Friday, June 22, 2012

A Veterinarian's Confession

 Giving advice to clients on how to watch for dental pain is one thing but having it happen in your own home is another. I too fell victim to the common myth that if an animal is still eating, they aren't in any pain.

A few months ago, my wife had mentioned to me that our dog's mouth smelled bad and wanted me to have a look. I knew that he had a small amount of dental tartar but I was shocked to find out that he had completely fractured his largest tooth in half and it was starting to rot!! I felt awful! How could a veterinarian have missed something so obvious and so painful on his own dog? Where and how could he have possibly done this under my watchful (or so I thought) eye?

I will sadly admit that I didn't think anything was wrong because he was still eating and acting normally. Once I made the diagnosis I began to watch him carefully and noted that he was in fact chewing to one side of his mouth and didn't seem to be playing with his toys as much.

After 3 hours of surgery to carefully remove the broken and infected tooth, I noticed a huge difference in his overall attitude. He began to play with toys much more and seemed to have this unusual spurt of energy I haven't seen since he was a puppy. As upsetting as this was to me, I learned a big lesson in how well animals can hide their pain.....even to a veterinarian in his own home!

Dr. Jonathan Uyede

Bronson - showing off his tough guy mohawk!

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