Yesterday was the day that Ernie and Hazel finally went in for their dental appointments at the vets after a long, stressful few months of testing and ultrasounds. Seems like a bit overkill just to get their teeth cleaned and removed but with Ernie's heart murmur and both of them showing increases in liver enzymes way above normal we wanted to make sure that they would both be safe under anesthesia.
I never know how far to take testing and I feel incredibly guilty that I didn't catch Foyle's kidney issue in time for us to treat him so now I just feel more informed if we take precautions. One of Foyle's vets did a surgery when he was a puppy without results from a blood test because their machine wasn't working and I was too ignorant at the time to question his procedure, so please don't do any surgery unless you have a full blood test done and question using any vet that would proceed without one. (This particular vet I no longer trust or go to anymore!) A healthy looking dog may not be healthy on the inside.
My sister thinks that my vet clinic "sees a sucker coming" when I come in with my dogs but I really do believe they (4 Seasons Animal Hospital) has the best team and the best facility around the bay area. There were 6 vets and technicians with each dog yesterday, their critical care team, and the ICU team were ready in case anything went wrong with Ernie's procedure.
You know what the worst thing about yesterday was? Signing the DNR on Ernie's form. I hesitated for over a minute because I felt like I didn't value him as much as the others by signing that, but I knew that at 15.5 years it might be the best thing for him not to suffer and for his little body to have more damage coming out than going into in. So, I cheated a bit and signed off on resuscitating him with a financial limit and the vet and I talked about it before they brought him back. It's nice to have a frank conversation so they know exactly where you are coming from emotionally and financially.
In the end Ernie had 6 teeth removed, Hazel had her fractured tooth removed, and both had a thorough dental cleaning. Moral of the story is to always, always brush your dog's teeth instead of relying on a dental chew treat to do it! You will do a better job at cleaning and you'll be able to catch any issues with their teeth or gums in time before it causes more damage.