a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: OMG I've Figured It Out

Monday, January 28, 2008

OMG I've Figured It Out

SUMMARY: It's Tika's tooth.

At least for this time around, I've figured out why Tika suddenly acts miserable and sore when playing tug-of-war and becomes subdued and won't play. Why bending her neck to the left hurts. Why she'll be curled over to lick/nibble certain parts of her body and suddenly yelp and look miserable for a couple of minutes.

It's not her neck. Not her back. I just happened to look down at her from the correct angle just now, and noticed her left cheek (opposite my hand in this photo). I tried to put my finger inside to pull the cheek out to look, and she shrieked. Just touching the outside makes her yelp. I can't tell so much from wrestling her mouth open and looking inside, but that section of her gums does look a bit inflamed. Still, it looks like it's actually the skin on her cheek that's swollen--like the lump is NOT in her gums; when I do manage to pull the side of her mouth out, the lump seems to come with it. I've never had a dog with tooth problems or abscesses before, though, so don't know what to expect.

I don't think that this explains why, 4 weeks ago, she couldn't jump into her crate without yelping. But it fits everything else. I've got an appointment with the vet for tomorrow morning. I feel an ominously large vet bill coming.


  1. Given Tika's age, just let them pull the tooth (if it is a dental abcess) and treat with antibiotics. The anesthesia will be the biggest cost. What a relief to know what is wrong.

  2. She'll just be 7 in a couple of weeks, which I don't think of as old any more. Does age (in the range of, say, 2 to 7) really make a difference in how to treat it? I'm asking because I have no clue.


  3. Wow...I'm so glad you found out what could be the root of the issue. I sure hope the vet is able to do something about it and quick! I agree with just pulling the tooth. I'm not sure that age really matters, but I'm also not sure that the tooth could be saved (if it is indeed an abcess).

  4. I think Als' point is that you will probably be given the option of removing the tooth or a root canal. Root canals are more expensive and can aslo fail and she'd lose the tooth anyway (in another procedure).

  5. Poor Tika-wika! Isn't it amazing the pain they put up with and we never suspect? I know she'll feel a lot better without that tooth. Give her a big furry hug from me.