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Monday, September 8, 2008

Pearly Whites?

Well, as promised, here is the follow up to Luna’s day at the dentist last week.  I have been putting off writing this post because things did not go quite as expected on her teeth cleaning day. We knew her teeth were not in super shape as she did suffer from doggy halitosis or as we call here in the OBP household “stink breath”.  When we got Luna her breath was terrible, but that was mainly due to other medical concerns.  Well, this time, her breath was awful because her teeth were terrible.  We just didn’t know how bad it really was. 

She has severe periodontal disease.  She lost a total of 4 teeth in the process of her teeth cleaning, one of which just fell out during the procedure and the other 3 were extracted.  She lost one around the house last week, too.  So, she is down 5 teeth this week.  This has been a mortifying experience for us and a painful one for her.  We don’t get around to brushing the pugs’ teeth each day.  However, we usually work in a brushing at least once a month and during the brushing Luna is by far the worst in terms of cooperation.  Plus, her mouth is tiny which gives us almost no room to work.  So, I guess you can say we aren’t very diligent about brushing their teeth.  The boys have had this type of teeth brushing routine their whole life and we had never experienced anything like this before with the boys.  Henry’s teeth are actually pretty good while Benny’s are a little worse, but apparently nowhere near as bad as Luna’s. 

The only real saving grace in all of this was that the vet said that there was no way for us to tell just how bad her teeth were until she was under sedation.  When you look at her teeth, from above the gumline, they look alright.  The vet saved her teeth and we have them here now.  She showed how terrible and decayed they were under the gumline.  She did say that her past life history plays a contributing role and that Luna’s tiny mouth of course play a part, but it definitely makes us feel like bad pug parents when we have our little girl in for routine care and when she comes out we have this overwhelming feeling that we have been neglecting her.  It is just so disheartening.

We knew when we rescued her that we would be giving a spoiled forever home but feeling like we dropped the ball on her dental care is just devastating for us.  We feel like we let her down.  Our goal was to have her be just as healthy as the boys once we “got her up to speed” and we felt like we had finally done that once we got her on a good diet, found a specialist for her eye care and got her eye medications regulated.

The silver lining around this gray cloud is that we are more aware than ever as to what we have to do to be sure that Luna keeps her teeth.  (We will of course do the same for the boys and Cupid, too.)  We have always known that poor dental health leads to other medical issues,but somewhere we got side tracked and we are ready to get back on track.  It is even more important in pugs to maintain teeth brushing and dental care because their teeth are such a jumble in their crowded little pug palate. 

So, we took a couple of days to have a pity party for Luna and kick ourselves a little bit, but now we are ready to get serious about good dental health.  We can’t get back her lost teeth, but we certainly can keep her other teeth in tip top shape.

Here is a picture of the teeth that Luna had extracted.  The points on top of the teeth are below the gum line, and as you can see, the area that was actually below the gum line show the most signs of decay.

Luna's teeth

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