Recently, I took Phoebe, my nine-year-old Boxer, to the
vet. Like with most elderly dogs her teeth and gums were a
problem. Like many other people, I had been postponing the
inevitable dental procedures until a better time would arise.
However, this past week I could no longer postpone the care. While
refilling her water bowl, I noticed blood in the water. I
also noticed drops of blood on the floor near the food bowl.
I looked inside her mouth and saw several growths that were
beginning to cover her teeth. Apparently, she had bitten one of
these growths. At that point I knew that I had to take Phoebe to
the veterinarian. I took her to her local vet the following morning
and he diagnosed her as having Gingival Hyperplasia, which is an
overgrowth of the gum tissue. The only treatment for this condition
is surgical removal of the growths. I asked the doctor if he could
also perform the dental cleaning after removing the masses
considering she would already be under anesthesia. I left Phoebe at
the vet's office for the day. When I picked her up later that
evening, the vet told me that the surgery had gone well. He
had used a laser and removed all of the masses around her teeth. He
also used a laser around her gum lines to try and prevent the
growths from reoccurring. Unfortunately, he was not able to clean
her teeth due to the amount of time that she was under anesthesia
for the mass removals. He sent her home with antibiotics and pain
medication and told me to give her rest and lots of TLC. It
has been several days now, and she is doing great. She is
eating better and is more playful, or at least as playful as a
nine-year-old dog could be. I am waiting awhile before sending her
back to have her teeth cleaned so that her mouth can properly heal.
Not only is Phoebe feeling better but I also learned a valuable
lesson from this experience. Although it is easy to get caught up
in day-to-day activities, some health issues shouldn't be delayed,
a lesson I will not forget to relate to my future clients.