DOG DENTISTRY

 

Due to another recent experience with vet hospitals and, in particular, dog dentistry, I decided to write some tips to help others.

 

dog dentistry

Musik checking in for surgery.

My main lesson is to make sure you can trust your vet.  If your gut is saying “no” or “I’m not sure”,  then don’t settle!

Here is our story….

 

Musik had to be put under anesthesia in order for the doctor to do an x-ray to determine what they need to do.  This means that, unlike most surgery, we don’t even know what the surgery will be beforehand.  Talk about having to trust!

 

If they determined her gray tooth (the one right above mommy’s thumb in the 2nd pic) was dead, they would pull it. They also needed to see if there were impacted teeth where she had 2 teeth missing. And if they are there, they had to surgically remove them too. We were hoping they’d say nothing’s wrong, and it turned out just to be a teeth cleaning.

 

The lesson here that I want share is to make sure and get second and even third opinions if needed to ensure your dog is getting the best care with someone you trust.

 

We visited two other dental offices before this one. They either gave conflicting advice, or were impossible to reach to answer my questions. Neither of them made me feel like they were confident about what needed to get done. But I finally went to a 3rd dentist – Dr. Milinda Lommer from Aggie Animal Dental Center provided good answers and a consistent plan. She did surgery on my dog Kompis about 10 years ago when I chose her over 2 other doctors then as well. I was so pleased to find out she was still in practice!

 

Take your time when making decisions on your dog’s health. Get as many opinions as you need in order to feel comfortable. When I didn’t do this in 2017, and I allowed a dimwitted vet to do surgery on my 3 month old puppy Laff, they lost her before they even even started the surgery. (They most likely over drugged her.)

 

That’s another tip… Look for places that actually have licensed anesthesiologists when they are going to be doing surgery. The VCA in San Francisco does dozens of surgeries each week, and charges some of the highest prices for vet care in the nation, yet they did not provide an anesthesiologist.

 

Aggie has an anesthesiologist, which also made me feel safer about going there as opposed to the other 2 dog dentistry options.

 

Here is an article I wrote a couple years ago with more information to help people choose the best vet and emergency care: Choosing the Best Pet ER

 

It turns out that we saved a really rough future for Musik’s mouth by going with Aggie!

 

 

dog dentistry

Musik with Dr Milinda Lommer after her successful surgery.

Here’s how the dog dentistry surgery went….

 

Musik came out quite dazed, and had some accidents in her bed on the drive home and then a few more times at home. Her bladder just released without her control.  The Dr. said that the combo of meds they used has caused this in other dogs, so that made me feel better.

 

They had to remove the tooth up front that was dead:

dog dentistry
Musik's dead tooth - above my thumb
dog dentistry
After surgery. Tooth gone.

AND – by using some great new technology (https://www.anatomage.com/invivo/), they were able to see that an abscess was forming on one of her far, far back teeth, so they had to remove that too.

 

This image below includes a circle to show where the little hole was where the abscess was starting.

(Want to see all the pics, x-rays & 3D images?  Click here: https://tinyurl.com/musikteeth    I am impressed that they share this much info directly with their clients.  She also had digital pics available 10 years ago for Kompis’ surgery. Top notch!)

 

dog dentistry

3D image that showed what X-ray alone could not.

 

Without this technology – which none of the other dog dentist offices has or uses – they would not have known to remove this tooth.

 

That means it would have gotten more and more infected until Musik demonstrated that she was in enough pain that she’d have to be taken back in (for more surgery).  By then, other teeth and her jaw bone could also have become infected.  So this was a wonderful catch!

 

dog dentistry

Dr Lommer comforts Musik during post op consult.

 

So, a big “thank you” to Dr Lommer and her team at Aggie Dental!  It’s nice to know that there are still competent, caring veterinary professionals out there.

 

Do your due diligence and find the best vet for your dog too!

 

dog dentistry meds

Look for our published article on the overuse of dog meds in May 2019 “Bay Woof” magazine.