooch feels better soon! I think we all as dog owners can relate to the fear of a problem like this.


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
                    i know Sighthounds are sensitive to certain Anesth. But i am sure your vet knows all about it. Can they just give the dog some lidocaine and pull the tooth?
                    I asked about a local but she said the tooth is in there too good.

                    You are all making me feel much better about this.
                    I can't imagine the pain and lousiness he must feel with this tooth. He still amazingly eats his grain-free kibble with no problem. I have added some pumpkin since he is on antibiotics. He loves the pumpkin.

                    He is blissfully happy today because I am home sick. He loves sick days. We are snuggling in my recliner. Yes, my 62 pound leggy greyhound mix lays in my single-person recliner with me.

                    I am impressed with the vet. It was the first time I had seen this particular vet at that clinic and I will continue to go to her. She was thorough. She also immediately identified the potential complications ("He is part greyhound, isn't he?" And after listening with a stethoscope, "Does he sometimes pant hard at night?"). I explained all the testing we had done at another vet's office for the respiratory stuff and she offered to phone that vet and pass on info if I chose to have that vet perform the extraction.

                    Also, he was grumbly because he was in pain and didn't know the vet but she let me hold him and open his mouth for her examination. I want everyone to be safe and I wouldn't hesitate to put a muzzle on so everyone feels safe, but she realized that for Cody, the best way was for his trusted owner to handle him.


                    • Original Poster

                      Oh it is the furthest molar, way back there. The tooth has a crack in the middle but does not wiggle. His gums around the tooth are red and bruised looking and swollen.


                      • #12
                        While there are definitely risks involved - age, breed, etc., etc. - what's the alternative? That infected tooth has to hurt like all get-out & will most likely get worse, not better. In addition, infections like that - just as with humans - can spread to other organs, including the heart & the brain.

                        I'd definitely take the risks.


                        • #13
                          I think your risks are miminal since the history is known. We do emergency surgeries on old dogs ALL the time. Good monitoring is important, but rarely do we run into complications if we are prepared.

                          Yesterday we removed part of the heart from a 14 year old cocker spaniel. Crazy...yes, but owners wanted to proceed (he likely has hemangiosarcoma if the right auricle). Came out of surgery like it was a neuter

                          Preparedness is key, as is a good technician to monitor the anesthesia. Dental extractions are very routine and millions of critical patients come through anesthesia with no problems.

                          Your pup will be happy to have the tooth out

                          Unless you go to a VERY old school vet, the new anesthetics that are used are fine with sitehounds. Sighthounds are particularly sensitive to Pentobarbitol and Halothane. I havent seen either used in my entire career, they are so old. Isofluorane is much safer, and propofol inductions shouldnt have any ill effects on any sighthound. A CO2 and SpO2 monitor is wonderful for those patients with a history of respiratory issues - that way we can know exactly how much oxygen they are saturating with and how much Co2 they are producing.


                          • #14
                            I can give you good reasons to do it, even if it is for a cat story

                            My kitty Murphy, last year, at age 17, broke part of one of his fangs off last summer. The tooth pulp was coming out and I, too, was so scared at the thought of surgery on an elderly pet.

                            I went to the specialy animal surgery place here it town (where my vet referred me) and becuse he is so horrible at the vet, they did the evaluation, consult, and surgery all on the same day. That place had its own anesthesiology team and I felt scared still but better about the outcome. Instead of keeping him overnight (which I wish could have happened), I took him home that evening. Within a week, he was completely back to himself, in spite of having almost all his teeth removed (he had resorptive lesions on most of his teeth).

                            He felt SO much better not having mouth pain. It was definitely worth it!
                            ~* Be kind to one another *~


                            • #15
                              My older dog (12ish) had surgery this year, and I was worried about the anesthesia too, because of her age. I did a lot of research, went with the surgeon over my regular vet (who reccomended that b/c of my dog being older and me being me) and asked the tech, who acted as the anaesthesiologist many questions, and even found a video online of the drug they were going to use on my dog. So I was very, very hyper and frightened, and it took a lot of working through it for me to feel comfortable dropping her off for surgery. The vets were all wonderful about it. And best of all, my dog did great.

                              One of the online sites I found was The Senior Dog Project. This paragraph was particularly helpful:

                              There's always a risk when your dog must undergo a procedure that involves anesthesia. If your vet says your dog needs anesthesia, be certain the office is fully equipped with anesthetic monitors: a pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor, and ECG. A "pulse oximeter" is especially important because it alerts the vet if the dog's blood oxygen level falls below the safe limit. One type of anesthesia that is recommended for older dogs is "isoflurane," an inhalation-type anesthesia that is quickly eliminated from the dog's body once inhalation stops.



                              • #16
                                Ditto what Squish said.

                                And I don't mean to sound depressing or blunt, but my bedside manner is worn out after this week. Had to help a client euth her dog the day before she buried her (human) brother.

                                So, at this point, you have a decision to make. Sure anesthesia is a risk, but the chances are good he will pull through like a champ. And he can't live with the tooth the way it is, so really your choice becomes to give it a shot or not. With an abcessed tooth, or dental disease that bad, a cleaning is no longer considered an "elective" surgery. However, I would make sure it is scheduled with a clinic that does lots of dentals, with DIGITAL x-rays, and ask them to radiograph/pull any questionable teeth. I would rather do one hour long dental and pull 4 teeth, than do one 45 min dental each year for 3 years to pull one tooth.

                                Vet Tech

                                P.S. Our blood donor greyhounds LOOOVE their torbutrol/dexdomitor before doantions for pain/sedation
                                You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!


                                • Original Poster

                                  Oh he is certainly having the extraction done...I didn't mean to imply I was trying to decide on whether to do it.

                                  I was just looking for reassurance that he should be fine.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Originally posted by Horsegal984 View Post
                                    However, I would make sure it is scheduled with a clinic that does lots of dentals, with DIGITAL x-rays, and ask them to radiograph/pull any questionable teeth. I would rather do one hour long dental and pull 4 teeth, than do one 45 min dental each year for 3 years to pull one tooth.

                                    Vet Tech

                                    P.S. Our blood donor greyhounds LOOOVE their torbutrol/dexdomitor before doantions for pain/sedation
                                    Thank you for the suggestions!
                                    I will make sure they check all the teeth before starting and I will ask what sedation they plan to use and what monitoring they do.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      I dropped him off this morning and he should be under right around now.
                                      Biting my nails and waiting for a phone call.


                                      • #20
                                        Keeping fingers crossed for your boy !