Thursday, March 24, 2011


On Tuesday, Mom took me to see the doggy dentist, and when I say "doggy dentist," I don't mean a dog who is a dentist.  I mean a veterinarian who specializes in dental care for dogs and cats.  Usually when Mom takes one of us to see a specialist, she takes us to Mission MedVet because that is closer, and lots of people know her there now because she is always bringing some animal and spending lots of money to get the animal cured.  Well, except for Gabe, who couldn't be cured the last time he was there.

But there is no dental specialist at Mission MedVet, so we had to go to a place called VSEC, which stands for Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care.  Except that recently they changed their name to Blue Pearl Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care.  Mom and I think that "Blue Pearl" is a strange name for a veterinary hospital, but that's just our opinion.  We don't even know if there is such a thing as a blue pearl, although we have heard of white pearls, black pearls, and pink pearls.  So maybe there are blue pearls, too.

Anyway, on the VSEC website, it explains why they have this new Pearl name, and the reason has something to do with some other veterinary hospitals in other parts of the country that are also called Blue Pearl, and they are all related somehow.  But it was too much information for me to want to read, so I didn't.

The main point is that Mom took me to this clinic, and the doctor we saw was named Dr. Modrcin.  He came out to the lobby to meet us, and he said I was a handsome boy and very nice, so I immediately knew that he would be a good doctor.  Then we went in the examination room, and he listened to my heart and looked in my mouth at my teeth.  And he noticed what nobody else has noticed when they examined me, which is that my front teeth really hurt if somebody touches them, so I don't like people to touch them.

Dr. Modrcin told Mom that the fact that my canine teeth are kind of brownish and stained-looking means that they are abscessed.  An abscess is an infection that happens when bacteria get down inside your tooth, like through a crack or a hole or because you broke your tooth off.  I only have 3 canine teeth instead of the usual 4 because one of them was extracted in the past.  I don't remember exactly why this happened or when.  It's the kind of thing a guy just prefers to forget about, so I did.

Anyway, Dr. Modrcin said my other canines that I still have left are abscessed, and that's why they hurt if somebody or something touches them.  Mom asked the doctor whether he would just pull the teeth, but he said he didn't want to do that because they have really long roots, and if you extract the teeth, you lose some of the bone, too.  Dr. Modrcin said it would be much easier and faster to do root canals on the teeth.

Mom has had a root canal herself, so she knows about them.  What happens is that all the inflamed pulpy stuff gets drilled out of the tooth, and then the space is filled back up with some other stuff.  But you can only do a root canal if you have enough bone and tooth root left to hold the filler that is put in.  If not, you might have to extract the tooth.

Since Dr. Modrcin didn't have any x-rays of my front teeth, he couldn't tell what condition the roots and bones are in.  So he is going to send Mom an estimate of how much it would cost to do root canals on my teeth or how much it would cost if some teeth had to be extracted.  Also there is the matter of my incisors, which are those little bitty teeth in the front, between the canines.  Some of those teeth might have abscesses, too.

The good news is that I don't have CUPS, which is that stomatitis thing that Piper mentioned before.  And the other good news is that although my 4th premolar on each side is chipped, neither one of those teeth is abscessed.  Still, it's worrisome to think about all the dental work I will have to have done, especially if it is painful.  Mom is not looking forward to paying whatever it will cost because she is sure it will cost a lot.  I do have to admit, though, that it would be nice to have teeth that don't hurt whenever I bite into something.

In the meantime, before I have to go get my dental work done, Mom is supposed to brush my teeth every single day.  Of course, she is just going to brush the ones in the back.  They don't hurt like the ones in the front, but the gums hurt back there because I have gingivitis.  Dr. Modrcin told us that gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease.  You can cure gingivitis, but you can't cure periodontal disease, which makes your gums recede from your teeth and then the bone is exposed.  Mom has periodontal disease, but it is not too terrible as long as she keeps her teeth clean and goes to the dentist or the periodontist every 4 months.

Dr. Modrcin told Mom not to bother with doggy toothpaste.  He said she could use beef bouillon, so she's been using that for the last couple of nights, and I thought it was quite yummy.  First she is just taking her finger and rubbing my teeth with it so that I get used to having something in my mouth, and later she will start using a toothbrush.  The main thing that cleans the teeth is the brush rubbing the bacteria off.  The toothpaste doesn't really do anything, so that's why Dr. Modrcin said we could just use bouillon.  Chicken bouillon is okay, too.

So that's the story of my visit to the doggy dentist.  I wish that greyhounds didn't have such lousy teeth, but most of us do.  I guess I'm just lucky to have a mom who is willing to go into debt to get my teeth fixed!


  1. Dear Nicky,
    I am SO glad that you don't have CUPS! AND I didn't know dogs have dentists! Also in my blog I am going to start writing about different types of dogs and greyhound and basenjis are just a few I am going to write about.. Is it okay if I use one of your pictures for Grey hounds? Also can you ask Piper if I can use her picture? You guys are great models but if either of you say no it is completely understandable! I also want to add that this is your best post yet! You did an AWESOME job! I hope Piper lets you write more blogs (which she probably will because she is a nice sister!)
    Keep on writing!
    Tas (Your fan)

  2. Dear Tas,
    I'm glad you are going to write about dogs because that is an excellent subject! I would be very happy to let you use any photos of me, and Piper said to tell you that you can use her photos, too. Thanks for asking!
    Love, Nicky

  3. Hi Nicky! Good thing you aren't scared of your dentist. I actually envy you because your Mom cleaned your teeth with bouillon. I wish we have toothpaste with that kind of flavor, hehehe! Keep on writing, Nicky.

  4. Well, when my mom started using a real brush to clean my teeth, I didn't like it much, and so she got lazy and stopped trying to get me used to having my teeth brushed. Now she says I have bad breath and plaque again, so I may have to get my teeth cleaned again. I think we are just going to the regular vet, though, instead of to the expensive doggy dentist.