Another Saturday at The Family Vet (Continued from part 1...)
The pit puppy had a large bone stuck in the back of his mouth! Suddenly, as if aggravated by Dr. Tran's exam, he struggled vigorously against Elisabeth's restraint in an effort to paw at his mouth again and again. He was clearly in discomfort and the situation, while not a medical emergency per se, nevertheless demanded immediate action. Dr. Tran administered a combination drug to sedate the thrashing panicked pit bull.
Mindful that a sedated patient can still chomp down on her fingers, Dr. Tran carefully extracted the marrow bone that was wedged around the upper molar. Even though the bone had punctured the gingiva and caused an open wound, the tooth itself appeared undamaged. The wound was flushed and antibiotic and pain medication were administered. A much more comfortable pit puppy soon recovered from the sedation and was once again wagging his happy tail. Throughout the procedure we remained in awe of the pit's happy attitude.
The next day we received a welcome update from Hoover's owner; he was much more himself and was continuing to improve. The owner kept lamenting that she had given Hoover a carrot; we recommended, as we generally do, that it's a good idea to check with your veterinarian before altering your pet's diet, and that if you do, it's best to monitor him or her for at least the first few times to make sure they're tolerating the change. Most dogs would not have any problems with some carrots. Hoover just happened to be sensitive to it, or his hyperactivity prior to eating chunks of carrots upset his stomach. Regardless, she had the right instinct in calling us and bringing him in (even though it was "just one vomit"), thereby preventing a possibly serious situation from occurring.
When she finally picked up the pit (now named "Harry"), his new owner was surprised to see him so clean. Dr. Tran and Jon had taken the time to give Harry a much needed sponge bath. The swelling on the right side of his face, and the redness in his eye, were both already nearly gone. Now much cleaner, well-fed, and having that bone taken out (and gotten lots of hugs, love and affection throughout) Harry's experience was a reminder to all: NEVER give your pet bones --- unless you are willing to accept the consequences which may include intestinal perforation, obstruction, fractured teeth, gastroenteritis, and, as in Harry's case, a bone wedged around your tooth.
Sadly, two-and-a-half weeks after we found her abandoned in an empty tissue box in the parking lot, the orphan puppy died this past Saturday morning. Her's, Harry's, and Hoover's experiences reminds us of the frailty of life, and of the responsibility and commitment that comes with accepting a companion into our lives.