A few weeks ago, Copper came down with a horrible cough. It was the kind of cough that came from deep in the belly and just sounded miserable for her. We decided it was bad enough to warrant a visit to the vet (where she hadn't been in close to 6 years). She must have understood us when we told her where we were goiing. She absolutely refused to put on her leash and get into and out of the car. As soon as we were in the door she was trembling uncontrolably. She refused to move her legs so I had to carry her the whole time! Poor thing was scared out of her mind, but at least that made it easier for them to examine her. She let them do whatever they wanted without so much as a peep because she was so scared. The diagnosis was possible Valley Fever (which thankfully turned out negative) or some other upper respiratory infection, as well as a raging ear infection in her left ear. When they told me she had an ear infection, it was like a little light bulb went off. So that's why she will sometimes yelp if you pet her head the wrong way, and why she doesn't seem to hear us very well anymore. We had just attributed that to the fact that she is 12 years old.
During her examination, I was scolded about the condition of her teeth. Some people might have been offended by the mild tongue lashing I received, but frankly, I knew I deserved it. They were really bad. Trust me. So we decided to purchase an annual health plan for her that included a dental cleaning and would ultimatley save us money with everything else we needed done that day. We left with many lovely prescribed parting gifts.
Thankfully the cough disappeared pretty quickly and the ear infection was gone in a couple weeks. After getting the clean bill of health, she was ready for her dental cleaning, which we did on Saturday. Nothing is ever as easy as it sounds, is it? During her cleaning they found 11 infected teeth that need to come out. If they don't the infection could spread to her internal organs and could ultimately be fatal, so we of course plan to have that done. Poor girl is going to need Doggie Dentures! They assured me she will be able to continue to eat her dry food after everything is all healed up, even with missing all those choppers, and that removing these teeth would greatly improve her quality of life. So that's next on the to do list. By the time 2011 rolls around, Copper will have had the complete overhaul! She'll be a whole new puppy!