I took my dog Ferguson to the vet for a dental prophylaxis today .
His vet is in Petsmart and even though he loves going to Petsmart, he doesn’t like going to the vet.
It was quite evident that this little guy knew exactly where he where he was headed because as soon as I set him down in the store he bolted and made his escape through the still open door and out to the parking lot. He was quick and this 4 pound power house drug me after him. I, of course took things in hand, laughing of course, and picked him up. He wasn’t counting on that.
The receptionist said that another patient, a very large German Shepard also came in reluctantly making it halfway through the store before realizing where he was going and sat down, refusing to budge. However, he was not a picking up size so the owner literally slid him across the floor to the vet. I guess I had it easy.
When you check in at the desk, the procedure is to have you sign all these releases, the usual people-type forms required for admission. One, was for something to pick up his heart rate should it drop during surgery; then there’s the consult (call) should they find he needs more than the intended work scheduled, in this case possible extractions.
So later when I got the call I wasn’t terribly surprised. I already knew Ferguson had bad teeth because when he first came to us via a tornado that hit Alabama several years ago (at least that’s what we surmised), he had been wandering the streets of town for several weeks eating garbage or whatever he could scavenge. I remember looking in his mouth and seeing his gum tissue and teeth in various stages of decay. That was three and a half years ago.
When we first found him, he was sitting on our doorstep looking like this… quite pitiful.
He could have been the poster child for one of those SPCA commercials. Big eyes, head cocked and patient. It was July and hot, so I put food and water out for him. On the third day, after much coaxing, he let my sister and I get near enough for me to pick him up, so we took him in. I tried not to get too attached as we determined to make a conscientious effort to find his rightful owner. It was apparent he had a pedigree of some kind so we were certain he had somehow gotten separated from his owners. As cute as he was I couldn’t imagine anyone deliberately dumping him.
Well we ran an ad in the paper for two months, took him to the vet to see if he had a chip, went to the various shelters and pounds, put up posters and checked online for displaced animals from the tornado, but nothing. Each day that passed I knew it was going to get harder to give him up even if it was the right thing to do. Finally, when I knew he was going to be mine, we made arrangements for shots and his first dental cleaning. At first it was awful, but they improved and the teeth that were loose recovered as his gums improved. I would periodically brush his teeth to keep them looking as good as I could. Still, there are issues.
We tried out various names when we first adopted him or him us. I called him “Spike” but my sister didn’t like that. I thought it was ironic. Then I went to “little bit” and finally after noticing his gravitation to the gardens of Ferguson’s florist, where he loved to go for his walk, my sister suggested the name Ferguson. We learned a few months later from some of the shop owners on the street, that he had been seen him hiding under the gazebo benches at Ferguson’s for weeks, but that no one had previously been able to get near him. Call it what you will, it was meant to be, his name and me his owner.
Needless to say, the vet called and wanted to recommend a few extractions. Central incisors (maxilla and mandible) and a bicuspid or two on the upper and lower as well. I declined to do it at this time. He’s not in pain or uncomfortable in the slightest as there were no impacted teeth, just dead ones and it was just a recommendation. Knowing what kind of care would be entailed in keeping them clean and rinsed and all that I opted against the procedure. The biggest reason being that tomorrow we are going on a big road trip. Two weeks with a miserable pup was not an ideal scenario. Perhaps later.
I’m sure Ferguson is appreciative. As it is, he has whimpered all night, an effect of the anesthesia. Poor baby.