Considerable neglect and irresponsible breeding means that it is sadly very common for puppy mill dogs to have problems with their teeth. We knew that Nala was going to need a lot of work and scheduled her for surgery as soon as she'd been taken into the program. She was a very good girl for the vet but they had to do an awful lot of work. In total she had 22 teeth removed and her right upper canine was so diseased that she had an oral to nasal fistula - essentially a cavity that went all the way through to her nose. The vet took before and after photos for us, so look away if you're a little squeamish:
It's hardly a wonder that she hasn't been keen on eating much since we arrived. I don't mean to be downbeat but I do worry so about the little lady at the moment. She detests her medication, of which there are three variations: two different tablets and an orally administered syringe. I wish I could explain to her that she'll feel so much better for it and that I'm just doing the best I can for her but of course that kind of logic is of no use.
In the meantime I feel like each dose of medicine dismantles hours of work in gaining her trust and bringing her out of her shell. At the moment she's lying in the kitchen by the bathroom door with a sad scowl on her face. Billy and I sat near her for half an hour and she eventually came over for a head scratch and gave me some kisses but she doesn't want to come and sit with us in the living room yet. It's difficult to get any food into her and she's suspicious even of cheese, which she's been very interested in before, so there's no question of hiding medication in her dinner. After her distress over tonight's dose of liquid antibiotics and the way she's shutting down, I've decided that forcing her to take another painkiller as well is more traumatic than risking some discomfort overnight. However, I know she feels better for it and that's the best way to get her feeling well enough to eat, which she sorely needs.
I've left a little food in her crate and hidden the tablet inside in the hopes that she might get hungry enough to eat it at some point. Tomorrow I'll be going to the store to see what I can add to my barrage of dog-friendly foods - especially as Billy managed to steal a giant chunk of cheese when my back was turned. Yip, he'll be waking me up in the middle of the night for sure!