Eating was torture. Just trying to close his mouth hurt so he often held it slightly open, making him look like he was smiling. He was thin and not in good condition. His legs were a little weak and his coat was dry and stiff. But when he walked out of the small cage at the Center for the first time, his little tail was wagging and he looked so hopefully up at everyone that every heart melted.
Buddy was only 3 years old, but he appeared markedly older. His teeth were in horrific condition. The tarter on them was so bad that his gums had receded, leaving him with long, loose yellowing teeth that were very painful. He was thin and walked gingerly. We were told he had lived in a house where illegal drugs were made and sold, perhaps that is why he was in such poor physical condition.
We knew he badly needed a dental and perhaps extractions so we scheduled him for surgery right away. While he was under anesthesia, we would also neuter him. His teeth were worse than they looked. The cleaning went well, but almost all were loose and needed to be removed. One after another, the teeth were examined by the veterinarian and pulled. Some were already missing. By the time it was all over, little Buddy had only 3 teeth left. Two canines on top and one on the bottom. And the bottom one was not quite straight, but slanted out to the side. We also did some bloodwork on him and the results showed a number of his values were off. He was placed on a strong vitamin supplement and also was prescribed antibiotics and pain medicine for the dental procedure.
After the surgery, we wrapped him in warm towels and made sure he woke up feeling as well as could be expected. He had many stitches in his mouth to close the holes that his missing teeth left. He had to eat only very soft food so his stitches would stay intact.
One of the kennel staff took him home for the night. She reported that he did fine with her other dogs and cats and slept through the night on her bed. She is continuing to foster him and he improves day by day. His little tongue sometimes falls out of the side of his mouth, giving him a comical appearance. He is proving to be one of the sweetest little guys we have known. Buddy’s difficult beginning is over and he is well on the road to recovery.