My canine’s canines

I loved getting a root canal so much that I’m getting one for my dog.

A little more than a year ago, I noticed that one of Isis’ teeny little lower front teeth looked like it had been worn down. I googled it, got scared and took her to the vet, whose reaction was basically, “Eh, no big.”

That tooth never seemed to bother her and didn’t wear away to nothing. So I wasn’t overly concerned when I noticed that Isis’ canines were no longer pointy. It’s kind of a mixed blessing, isn’t it? Like Stew not having claws. Stew can’t scratch and Isis’ canines can’t puncture. (Theory B as yet untested).

How did this happen? She chews on your normal dog stuff. Rubber toys, plush squeakies. I know tennis balls can be bad, but she doesn’t chew on those too often. Soccer balls, yes, daily…but not for an excessive length of time.

Saturday, on the long drive home from dog class (she’s doing so well! I’m so proud, and even the trainer was beaming with pride), I noticed that the top of the lower left canine looked reddish or brownish. Last night, the whole tooth was brownish gray. So it’s dead or dying, and probably needs a root canal, which is absolutely my preference over an extraction.

We’ll be seeing a veterinary dentist next week to learn more. I’m not sure if the vet dentist will be able to tell why this happened, but I emailed my dog trainer. She mentions at least once every time I see her that she feeds her dogs raw. She has suggested that some of Isis’ behavioral problems could be nutritionally based, but waited until now to go into full proselytizing mode.

I get the feeling she has been waiting eagerly for the right moment, when I’d be faced with something that would make me consider even for a second obtaining and feeding my dog whole raw chickens. And tripe. Organs. Etc.

She sensed it would be off-putting to suggest I do anything other than buy a 40-pound bag of kibble, since as far as I knew, Isis was perfectly healthy. But the second I asked, “Do you think there’s something wrong with Isis’ nutrition that would result in her teeth eroding like this?”

Bam.

She didn’t say I had to feed Isis raw, or that I obviously don’t love my dog if I continue to feed her kibble. She said, “Please tell me if I’m out of line.” But I bit, and asked to hear more. And I’m considering it.

The anticipated expense of my dog’s dental work has me stressed out for other reasons too. I had just gotten my heart set on going to Cambodia and Vietnam in July. A friend is performing at the Park Hyatt Saigon for three months, and are you kidding me, of course I want to go visit.

The airline ticket would cost the same as a root canal for my dog.