It was a rough day for The Harper Girl. She had her teeth cleaned.
On her last routine visit, the veterinarian suggested I have her teeth cleaned. I had never done that with a dog before but her Other Dad and I both survive the experience twice a year so I thought; why not?
I quickly learned that cleaning a dog’s teeth is a much more elaborate procedure than the human equivalent.
- It requires general anesthesia.
- Advance blood tests are needed to ensure she has no infections
- She has to fast for 12 hours before the procedure.
The last time she had a general anesthetic was when she was spayed. That was before we adopted her but I doubt she looks back on the experience with fondness. She doesn’t love giving blood but she’s as much a trooper about it as anyone.
Fasting on the other hand; this won’t do! While I am happy to say Harper is quite trim and fit, fasting is not a concept with which she is familiar. She is accustomed to having the food dish available at all times and to getting treats whenever she sits in front of the pantry door and stares at us.
But, we are good parents so I got her blood tests last week which were fine. At 7:30 PM yesterday I put her dish away and turned a cruel and calloused eye to all her requests for treats. This morning I took her to the vet at 7:30 AM and signed the forms acknowledging she might die during the procedure.
The doctor called a couple of hours later to say all had gone fine. She was in recovery and I could pick up after 1:00.
She seemed OK when I picked her up; a little groggy perhaps but happy to see me and eager to leave. When I got her home she pretty went to right to sleep.
The technician said to restrict water for a few hours to reduce risk of post anesthesia vomiting. I could give her small amounts of water or ice cubes but not her usual water dish. Also, I should moisten her food tonight as her mouth might be a little tender.
All of that, plus the price tag of several hundred dollars lead me to conclude that tooth brushing should be a more frequent part of our weekly routine going forward. I wonder if I can get her to sit still for Sonicare?