A tale of two vets

Allow me to preface the following, for my fellow worry-warts, with this: Licorice is fine. Thank goodness.

Some of you who’ve been around a long time may recall that when we first met Licorice a year ago, she had quite a few health concerns. For one thing, she was half-bald (as in, her entire butt and a good portion of her legs were naked), and what had originally been thought to be mange turned out to be allergies, but even so, we were warned that she might never regrow her fur. She also had chronic ear infections, although thought to be a side effect of allergies and general neglect.

I spent a lot of time at the vet with her, those first couple of months. I love the vet. She was kind and encouraging and assured me that we were on track to a healthy dog and that—even in my nervous over-mothering—I was doing fine. And I knew there was a second vet at our office, but we saw LadyVet exclusively for the first year, somehow, and that was fine.

One of the things I asked about at one of our first first visits was Licorice’s teeth. “Her breath is pretty nasty,” I said. “And see how that one tooth is broken and kind of gray? Is that… okay?” LadyVet assured me that Licorice’s teeth looked fine to her, that the broken tooth wasn’t a big deal, and she sold me some dental rinse for her but said she probably wouldn’t need her teeth cleaned for a year.

Fast forward a year. I made an appointment for Licorice to get her yearly shots, and was a little surprised when LadyVet was nowhere to be found. That day, ManlyVet swaggered into the room and began poking and prodding.

“I think I need to make an appointment to have her teeth cleaned…” I began. He peeled back her lips and whistled.

“Yeah, see if they can get you in next week. It’s looking pretty nasty in there,” he said.

I sighed. Then we had a discussion about pre-surgical blood tests. He told me it was “an option” and quite costly and might not tell us anything, but that if I wanted it done for “peace of mind” they would certainly do it. “What would you do, if she was YOUR dog?” I asked.

He looked at her chart. “She’s a healthy 4-year-old. I probably wouldn’t bother with the blood tests,” he said. “But it’s up to you.”

I opted to skip the blood test.

Yesterday I dropped her off at 8:00 sharp, and they assured me that surgeries are generally done by around 1:00, and then they just keep an eye on the animals to make sure they’re coming out of anesthesia okay, and that I would likely get a call by 4:00 or so to come pick her up.

I went about my day. Monkey came home from school and asked where the dog was. Then every 10 minutes he asked if it was time to go get her.

Chickadee and Otto came home and asked where the dog was. Finally I called the vet’s office and said, “Hi, it’s nearly 5:00, and I haven’t gotten a call. Is my dog okay?”

“Oh, she’s still in surgery!” chirped the receptionist.

“She’s WHAT?” I said, sure I’d heard wrong. How long had she been in surgery??

“There were some emergency surgeries today, so she got pushed back a little bit,” she clarified. “I think he’s almost done with her. We’ll call you in a little bit.”

I hung up and went about making dinner. Finally at 5:45 the phone rang. Chirpy receptionist asked me if I was going to pick Licorice up or leave her overnight. “I would like to come get her,” I said. “Remember I called a little while ago? Is she ready to go?”

“Oh, you can come and get her, sure,” she said, “But we close at 6:00 so you need to come right now.”

Gah.

I drove over there and no one was out front. So I cleared my throat a few times and coughed a couple of times and finally just walked into the back to find someone. They shooed me back out front and said they’d be right there.

Chirpy receptionist came out and started rummaging behind the counter.

“How’s Licorice?” I asked. “Can I see her?”

“Oh, she’s fine,” she said. “I’m just going to get her things… and he’ll bring her out in a minute….” She stopped rummaging and placed a bag on the counter. “He wants her to have a follow-up antibiotic,” she said. “There’s a dropper in there for it, and directions.”

I peeked inside the bag. There was a bottle of medicine along with a dropper. There was also a small ziploc bag with some bloody gauze inside of it. I immediately knew this meant she’d had an extraction, and at that point, I was still okay. Probably that chipped tooth I’d asked LadyVet about a year before, right?

“Let me just see where he’s at,” chirpy receptionist said, leaving me at the front desk and disappearing back into the offices.

I read the instructions on the antibiotic. I waited. I looked around. And then I took out the ziploc bag.

I opened the zipper. I pulled out the flat swatch of gauze and placed it on top of the bag, on the counter. I folded the gauze back.

Nestled in the gauze were FIVE rotten little teeth.

FIVE.

I have since Googled how many teeth an adult dog supposedly has, and the official answer appears to be 42, but I am here to tell you that I’m pretty sure Licorice didn’t start out with 42 teeth. She’s a small dog and she already had some tooth issues, and one of the things we’ve always loved is the adorable snaggle-toothed underbite of her crazy little bottom front teeth sticking every which way (a common presentation in little dogs). But now I was looking at five little teeth and four of them looked VERY familiar. Because those goofy teeth in the front are a lot smaller than the rest of her teeth.

The chirpy receptionist came back out and brought a tech with her. “Does she have any teeth left?” I blurted out.

They exchanged glances. “Oh, honey, of course,” the tech assured me.

I gestured at the gauze. “There are five teeth here. Little ones, from the front. Does she have any FRONT teeth anymore?” They looked at each other again.

“Um, ManlyVet is going to come out and talk to you in a minute,” one of them said. I don’t know which one, because I was busy being a total dork and trying not to cry. “She’s fine, just hang on, he’ll be out in a minute.”

“Can I see her, please? I would really just like to see my dog.” Another exchanged look.

“Let me just go check,” said the tech. She disappeared.

I put the gauze back in the ziploc.

ManlyVet came out. “She did great!” he said, all smiles.

“MY DOG IS TOOTHLESS,” I answered. “YOU HAVE REMOVED ALL HER TEETH AND NO ONE CALLED ME AND LADYVET TOLD ME HER TEETH WERE OKAY AND NO ONE WILL BRING HER OUT TO ME.”

This may be where I realized I was perhaps overreacting just a tad. Also where ManlyVet realized I was kind of freaking out. He proceeded to explain to me that “there was so much decay that when we tried to clean the teeth they just moved around” and “removing the rotten teeth is the best choice for her overall health” and “sometimes decay moves rapidly” and it was all well and good until he told me that it’s possible that the kibble I buy for her is actually damaging her teeth.

“I feed her Orijen. I feed her a 6-star no filler food because she has allergies. I feed her what your office told me to feed her! What do you suggest I feed her instead?”

“Well, you could try Purina One,” he said. And then my head exploded. Because both LadyVet and the Dog Emailer had gone to great lengths to explain to me that grocery store food is crap and unsuitable for a dog with allergies. And now ManlyVet seemed to be telling me that I could choose between a dog with clear skin and a full coat of fur or a dog with, you know, TEETH.

“Can I see my dog, please?” I asked. “My TOOTHLESS DOG who’s going to be eating PUDDING for the rest of her life?” ManlyVet chuckled and said he had to finish up with another animal but would come out and talk to me some more in a few minutes. Then he left and instructed the tech to go get Licorice.

Now. Remember how they were supposed to finish surgery early in the afternoon, keep her for observation, and then return her to me more or less recovered? Thanks to the emergency surgeries and the unexpected length of HER surgery, Licorice was barely post-op. And when the tech brought her out—carrying her in her arms like a baby—Licorice looked right at me through squinted eyes and… just lay there.

Well. Know what’s better than an unexpectedly toothless dog? An unexpectedly toothless dog who is STONED OUT OF HER MIND.

The tech transfered her to my arms and Licorice just stared and twitched and even though I knew she was okay, I started to cry because I am a dork and it was one of the most pitiful things I’ve ever seen.

I sat down in a chair with her curled up on my lap. At one point while we were waiting (and I was frantically texting Otto “THEY BROKE THE DOG!”), she kind of tipped her head back and tried to focus on my face, like, Hey, you look kinda familiar… and then she kind of lost control of her neck muscles and her head just flopped helplessly to the side while she stared into space. I repositioned her head on my lap and she didn’t even seem to notice.

Finally I screwed up my courage and gently, ever so gently, pulled her lips back and took a look. Do not look at this picture if a toothless dog is going to upset you.

We waited and waited and waited and finally ManlyVet came back out and sat down and reiterated that really, she’s FINE, she didn’t even need those teeth, she probably only chews with her back teeth, which are in great shape, no worries. He said I should maybe give her soft food for a few days, and I asked him what kind to buy, and while he was thinking about that he said, “Well, but soft food may just get all packed in there, and that’s no good, either, so maybe just stick to the kibble. And if the Orijen is making her healthy in other ways I’m not sure I’d switch away from that, either, even though we were talking about that before.” And then I looked at him and he looked at me and finally I wiped my eyes and cleared my throat.

“Um, ManlyVet? I have to tell you, I’m a little traumatized right now, and I’m worried about my dog, and I don’t feel like you’re giving me very clear directions on what I’m supposed to do be doing for her. Wet food or dry? Orijen or something else? Can you please just TELL ME WHAT TO DO FOR MY POOR TOOTHLESS DOG?”

He chuckled and said I should just “see how she does” with her regular food. I said fine. He then pointed out two more teeth which he expects to have to extract next year, and I finally said, “Okay, well, I think I’ve had all the HELP I can stand today, so I am just going to pay and take her home, alright?” He agreed.

I paid almost three times what the cleaning was supposed to cost, due to the extractions and the follow-up medicine. Licorice lay on my shoulder and drooled on me while I did so.

ManlyVet said, “She can walk, you know. Go ahead and put her down.” So I put my receipt in my purse and set her down and she took a couple of listing steps to the left and her back legs kind of swung out from under her and she fell over. I resisted the urge to kick ManlyVet in the nuts, opting instead to just pick up my dog and go home.

Last night she lay around looking stoned and pitiful, refusing to eat or pee, but she did perk up just a little bit when I hand-fed her some little pieces of the pork roast we had for dinner. (Turns out you don’t need teeth to toss back the good stuff.) After the kids went to bed, Licorice followed me into our bedroom and tried to jump up on our bed, executing a perfect Wiley-E-Coyote-esque leap and SMACK into the side, then a sickening sliiiiide and THUD as she crumpled into a ball on the floor and just lay there. After I verified that she hadn’t broken anything, Otto and I took her on the couch with us for a while, and then tucked her into bed with us later, and she left little drooly puddles of blood all over the couch and my pants and then all over the bedspread.

I didn’t mind.

Because, GOD, look at this face:

(Licorice says: Dude. Duuuuuuuuude! There was a bright light, and then I fell asleep, and then I woke up and everything was all, wavy and stuff? And my teeth were gone. Also I just want to tell you that ZZzzzzzzzzZZzzzzz….)

Apparently those crazy bottom teeth were the only thing keeping her tongue in her mouth. Now the tip pokes out constantly, and she looks a little… ummmm… special.

This morning she was much improved, able to walk and jump and pee and perfectly happy to suck down a bowl of kibble, teeth or no. She’s clearly in pain, but not so much so that she wasn’t able to make her appointed rounds to wake the kids and then hold down the floor in my office.

And I have to admit, her breath smells a LOT better.

All the same, though, I think I may stick with LadyVet in the future. Because while ManlyVet may have done exactly what Licorice needed and given her fabulous care and not blamed me for the state of the poor dog’s mouth, I am never going to be able to look at him again without seeing Licorice’s head lolling off to the side while she drools blood and stares vacantly.

So that’s what happened yesterday.

Please send stain remover and pudding.

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60 Responses to “A tale of two vets”

  1. 1
    Megan September 21, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    Poor Licorice – and poor prednisoney, stressed out dog-mama you!

    At least she has darn good reason for looking ‘special.’ Now me? This morning I lost the toothpaste off my toothbrush (okay, YES I was trying to brush my teeth in the dark because I’m NICE and KIND and THOUGHTFUL and was trying not to wake anyone up) and I just now found it. Down my front. I’m going to look very special indeed all day today at work…

  2. 2
    Flea September 21, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    GAH! I don’t know whether to be proud that you used such self-restraint and didn’t kick him in the nuts, or horrible upset and demand that you go back and kick him in the nuts. Put the dog down to walk – GAH!!!

  3. 3
    Susan Mitchell September 21, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Hi, I’m new. Anyway, I would have been frustrated as heck and like you probably cried. Licorice is adorable and lucky to have you.

    I took my overweight dog to the vet and asked about helping her lose weight since she has hip problems she takes a med that makes her gain. The vet I saw told me to starve her if I wanted her to lose some pounds. Like I could starve her. I asked several questions for clarification and was told to give her broccoli and green beans. Are you kidding me?

    Like you I hope to never see him again.

  4. 4
    Leandra September 21, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    Poor little Licorice! And poor Mama! It’s amazing how some people (even vets!) just don’t seem to get our concern for our littlest family members.

    Will you hate me, though, if I tell you that last picture made me laugh? It’s just so funny looking. I would be sad if Toby’s little underbite teeth were all of a sudden gone, but his tongue sticking out instead just might make up for it.

  5. 5
    Brigitte September 21, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    Ergh, how irksome is that indulgent “Oh, you silly over-wrought FEMALE” man-chuckle?

    And: your poor BAY-BEE! Do you guys have to (or were you already) doing a regular tooth-brushing regimen for her?

  6. 6
    Dina September 21, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    Awww….poor little doggie! Hang in there…what a nightmare experience!

  7. 7
    karyn September 21, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    just the fact that you feel LadyVet would have called you to let you know what they intended to do (because of the cost, because of the dogs health, etc), would reaffirm to me thats who should continue to see her. And if the emergency surgeries pushed her that far back, they could have called to reschedule. And even perhaps warned you about the teeth before hand.
    I don’t have kids but i have 2 cats and they are like my babies and i’d have probably tried to kill the vet if that were me.

  8. 8
    joaaanna September 21, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    OH DEAR! Poor Licorice! And how traumatic for you!

    I have had the same experience at my vet office. MsVet has taken care of my poor allergy-riddled Basset Hound for years and knows all about him and how we take care of him. MrVet tossed him around, made some ridiculous assumptions (without, you know, asking ME anything or looking at the damn chart) and finally threw up his hands and walked out of the room. It was less than awesome. And I, too, wanted to kick some nuts.

    My friends dog had to have all of her teeth pulled. Her tongue flops out and looks silly, but honestly she’s fine. She gets her regular food, just with some water added to it to soften it up.

  9. 9
    Mandee September 21, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    Bless her heart. And good for you for finding the humor in it all.

    I took my Weimaraner in for her regular check up yesterday (specifically making an appointment with the Lady Vet because I wanted to discuss her anxiety (the dog’s – not the vet’s)) and left without her. Tumor on her spleen – spleenectomy on Thursday to remove it and send it off to determine if it’s benign or a very aggressive cancer that does not respond to chemo. But don’t think when I realized they were already going to have her out I didn’t ask to have those teeth cleaned at the same time!

  10. 10
    heather September 21, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    Sometimes when you clean the tartar off the teeth you find that the tartar was the only thing holding them in the mouth. The teeth, especially the front ones, just fall out. Having teeth that loose is painful and the dogs seem to be much better when they are out even if they didn’t seem painful before.

    I agree that it doesn’t sound like great communication with you but losing more teeth than expected is normal. Packing them in a blood soaked sponge with your antibiotics? Not so much. Go ahead and feed her the Orijen. It won’t hurt her mouth.

  11. 11
    Midj September 21, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Hugs… To you and Licorice. I cringe at the thought of my 75 lb dog having his teeth done. DH will need to take him and pick him up so I don’t leak scads of tears all over the vets office… Glad she’s up and about!

  12. 12
    Chuck September 21, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Aw, poor doggie! I’m glad she is doing better today. I think she looks fine, though. With my parent’s last dog, we used to brush his teeth quite a bit, which he hated but it did seem to help his teeth. And I agree, ManlyVet seems to have communication issues.

  13. 13
    elz September 21, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    Poor, sweet little Licorice. I totally would have kicked the guy in the nuts. Or worse, made HIM a tooth cleaning appointment with a dentist and then paid the guy to extract HIS front teeth.

  14. 14
    dad September 21, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    Do you suppose that Vet knows how close he came to never being able to stand completely straight up again?

  15. 15
    Amanda September 21, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    Oh, that’s terrible. A good vet would have called to tell you that surgery had been pushed back, and called again when they got in there to tell you that 5 (!) teeth needed to be pulled.

    Ugh…I’d complain to LadyVet (is she married to ManlyVet? that seems to be pretty common in the vet world).

  16. 16
    Nelson's Mama September 21, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    We had a similar situation with our old sheltie – I took her for a teeth cleaning and they pulled the majority of her teeth. She was much older and it didn’t surprise me…I think Shelley’s were painful or at least had the potential to become painful soon. There is absolutely nothing worse than a toothache and I felt terrible that I’d let her suffer with one for a long time…he should have handled the situation in a different way, but I think it was the best choice for your sweet girl.

    If it’s any small consolation, Nelson’s underbite is so bad that his tongue always sticks out a bit even though he still has all of those little teeth!

  17. 17
    WaywardGoddess September 21, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    That is exactly why I opted to let my Havoc stay overnight at the vet when we had him neutered. I would have lost it if I’d picked up a drooling, stoned out, nutless wonder.

    Also, they totally should have kept you in the loop about what was going in, Not one tooth should have been removed without your consent. Not even the broken one unless it was discussed first

  18. 18
    deb roby September 21, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    All my vet offices tell me when they expect to call – and know if someone doesn’t call by noon to tell me WTF is going on that I will be calling NONE TOO HAPPY. Personally, I’m not thrilled with the behavior of that entire office. If you truly love LadyVet, stay but insist on only seeing her. But consider finding a different vet to work with.

  19. 19
    Aimee September 21, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    I admire your restraint, but if I had the money I’d fly to Georgia and kick him in the nuts, TWICE, once for you and once for poor teethless Licorice.

  20. 20
    Rosie September 21, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    A similar thing happened with my cat. He came home missing eight teeth. I was so angry that they hadn’t called me and about the unexpected cost. Unfortunately, when I get angry, I cry. So I had my husband call the vet, and they agreed to split the difference of the cost greater than their estimate.

  21. 21
    Mamadragon September 21, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    (((hugs))). My sister-in-law’s dog is down to only eight teeth and she is fine. Still eating dry kibble, somehow. Still thinks she’s all that and a bag of chips. Apparently toothlessness is not as much of a stigma in the dog world as it is for humans.

  22. 22
    bad penguin September 21, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    Poor sweet Licorice! I’m glad she’s doing better now. You should definitely insist on Lady Vet only from now on.

  23. 23
    MomCat September 21, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    That’s so sad! And what ever happened to communication with the client? I would have been furious about both the surprise extractions and the added cost. (Personally, I have to budget for both money and traumas.) I hope she is all recovered soon.

  24. 24
    Joshilyn September 21, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    OH! POOR! THING!

    The specialness of her new pokey tongue may go away as she learns to not have teeth.

    SHE WILL BE FINE. I would NOT change her kibble…

  25. 25
    Lola September 21, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    I am glad Licorice is ok. Don’t panic about the teeth we put my dog down in April due to major kidney failure however, he lived quite happily with out majority of his teeth for about 3 years. He was still able to kibble (he ate slowly but he did it), and he seemed pretty happy! So I am sure Licorice will be just fine!

  26. 26
    Randi September 21, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    Okay, so she needed the teeth removed – that I can understand. However, removing the teeth when you had not given express permission for that is NOT okay. Our vet would never do that, maybe because we live in a small town? I would lodge a complaint with the main vet at the office, because doing an extraction, not to mention FIVE, without permission is definitely unprofessional!

  27. 27
    Shalet September 21, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    Sometimes in the vet world we get jaded. We get used to bloody gauze. We know what procedures need to be done and why. And we forget that all of this is not “old hat” for our clients.

    It sounds like Licorice got the care she needed but the communication simply was not there. When additional extractions were needed you should have been called. When the procedure was delayed you should have been called. You should also have been informed that Licorice was going home sedate.

    Thank you for the reminder to slow down and really see things from the client’s perspective.

  28. 28
    Jen September 21, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    You are to be commended for NOT nailing him in the crotch. Or taking out a few of HIS bottom teeth. I can’t believe they didn’t call you, to let you know the teeth needed to be removed. Don’t they need permission for that sort of thing? Good God. I’m so sorry. Poor Licorice. I know she’ll get a bunch of snuggles today; wish she could have doggy ice cream. :(

  29. 29
    Kristi September 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Your poor precious baby. You poor baby!

  30. 30
    Jan September 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Oh, Mir, what a stressful evening for you. I’m glad Licorice is OK. It’s crazy how very attached to them we get, isn’t it?

    I had a vet skip straight to the gory details without passing GO (aka the magical phrase: “He’s Going To Be Fine”) and I just about came unglued.

  31. 31
    Karen P September 21, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    So sorry to hear about your experience at the vet. They obviously need to be better at communicating. My 11 year old beagle went in to have a growth removed. The surgery went well. When I picked him up the tech thought that the bandage needed to be tighter for some reason. They wrapped his foot up, along with the bottom of his leg. This was a day before the New Year’s Holiday. Long story short…the bandage was too tight. Bosley tried to rip it off two days later. By the next day when we saw the vet he was having major problems. He had suffered nerve damage. They kept him in the emergency vet overnight. Ultimately, they had to amputate his back leg. He spent two weeks at the vet. He was one sick little doggie and they did everything they could to save his leg. However, they took responsibility for the problem and didn’t charge me for anything but the original surgery. Dogs are resilient, he lived for another two years. He was able to climb up and down stairs until he became senile and couldn’t remember how to do it anymore. Licorice should be fine, sorry you had to suffer all the trauma in the meantime.

  32. 32
    Karen September 21, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    Poor Licorice and everyone who loves her. While she is now able to eat the kibble, you might want to look at a raw diet if she has so many health issues. I have cats with allergies, and one with colitis, and they are all doing so much better since I switched them to raw food.

  33. 33
    Grace September 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    That is bad vet care. It pisses me off to read about that. Even if the extractions were necessary (and they likely were), the follow-up was atrocious, and you should have been notified in advance before they did anything to which you hadn’t already consented. Grrr….I’d be looking for a new vet, personally. That whole practice would be on my list.

    That said, Licorice, once fully recovered, will be better off with no front teeth than with decayed ones. And she’ll still be just as cute, with her tongue always sticking out.

  34. 34
    steff September 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    This post made me tear up and get a lump in my throat. Poor baby Snaggle Tooth Licorice.

  35. 35
    Katie in MA September 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    …and some vodka, right? Because GOOD LORD, woman, what a day!

    Poor thing (her, not you) is doomed to live some sort of pitiful doggy existance: either she has to live with a naked butt all her life, or go without front teeth. Poor, poor Licorice. I think she needs more Pepperoni.

  36. 36
    Tracy September 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    Poor baby. Just breaks my heart to see animals in pain. This Manvet guy, he did give you some pain meds for her? My Cooper had the same experience but he only lost 1 tooth and had to have 3 rounds of antibotic shots. But he’s much better and his breathe is tolerable. I hope she is better today. Poor baby.

  37. 37
    Jessica September 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    OMG I would be going off. That is my child you idiots. I have changed vets so many times because of the animalistic way they treat my daisy girl. Once when I went ouit of town, the place a resort of types had me in tears because they told me daisy would be in a cage ALL DAY and NIGHT long. I bawled, then of course the pitch, but for an extra 35 bucks a day she can go to doggie day care. WTF. I havent been back there since, and I do not recommend that place to anyone. I am lucky enough to have an older lady who comes to the house and lets daisy sleep in bed with her.

  38. 38
    Cindy September 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    Am I the only one thinking — really, you’d go back to LadyVet? I mean I know ManlyVet said the tooth decay could happen fairly quickly, but she didn’t notice earlier that teeth should be removed? Even after you pointed out the bad breath? Seems a little odd to me. I still think a quick kick to ManlyVet would greatly help his bedside manner though.

  39. 39
    Burgh Baby September 21, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    Can *I* kick ManlyVet in the junk? Because I would like to. How hard is it to have someone call you and tell you what’s happening so you aren’t blind-sided like that? NOT AT ALL.

    Harumph.

  40. 40
    JennyM September 21, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Why is it that some vets, admirable “animal people” though they may be, don’t get that for some of us, our dogs are our children too? I mean, can you imagine dropping Monkey off at the orthodontist and… well, the above? Arrrgh.

    Our big Cliffie was sometimes known as “Ol’ Toothless” or “Gummy Bear” because he had lost most of his front teeth (some before he came to us, chewing on rocks, and some after, due to decay). He was fine, and unless he was panting heavily with his lips drawn back, you couldn’t even tell.

    We’re fortunate to have stellar vets anyway, and when Cliff was sick, we were referred to the most fabulous, state-of-the-art specialist vet group. (www.upstatevetspecialists.com — check them out!) Those people are complete rockstars and the care Cliff received (and consideration we received) was incredible. Luckily, they are local for us — but they have patients from all over the southeast.

    But you’re right — there are few things more tragi-comically pitiful than a post-surgery dog stoned out of his or her gourd.

  41. 41
    Anna September 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Poor puppy. Poor Mir! What a rough day. I bet you can find a nice, ripe pear for her to eat, too.

  42. 42
    Patricia September 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    I once had a cat who had to have one of his Canine teeth pulled (an upper canine). What we learned was it was that tooth that held his lip away from being punctured by his lower canine — so, um, for the next 8+ years of his life, he had a constant hole in his lip and his lower canine sticking out. From that point on, he was always known as “Evil Hobbes”

    I’m glad Licorice is feeling more like herself — even if a bit toothless.

  43. 43
    Pam September 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    I know everyone feels so sorry for Licorice and so do I, but I must tell you that my sides hurt and I can’t catch my breath from laughing at your descriptive presentation!!!!! OMG, I’m dying!!!! I must also say that I am somewhat disappointed that you didn’t deliver the shot to the vets lower portion!! He deserved it for sure…. poor puppy…..

    Take care of her, I’m sure y’all will and keep making my day!!!!! Thanx a million!!!

  44. 44
    Beth R September 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    Not that you asked for ass-vice, but here’s mine:

    Make an appointment to talk with BOTH vets, you and Otto. Sit down with both of them and lay out exactly what happened and why it was a total blown situation on their part. Yes, LadyVet missed the tooth issues. Especially if her breath has been this bad this long. And yes, ManVet is a d-bag. The classic phrase, “this is not acceptable” is a good one for situations like this.

    Pretty much, lay it on the line: this was a total cock-up and they need to make it right. If not, you WILL find another vet and also let folks know why you changed practices.

    What can they do to make it right? How about enough free exams, meds, etc. to cover the cost of at least half of the unexpected and UNAPPROVED extractions. Just because she needed them (and it sounds like she did), you did not approve that action and legally, you could have them in a sling if you felt like it.

    I know, I hate confrontation, too, but they both need to know what happened and how it affected you. That’s not cool.

  45. 45
    Mon September 21, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    Glad she is OK. And just so freaking cute. But I think it’s time for a whole new vet office. LadyVet and ManlyVet don’t sound like the brightest bulbs. Or, it’s a clinic that really wants to make money above all else. My vet is great, out of all the docs there, I have one I prefer to see. I need someone truthful, knowledgeable and not just there to make the clinic a buck (she gave me a written script for people-grade antibiotics for my dog’s dermatitis and then told me to take it to Giant, they would fill it for free…she was right!). My 13 y.o. dog has some tumors internally. I pressed my vet to tell me what she would do if it was her dog and she said it was a hard decision, but she’d probably do surgery. I have opted not to do surgery and my dog is doing great (for 13!). Find a vet who will give you the straight answers! And yay for Licorice for bouncing back. She really is just the cutest floor- holder-downer ever.

  46. 46
    Laura September 21, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    After my brother’s dog had most of her rotten teeth removed, she became almost…normal? A lot of the neurosis was gone. So as pitiful as she is, and as attached as you were to those goofy front teeth, Licorice will be so much happier and more comfortable, her breath will not knock a buzzard off a gut wagon, and maybe she won’t be Emo Dog so much anymore. But they are just pitiful when they’re doped up, aren’t they?

  47. 47
    Annie September 21, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    We had an old beagle who used to have to go in every year for teeth cleaning, and every year she would lose 4 or 5 teeth. She got to where she could only eat canned food, however she lived to be over 20 years old.

    One year I forgot the scheduled appointment, and was getting ready for work. The vet’s office called, and said “Is Molly there?” (Molly being the dog.) I was stunned for a minute by the weirdness of the situation, then it clicked..oh yeah forgot to take her in at 7:30. I said “Yes, would you like to speak with her?”

    Dead silence on the other end.

  48. 48
    Kate M September 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

    I’m glad Licorice is ok. Our vet once removed, brace yourself, 19 (no, not a typo, that’s NINETEEN) of our lhasa’s teeth without calling us in advance and could not figure out why I was pissed. Forget the surprise $600 (yep, SIX HUNDRED American Dollars!) bill. After all, we signed a paper saying they could do necessary extractions. Her teeth were cleaned every year for 12 years, and she had only previously had two extractions. I tried explaining that, given her history, no reasonable person would expect that waiver to cover NINETEEN teeth! Needless to say we’ve vocally recommended to anyone who will listen that they not go to that vet. She died a year or two later and has been gone for nearly 3 years, and my blood is boiling just thinking about it. Poor Licorice :(

  49. 49
    Kate M September 21, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    The dead ‘she’, being the dog, not the vet.

  50. 50
    Lara September 22, 2010 at 7:29 am #

    Oh Mir! Sounds like everyone at the vets office let you down! Hope that adorable dog is feeling more like herself today (and you too!).

  51. 51
    Kendra September 22, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    Don’t ask how I know this but I have used shout stain remover for clothes to get blood out of my carpet it works well no scrubbing reqiured. (It involves a dog two cats and one unfortunate chipmunk who will no longer tortue said dog!)

  52. 52
    J from Ireland September 22, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    Aw she looks so gorgeous. Any chance you could show a picture of her with a doggy toothless smile..I bet its soo cute.

  53. 53
    Susan September 23, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    My thirteen-year-old cat has no teeth. Well, she has one very very tiny front incisor, which are minuscule in cats. We have her mother and twin sister also here, and they both have pretty healthy teeth. Our amazing vet says it is probably related to her nearly constant sinus infections. Anyway, she manages to eat dry food somehow, although I don’t know how. It makes me a little sad but she doesn’t seem to mind at all. Some of her teeth have come out on their own (?) but she’s had some extracted at the vet. On one occasion she went into the vet pretty miserable and acted much better once her rotten tooth was gone. Licorice probably feels better, even if she might make you a little sad with fewer teeth. Be glad she still has SOME teeth.

  54. 54
    Susan September 23, 2010 at 7:23 am #

    P.S. I am not sure exactly where you live but I highly recommend the Pleasant Hill Animal Hospital in Duluth if you live near there (for all I know you live three hours from there). They have two very good vets who are not complete cads like most of them out there.

  55. 55
    Debbi September 23, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    How traumatic!! I am so sorry you went thru all of that. Both you and Licorice! I really hope she is feeling better soon.

  56. 56
    Jenn September 23, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Wow, I knew Licorice was a smaller dog but I guess I never realized HOW small until I looked at the toothless dog picture and realized your hand is so much bigger than her head.

    I know they had to do it to make it right, but there were a million ways that they could have handled it better. I would like to kick ManlyVet in the nuts on your behalf.

    I was surprised when we moved to a big city that the vet care was so much better. I grew up in a small town where all the vets mostly took care of farm animals, dogs and cats were seen only in the evenings. No empathy from the vets, they could have been examining a brick on the table. And I thought that’s just the way it was! I puffy pink-heart the vet practice we’re in now. They actually seem to like animals!

  57. 57
    pam September 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    You’ve more willpower than I dear Mir. I wouldn’t have been able to NOT kick manly vet in the nuts!

  58. 58
    myboyzach September 26, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    A few days late in responding. How’s the little black puppy doing? FIND A NEW VET !!!
    One of Zach’s many issues involved crystals in his urine. He had to have special Rx food and distilled water, blah blah…no treats nothing. He was just a year. What’s he suppose to chew? The advice–give him an old sneaker. And how does he know the difference between an old and a new sneaker? That was the end of that vet–1 down, about 4 others seen until we found one that is perfect for all.
    They should have called when they found out the surgery was going to be 1) late; 2) more teeth taken out 3) she was out of surgery. Might be time to move on !!! (hard to do, but harder to deal with if they treat you like this at other times).

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Did I mention…? | Woulda Coulda Shoulda - September 22, 2010

    [...] Yesterday was just a case of colossally bad timing, really. Somehow I managed to schedule doctors’ appointments for both kids at the same time on opposite ends of town. Oops. I was also swamped with work, still not feeling particularly great, Otto’s car is in the shop, and we’re still watching for signs that the dog was scarred for life. [...]

  2. Anger-vu | Woulda Coulda Shoulda - September 29, 2010

    [...] spoon in hand in case I needed a weapon), I’m letting Licorice go after him. Maybe she can gum him to death, teaching squirrels everywhere a lesson in… um… NOT DOING [...]

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