Cora’s Dental Surgery Surprise

On Monday, Cora had dental surgery.

Cora’s teeth before cleaning

It had been only about a year and eight months since Cora’s last cleaning, but as it turned out, she really needed her teeth scaled again. We also knew that she had several broken teeth (many very easy to spot even for us). About a year ago, a friend of mine adopted a rescue whose personality completely blossomed after she had half of her teeth (all broken) removed. Because of this anecdotal evidence of the possible good that could come from dental surgery, I gave our vet (Dr. Sherry at Thickson Road Pet Hospital) the go-ahead to do as she felt best once she had Cora in surgery.

The vet clinic, as always, was amazing with Cora. Knowing her fearful nature, Dr. Sherry and Shannon, the vet tech, planned their day so that Cora’s surgery would be done before any others, meaning Cora wouldn’t have to wait in a crate, her anxiety building. They allowed me to stay with her as long as possible, and they called me to come get her as soon as she was ready to go home. They are so good with her and understand well my anxieties about keeping Cora on the path to fearlessness or as close to it as we can possibly get. (I have to add that Liz at the front desk was also amazing on surgery day. I stayed in the waiting room until I knew Cora was under, and Liz helped me stay calm and relaxed.)

Cora's teeth after (1280x960) (1280x960)

Cora’s pearly whites

As it turns out, Cora had to have seven teeth removed. We knew that her four front bottom teeth were all broken, presumably from chewing on bars most of her life (surmised from the fact that her top canines are also rounded from wear). The three other teeth removed were well spaced outβ€”one front top tooth, one lower premolar, and one upper large molar. All of her teeth, though, are terribly worn down, and the vet thinks she’s probably spent a lot of time chewing on rocks or something equally unforgiving.

While none of this came as much of a surprise to us, Dr. Sherry did have one shocker to share. Seven teeth were not the only thing removed from Cora’s mouth. We knew of a “cyst” in her cheek that we have been watching for more than a year for growth. The vet removed it only to find it was not a cyst but a pellet, most likely from an air gun.


The pellet removed from Cora’s cheek next to a Zuke’s training treat

Poor Cora has lived with this in her mouth for at least two years. It’s possible she was shot while she was a stray, maybe while getting into garbage (which we know she has a penchant for), or that she was indeed a hunting dog and was shot while on a hunt. In either case, the shooting may explain her fear of people.

2013-03-11 after surgery

Cora on the way home from the vet clinic–very dopey

Anyway, within twelve hours of her surgery, Cora was her usual funny self, eating anything we’d allow her and begging for many chewy treats she can’t yet have. But we’re hoping to get approval for the chewier treats tomorrow at her follow-up appointment.

And while it seems that Cora has not come out of her shell with other people as a result of the removal of her teeth, she has at least remained just as kooky and happy and crazy as ever in our presence! For all her fearfulness with others, she truly makes up for it during our “family time.” She’s really quite the nut!

9 Responses to Cora’s Dental Surgery Surprise

  • Agnes says:

    Unbelievable!!! Poor Cora! Can’t even imagine the scenario that would put a pellet in her mouth – nothing that comes to mind is positive. Thank goodness (once again) that she has found her forever home with your family.

  • Danica/Dream says:

    Wow! Jayne was just telling me about this because my little doggie is in getting his teeth done right now. I can’t believe you got pics! I didn’t get any of mine, but the vet just called to say he’s doing fine and no extractions. πŸ™‚

    Anyway, just had to say hi since it’s been forever!

    • Cathy Witlox says:

      Hey, Danica! It’s been ages! Yes, I requested the pictures for the blog since I had seen my vet clinic put other dogs’ pictures on their FB page. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad to hear your little one is doing fine and didn’t have to have any extractions. Is he very old? I’m hopeful this was Cora’s last surgery since we have no idea how old she is! (And thanks to Jayne for sending you!)

  • Danica/Dream says:

    He’s 13, so that’s pretty old in dog years. I’m hoping for more good years out of the poor guy. πŸ™‚

    • Cathy Witlox says:

      Yep, but it sounds as though you take good care of him. I hope you do have several more good years with him! (Unfortunately, it never feels like enough!) Bet you can’t wait to get him home from the vet clinic and cuddle him!

  • Ashley says:

    Thanks for posting Cathy!
    Glad to hear that Cora is still a nut at home with you guys!
    Breaks my heart that she had to have not very nice things happen to hear in her previous life!
    She could not have gone to a better home!

  • Viki Duce says:

    Thank you for existing.

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