Thursday, March 03, 2005

Canine Costs

Well, I'm back. After a few days away, a day out for a snow storm, and another two days out sick with a kidney infection (again), I'm back in my desk chair and at my computer. It's been an eventful week. I won't go into detail except those concerning our fox-red Yellow Lab, Ridge.

The day I returned Ridge seemed fine--his typical self: rambunctuous; neurotic; eager-to-please. And then he started panting. His rapid breathing combined with the ears-back-stressed-facial-features expression told us something was wrong. Instead of pacing and wanting to climb into our laps, all he wanted to do was sit quietly and rest his head on our knees. He looked like he was in pain and was trying to tell us so.

In pain he was, we finally discovered. Apparently, during one of his romps with the other two Lab kids, he broke a canine tooth. He snapped the tip right off and exposed the nerve.

One trip to the vet and few phone calls later (to a canine dentist, of all things!), and we've discovered we have three options: leave him as is in pain and hope he gets used to it (not an option in our book); have the canine tooth extracted, a difficult, invasive procedure that, we're told, will result in long term difficulties with jaw alignment, lip positioning, and tongue containment (again, not an option); or an $850 root canal on the broken tooth.

Yes, $850. That's more than we paid for Ridge when we bought him.

But, Ridge is a healthy purebred four-year-old Lab. He still has a long life ahead of him. When we brought Ridge home with us we assumed responsibility for his care. Part of responsible dog ownership means that we must be willing to invest in treatment and care options as our dogs have need. It gets expensive, yes, but it's part of the cost we assume when we make these canine kids part of the family.

So, we're scheduling the root canal at the doggy dentist's first opening (we think next week). And we're trying to make Ridge comfortable in the meantime.

Thankfully, my husband received his annual work bonus this month, so the financial output won't be as much a stretch as it might be other months. I'm grateful and amazed again at God's provision. He's entrusted the care of these animals to us; it's our responsibility to be faithful in providing for them.

So we will, with thanks in our hearts for what they add to our lives. I just wish it weren't so expensive! ;o)

'Til next time,


Kiwi's Mom said...

Oh poor Ridge!! Did the vet or dentist give you any meds to help with the pain?

I would make the same choice.

Joan said...

Yes, the Vet prescribed Deramaxx--a pain killer, which we gave him Weds. and Thurs. (made him sleepy). Ridge seems to managing very well even without it (he's been acting so normal we forgot to give it to him today). He's been much more like himself.

Ridge has an appointment with the doggie dentist next Weds. (in four days), so I suspect he'll be fine soon enough.

Thanks for your concern!