First of all, here is an update on my previous post – the saga of Dulse and his canine tooth infection:
For the first time in months, I don’t turn away when Dulse wants to give me a little smooch. Initially, his infection came back (and along with that, the terrible breath) and the vet gave him another course of antibiotics.
He also asked whether Dulse had been sneezing or had nasal discharge, and, well, everyone knows that sometimes dogs will sneeze for no reason . . . I told him I didn’t think so, but I couldn’t tell for sure, and the vet said that Dulse may have what is called an “oronasal fistula” and that he may have to have another surgery, poor guy! In order to have the surgery, Dulse had to have the infection under control, so he was given another course of antibiotics, this time Clavamox plus Metronidazole, to fight different bacteria that may be causing the infection.
Just for interest’s sake, an “oronasal fistula” occurs when there is an infection of one of the upper canine teeth. Fistulas are infections that form abnormal passages through tissue so they can drain. An oronasal fistula is when an infection, usually of an upper canine tooth, leads to an opening between the mouth and the nasal cavity. Often, dogs with oronasal fistulas may sneeze or have nasal discharge, which is why the vet asked me if Dulse had been sneezing.
Fast forward two weeks and Dulse had another checkup . The vet was pleased with the exam and said Dulse may not have an oronasal fistula after all! He is on the antibiotic mix for two more weeks, but it is looking good!
Update to the update: It is now more than a month past his last course of antibiotics, and not only is he smelling good, he is acting happier than he has in a long time. It makes me wonder if he had had a chronic infection for a lot longer than we knew . . .
Thank goodness that Dulse has not had dental problems before this (remember, he is 12 1/2 now!). The infection, if I hadn’t taken care of it in a timely manner, could have been life-threatening. This situation really addresses the importance of dental care for your senior dog. An easy four-step program for dental care at any age includes:
- Have your dog’s teeth and gums evaluated and the teeth cleaned by your veterinarian on a routine basis
- Brush your dog’s teeth regularly with a toothpaste specially made for dogs
- If you cannot brush, use a bacteria-killing dental solution or use a dental cleaning pad daily
- Offer your senior dog teeth-cleaning toys, rawhide, and treats
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