Thursday, March 10, 2005

Ridge Report (post-dentist)

Ridge had a tough go of it. When the dentist was completing the root canal on Ridge's upper canine tooth yesterday he couldn't get the bleeding to stop (bleeding from inside the tooth). They tried for over an hour, but it just wouldn't quit. Apparently this bleeding problem can occur in fresh breaks, so as the break ages it should be easier to deal with. But the bleeding prevented the vet from completing the root canal; he put a temporary filling in and sent us home with pain killers, antibiotics, and an appointment in two months to finish the root canal. Six months after that they'll put a crown on that tooth (another $800 beyond the $850 for the root canal).

We brought Ridge home yesterday afternoon while he was still recovering from general anesthesia and loaded with pain killers. He could walk and wag his tail and was alert enough to eat, but he wasn't "right." His balance was off; he couldn't run; he couldn't jump up; he panted and wimpered with every breath; his pupils were dilated; his face drooped (see photo above); and all he wanted to do was lean against us (the only thing that stopped his wimpering). He seemed to need our touch.

So we sat with Ridge last night until bedtime. Then we put him in his crate for the night.

I thought he'd be his old self by morning. He's not.

His back legs still seem weak; his balance is still off; he's still wimpering; and he still just wants to lean against me. We did that for thirty minutes this morning (after he ate and took his meds) until I thought it best for him to sleep a while more (what he's doing now). I'm hoping sleeping will allow him to recover. He's not rebounding from general anesthesia the way our other dogs have (after neutering or tumor surgeries). But, then again, none of their procedures involved the mouth.

I'm glad I'm home today (Don is away on a business trip). I can work at my computer and keep an ear out for Ridge while he's sleeping. And when he's awake, if he needs to lean on me, I'll pull out my laptop and work in the family room while he rests against my legs. Baxter and Elsie, who know something is wrong and are behaving gently around him, can play outside.

I think it's going to be a long day.

'Til next time,

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