Nothing but the tooth

About 4:30 a.m. last Tuesday Dudley turned up his nose at a carrot. Dudley loves carrots and has never let one lay uneaten. He went outside and came back in and even though I had a knot of fear in my belly, I did go back to sleep until it was time to get up for work. Dudley didn’t eat much of his breakfast and I decided to work from home to keep an eye on him. I could tell his arthritis was bothering him, so I gave him his pain meds on the 8 hour schedule instead of the usual 10 hours. I made him some rice and he gobbled that which made me feel better and on Wednesday he seemed like his normal self, although he wasn’t eating much of his dry kibble and he was drinking more water than usual.

Thursday I could tell he wasn’t feeling good, he didn’t even eat rice until I bribed him by adding some broth. I had been emailing the vet and she advised me to get an appointment the next morning. When I picked up Dudley’s food dish to wash it, I noticed some blood in the bowl as if he bit his tongue or scraped his gum, or had a bad tooth. I stuck my hand in his mouth and looked around but didn’t see anything but pink gums and there was no blood on my hands but the possibility his lethargy might be due to a bad tooth lifted my spirits.

Aunt Nantz shows of Dudley’s pearly whites!

I took Dudley to see Dr. Szabo at Hidden Valley Animal Hospital at 9:00 a.m. Friday. Sure enough, he had a temperature of 103.4 degrees. Normal for dogs is between 101-102 degrees, so the temperature indicates the presence of infection, which could be an abscessed tooth. It also explains why he was drinking more water than usual. Dr. Szabo put a rush on the blood work and I took Dudley home and gave him his prescribed antibiotic then went to work. Dr. Szabo called me later that afternoon with the good news that aside from an elevated white blood cell count (which indicates infection), his blood tests were all great. So we are continuing treatment assuming he has an abscessed tooth.

Handsome and feelin’ fine!

I stocked up on canned food and he’s gobbled every bit of what I served him. By Sunday, his water consumption was back to normal, but he’s still leaving quite a bit of kibble in his dish. He seems to be feeling better and he’s eating carrots again. The knot of fear that has been in my stomach since Tuesday morning is going away. Call me paranoid, but when your dog is 14 and ailing, you tend to wonder if this is the end with every little difference in routine. Thankfully for us, it seems we have dodged another bullet. Take care of your dog’s teeth and if he stops eating and starts drinking more water than normal, consider that he might have a fever and schedule an appointment with the vet. Dudley will be going back to the vet tomorrow for a bath and I’ll have them check his temperature again, but he really does seem like his old self now.

The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.  ~Author Unknown




About Shoeful of Drool

I lived with a golden retriever/German shepherd mix named Dudley. Dudley was a rescue from Hurricane Floyd and he lived with me from October 1999 until he passed away in December 2012. In January 2001, Zoe a black & tan hound mix came to live with us until she died in June 2011. I truly believe having dogs has made me a better person. Every single day these dogs still give me something to laugh about and I hope by sharing these stories you can laugh, too.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Nothing but the tooth

  1. Great advice, Mandi. Hope Dudley is feeling much better!

    • I took him back today for a previously scheduled bath, and Dr. Szabo said his temp was 103 but that could be from the stress/excitement of being at the vet’s. At least it’s almost half a degree lower and he’s not guzzling water like he was last week. He’s glad to be home.

  2. Nancy Catalano Dill says:

    I feel honored to have my picture posted with my handsome and furry friend Dudley! I hope he continues to improve and shakes the nasty infection pronto!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s