Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I AM AN UNUSUAL AND EXPENSIVE DOG, by Barry

Monday Mom took me to Dr. Patricia's office first thing in the morning, without giving me any breakfast.  This was so I could get my broken tooth extracted and the rest of my teeth cleaned.  Then in the afternoon, when I was awake again, Mom came and got me and paid the bill, which was way more than she expected it to be, so we have both been trying to recover ever since!

Mom had hoped she would not have to pay more than about $400 for everything that Dr. Patricia did, but Mom was apparently indulging in some wishful thinking, because the whole bill came to $767.12.  Part of why it cost so much was due to the fact that I turned out to be a dental oddity, as dogs go.  I am very proud of being unusual in this way, but Mom says that I am just unusually expensive!


Now I will explain to you what makes me so special and unusual.  My tooth that was broken was called the 3rd Premolar.  Here's a photo that shows it.  It's that upper tooth that is the second one from the left.  I was asleep when this photo was taken, so I couldn't smile or do anything to look more handsome, so I apologize for that.  The reason I have all those other missing teeth is because of the unfortunate Thunderstorm Incident when I ripped them out.  I described this Incident in a previous blog post.


Anyway, it turns out that canine premolars generally have two roots each, but my premolar had THREE roots.  Dr. Patricia and Nurse Debbie had never seen a dog with a 3-rooted premolar, so that is what makes me so unusual.  Here is an x-ray that shows the three roots of my tooth, although it's a little hard to see the third one.  While they were at it, they took an x-ray of the premolar on the other side of my mouth, and it has three roots, too.  So you could say that I am quite a symmetrical dog -- or at least I was before that broken premolar was extracted.

Because of the three roots, it was harder to extract my tooth than it would have been with only two roots.  Or at least that's what Nurse Debbie told Mom.  So we assume that's why the extraction cost $250, all by itself.  And of course there were all the usual costs of doing a dental, plus some antibiotics and pain pills, too.  But the fact that they take all those nice photos and x-rays and send them all home in a pretty little binder almost makes it seem worth the cost.  Anyway, that's how I see it, but Mom is not quite convinced.

I have to eat soft food for two whole weeks and not chew on anything hard.  Mom has been giving me canned food, which is extremely delicious, in my opinion.  Yesterday Mom even went to the store to buy more canned food, so we wouldn't run out.

And that's the story of my broken tooth.  Mom told me to quit chewing on hard things because she can't afford to have any more of my teeth extracted anytime soon.  I will try to remember to do as she says, but I certainly do enjoy chewing, so I might forget sometime that I'm not supposed to do it!

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