I wish I knew why Greyhounds were genetically predetermined to have emergencies on a holiday weekend after the vet’s office has closed for the weekend. Something makes me think they struck some kind of unholy deal with Mr. Murphy and his crazy laws. This weekend it was our turn.
If you are a fan of our Facebook page, you know that Blueberry took a trip to the emergency vet this weekend. Saturday afternoon as we were preparing to go out and have some fun with a couple of the dogs and run some errands, my husband walked into the bathroom and mentioned that we might want to get a vet appointment for Blueberry. I asked why and was told that her face was swelling.
I went into the living room and was stunned to see a lump about the size of a grape on her lip. As I gingerly looked into her mouth, it looked like her gums were starting to swell up around her teeth, too. It was swelling up rather quickly, so my husband began calling vets. Soon, it was obvious that all normal vets were closed. We called the emergency vet and told them that we were soon on our way. Bunny came along for moral support since she tends to make Blueberry feel better in the van.
We arrived at the clinic, Blueberry hopped on a scale to be weighed and we went into a room. She had her temperature taken and we answered a couple of questions the vet techs asked us. A few minutes later, the vet came in, looked at her and could barely tell where the problem was. I pointed out that one side of her face was swollen and she agreed. Then she told us that they don’t do dental work at the clinic and she’d give us antibiotics and pain medicine for her. That was all for the bargain price of $205. I guess we were just supposed to hope that the problem didn’t get worse, since I was suspicious that she had an abscess.
Sunday, the swelling did start to go down and Blue wasn’t acting stressed or in pain. I was very relieved, to say the least. Still, as soon as I got up Monday morning, I made a phone call to our vet and started getting ready so I could take our old lady dog in to be looked at. We got there and walked right into an exam room. After a consultation with the vet, it was confirmed that Blueberry needed dental work, and possibly a tooth extraction or two. I admit that it’s pretty much what I was expecting. For all the wonderful things there are about Greyhounds, they are notorious for having bad teeth, and I’ve been lax about tooth brushing in the past few months.
Then they brought in the bill, and it was time for me to need medical attention of my own. I talked to the office manager and agreed that we would make a payment plan. We also talked about what parts of the bill were absolutely necessary and what parts we could do without. After a bit of discussion, I realized that we could greatly reduce the bill, Blue’s anxiety and only need to have her under anesthesia once if we just had them take her back and do the procedure that day. Otherwise, it would mean having her sedated to have x-rays one day, then have her sedated again just a day or two later for the dental extraction and cleaning, plus, she’d have to ride over in the car twice, too. It also meant that we wouldn’t have to extend the antibiotics she was already on beyond the dose she’d already been given on Saturday.
So, I took a deep breath, tried not to think about having my thirteen-year-old Greyhound under anesthesia for too long and told them to get it done while she was there. I wanted her to feel better with the least amount of discomfort for her. The last time Blue was under anesthesia was in 2010, and she had a bad reaction to it. I left hoping that things were going to be much easier on her this time, and feeling like I’d made the right decision for her.
A few hours later, we got a call from the vet telling us that she thought two of Blue’s premolars were bad and I told her to take those puppies out. She assured me that so far things were going well and that they’d call us with any change or updates. Mr. Taleteller and I continued amusing ourselves in town while we waited for her to be ready to come home.
Finally, it was time to go and get our girl. We went in for a consultation with the vet and she had saved the two teeth that she’d pulled. One tooth had been cut in half to get it out, but the two teeth together were smaller than a penny. I admit, I expected them to be a lot bigger for all the grief they’d caused, but I’m glad they weren’t. The one definitely had a bad root and was going to cause more trouble and the other one had a root that was starting to look a little wrong, too. It means an easy recovery for Blue and just a few dissolving stitches in her mouth. She is also sporting a shiny new smile with breath as fresh as a peppermint.
I went into the whole experience thinking about what rotten timing Murphy had chosen to strike during, but the more I think about it, the more lucky I feel. It’s during my break from work, so I’ll be home to watch her while she recovers. We also caught it right in time so that nothing ruptured or went horribly wrong. Blueberry won’t have a long recovery time because of that. The bill also turned out to be much smaller than we initially feared. It might not mean that I’ll have to miss BlogPaws after all and fortunately we have a good relationship with our vet’s office so we can set up payment plans that way. So, the last laugh is on Murphy this time. He tried to get us, but we came out smelling like a rose, or at least minty fresh breath. Blueberry would like to send lots of thanks to everybody who wished her well on Facebook over the past few days, too!