Anyone have a Lab with Periodontal Disease? **UPDATE**
Well, Cooper is finally home after what was likely the worst day of his life. Can't say it was a good one for me either! We took him to the vet this a.m. and spent about an hour talking with her about our concerns re: removing a tooth that isn't rotten AND the fact that we felt he had been misdiagnosed. She was a good listener (and talker!) and we left there feeling a bit better about the whole procedure. In addition to his loose tooth and rotten gums, we showed her a little lump on his hind quarters that we noticed since his visit last week. We thought perhaps it was the result of whatever bit him. But it wasn't - I cannot remember what she called it, it had a very long name but it's basically a tumor. Not cancerous. Before removing it, she scraped some of the skin and had a look at it; she ruled out that it was another type of tumor. Anyway, I picked up my boy at 6 pm and he has a sore mouth, a missing tooth, stitches plus a shaved area where the tumor was removed and a cone collar. His eyes were just drooping - almost basset-hound like! I could have cried - in fact, I did once we got home. I stuck my face inside the cone and gave him a kiss - he licked my nose and I bawled. The poor guy, he seems so confused after everything that happened today. After he ate some food (which I thought was an excellent sign), he just stood in the hallway, I don't think he knew where to go. I brought him over to his blanket and he is still there, sleeping hard. I'm sure he'll be much better after a good night's sleep but right now, it's so hard to look at him without feeling like crying. If I could trade places with him, I would - cone collar and all! As for the bill, it came to $800 after taxes -cheaper than what was originally quoted but still pretty damn expensive. Truth be told, I'd pay anything just to make sure he's a healthy boy - we all would...nothing's too good for our labs!
I have tried to keep this short but as usual, couldn't - sorry!
Cooper has been diagnosed with Periodontal disease.* It is so advanced, the vet has scheduled him for surgery on Wednesday to remove a tooth that is apparently hanging on by a thread.* His gums are a mess.* And I am so choked, I could choke the vet.* Since taking him to this clinic when we moved to Ottawa Sept 2005, I have asked on each visit to check his teeth, etc because of his offensive breath.* We have been there on two occasions for his usual check up & vaccinations, the last being April 25th.* The vet specifically asked if I still had concerns over Cooper's breath and I told her nothing had changed, it would still strip paint.* She looked and said everything looked fine except for the odd chip but felt that was not a problem.* She suggested some dog chews that might assist in keeping his teeth clean.* There were no rotten teeth and with the exception of some brownness on the one side (he tends to chew things on one side - another reason why we always asked for his teeth to be checked), all looked well to her.
On Tuesday a.m. at about 430, I got up as usual and while getting ready to walk Cooper, I heard a whimper from downstairs.* Cooper never does this - NEVER.* I went down to the main floor and when I flipped on the light, immediately noticed that Cooper's head was swollen and he was covered with lumps.* What a mess and the reason for his whine, I think, was because he was scared of what was going on.* He looked awful.* Dwayne (hubby) took him to the clinic as soon as it opened and had to see a different vet.* She diagnosed Cooper as having a reaction to an insect bite and prescribed Benadryl (I am still puzzled by that - never did find the offending insect...perhaps he ate it!) .* It worked and within a few hours, the swelling and lumps were gone.* However, she checked him over and immediately commented on his gums.* She showed Dwayne that only the slightest touch on his gums would produce blood and showed him where the gums have receded to the point one tooth's roots are showing.* It is a small tooth at the front.* So....this Wednesday he is scheduled for a tooth extraction, x-rays, teeth cleaning, fluoride treatment, blah, blah, blah.* The grand total is going to be anywhere from $679.46 and $789.70 Cdn.* Oh!* But we get a "complimentary nail trim" during all of this.* How generous of them.
All of this to say/ask - is it possible that the periodontal disease could have developed to this stage in roughly 6 months, or did the other vet not do a thorough enough check?* And the price - is this "the norm"?* The estimate they provided includes all the meds - pre & post-op and the procedures.* As was pointed out by a co-worker of my husband, we are a vet's dream client: dual income, no kids therefore will spend anything on our dog!* Dwayne and I have been discussing how we are going to deal with this on Wednesday and I think he's going to drop Cooper off in the a.m. and we will go together to pick him up at 6 pm.* Honestly, I do not want to set foot in there because I think my temper may get the best of me.* This "complimentary" nail clipping just irks me - how about a discount on the total bill, seeing as we have asked each time about his teeth and have been assured all was well.* I am just having a really difficult time in believing that Cooper's gums deteriorated to this degree in less than 6 months.*
Once again I have been long-winded - I am sorry.* But it feels good to vent and if anyone has any experience with this type of health problem with their Lab, I'd love to hear about it.* I am scared about Cooper being sedated on Wednesday as well....* :'(
What is there in the way of treatment?* All of this, except the extraction and x-ray,* is general maintainence.* Is the tooth that is about to fall out the one they are going to extract?* I would hold off on all this.* If it is so diseased, its about to fall out why pay to have them do it?* If something can be done to help the other teeth, it may help save the one they are going to pull.*
Thanks for all the comments. Dwayne and I have discussed this, and as he will likely be the one to take Cooper in on Wednesday, he is going to talk to them about the tooth they want to yank. The tooth itself is not rotten, it's only due to the receding gums that they want to pull it, as the roots are exposed. I am worried that if they pull it, the teeth on either side of the extracted one will not have the support they currently have - there will be a gap & I think it's possible that over time, they will "collapse" into the gap.
tkpaul - we are feeding Cooper Performatrin Ultra Lamb and Brown Rice Formula food. It's made by PetValu and is a good quality food. We used to feed him Kirkland but when they altered the ingredients a couple of years ago, he reacted to it i.e. chewing his paws, very itchy, etc. He's done very well on the PetValu brand. However, since Day 1 Cooper has never been much of a chewer when it comes to his kibble. He basically has a couple of chews then gulps the mouthful. Same with dog biscuits - he'll crunch them up somewhat then swallows. Just my theory but I think this explains the plaque buildup - he doesn't chew anything long enough for it to clean off his teeth.
I wish Wednesday was over and done with - not to wish my life way but I am just dreading this. My poor boy. I feel like I have failed him.... :'(
You didnt fail him at all. Like you said, he chews fast and that doesnt let the food and bones do the work and remember...most dogs over age 5 have periodontal disease to some degree. You love your dog, obviously feed him a good food and care about him. The vet, whom you told on numerous occassions that his breath was bad and you were concerned, needed to look into it more. I think anyway. Hang in there for Wednesday and make sure you let us know how the surgery went.