Retired military dog almost died in tooth surgery
Her owner learnt it the hard way
Zippo is a military working dog who retired due to old age. She is now adopted into a civilian home with her new owner Sarah, while military handler, Josh, visits occasionally.
For the past 2 years Zippo adapted to the new home really well, until 6 months ago when Zippo’s weight dropped significantly, and she wasn’t as active as she was before. One day, Zippo refused to eat, her energy level was really low, so Sarah brought Zippo to the vet for a checkup.
Zippo had periodontal disease due to poor dental hygiene
The vet noted that Zippo had periodontal disease, a common dental disease among dogs. The vet gave Zippo an oral radiograph scan and diagnosed her with stage 4 chronic periodontal disease. The accumulation of plaque and tartar in Zippo’s mouth caused more than 50% tooth loss, and the bacteria has entered her bloodstream, damaging her internal organs. The only way out was a tooth extraction surgery.
According to the vet, Zippo might be too old and weak to endure such operation, even if the procedure was successful, the recovery is unpredictable. Though it poses a very high risk, it was the only chance to save Zippo.
“He told me to be prepared for the worst. I was devastated thinking a heroic war dog who survived chaotic combat grounds might not survive a simple surgery.”
A simple surgery that almost took Zippo’s life
“I waited for the longest 14 hours in my life.”
A normal tooth extraction procedure usually only takes less than an hour. But Zippo took 2 hours, her condition was so severe the vet needed to extract three teeth at once, while Zippo being so old and weak did not help the situation.
Initially it was a relief when Zippo’s operation was a success, however Zippo was still not out of the woods yet. She experienced post-surgery complications due to fractured roots, and needed heavy antibiotics and close observation.
Finally after a devastating 12 hours, Zippo’s condition stabilized and is able to go home. The vet warned that this operation was a close call, and should be the last surgery for Zippo as she will not survive another in the future.
Zippo’s recovery and so much hassle
“The most important thing post-procedure is to regularly care for Zippo’s teeth to prevent another infection again,” says the vet.
Sarah took upon the vet’s advice. First, Sarah used dental chew toys. Unfortunately, the dental chew toys could not even withstand a full week as they keep breaking apart. Sarah then switched to dental treats, thinking it would be alright.
After two months, Sarah brought Zippo to the vet for a post-treatment checkup. Still, there were signs of plaque and tartar around Zippo’s teeth and gum. The dental chew toys and treats were obviously not enough to keep Zippo’s teeth clean. The vet suggested to manually brush Zippo's teeth with dog toothpastes.
“It was very difficult and time-consuming to get Zippo to stay still and endure the process of cleaning her teeth. Every time I reached out to her mouth she shrugs my hand away.”
“I figured Zippo might be traumatized by the tooth extraction surgery and dislikes people reaching for her jaw. She’s been running further away from me ever since then.”
When there is too much hassle involved, it is very easy to want to give up on the task. Soon, Sarah finds herself at the verge of giving up.
“She was already old after all, and has already lived her best life serving in military.”
“But every time my train of thoughts reached this point, I remembered the most dreadful 14 hours of my life waiting outside Zippo’s operation room. And I know that I can not just give up on Zippo.”
Getting help from Zippo’s military handler, Josh
Sarah reached out to Zippo’s military handler, Josh, for help. And two days later, Josh came to visit Zippo, he brought something that looked like a chew toy.
It is the DoggoCare Toothbrush, a real toothbrush tested and recommended by vets. The bristles are designed to remove plaque and tartar even in hard-to-reach places as your dog chews on it, cleaning and massaging your dog’s teeth and gums throughout the “dental session”. Manufactured with silicone, the DoggoCare Toothbrush is not only durable, but also non-toxic and safe to chew.
Sarah was reluctant at first, as chew toys didn’t work based on her experience before. However, Josh insisted, stating that this chew toy was what they have been using in military trainings. Sarah could not bring herself to reject his kind gesture. She also didn’t have any better solution than this, so she decided to give it a try.
“I let Zippo chew on the DoggoCare Toothbrush for 15 minutes a day. After a week, the chew toy did not break like the previous ones did, I was shocked!”
From then on, Sarah leaves Zippo with the chew toy the whole day. She only picks up the chew toy to wash at the end of the day, and to refill the toothpaste at the toothpaste reservoir.
Final post-procedure check up appointment
Another 3 months passed by, and it was time for another checkup. To their surprise, Zippo’s oral radiograph came out spotless!
“It’s definitely unbelievable, it’s crazy. If only I knew about the DoggoCare Dog Toothbrush earlier, poor Zippo wouldn’t need to endure losing her 3 teeth and that painful 14 hours that almost killed her.”
Your dog’s dental health is more important than you think
No fur family should experience what Sarah had gone through, and more importantly, no dogs should ever go through such deadly experience like Zippo had.
Do not overlook the importance of your dog’s dental hygiene. Skip chasing your dog around the house, wrestling to pry open its jaw. Eliminate the risk of dog dental disease and dreadful operations.