This blog may be a guilt-free zone, but I also try to be honest here. In the interests of providing a cautionary tale… let the self-flagellation begin.
In honor of National Pet Dental Health Month, I recently blogged about how essential it was to get your dog’s teeth checked professionally, especially small dogs who are prone to periodontal disease. I didn’t mention that, although professional care is important, your dog’s teeth need to be brushed too.
I didn’t mention it because I hadn’t been doing it and I felt terrible.
I had abundant excuses. My favorite: I knew I needed to get Frankie’s teeth cleaned at the vet and brushing would have been ineffective in removing the tartar buildup before then.We’re talking extended procrastination. When I was at the vet this past September, he stressed that it was time for a professional cleaning. But it wasn’t until discounts were offered during this Pet Dental Health month that I felt I could afford it.
And it wasn’t until I finally made the appointment that I looked around Frankie’s mouth. Which is when noticed this thing on his gum, under his upper lip.
It wasn’t small, but it was white and looked like an infection, so I decided not to stress about it. Too much. But I made a pre-cleaning appointment with my vet in case Frankie might need a round of antibiotics.
The vet didn’t go along with my infection diagnosis — although he didn’t rule it out. He did rule out the scary types of cancer like melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. And although a biopsy was required, he said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the unidentified object’s removal — under anesthesia during the cleaning — would take care of the problem, whatever it was. But he said, “In the mouth and anus you always have to be concerned.”
So I’m officially concerned.
The cleaning and biopsy will take place on March 2. Send good vibes, healing mojo… whatever you believe in. I’ll report back.
Now that I’ve convinced you — I have, haven’t I? — that you need to brush your dog’s teeth, here’s a demonstration: