Toothless in Tampa

Marcie’s Teeth

Marcie recuperating

So for the sake of completeness, here is a story about Marcie Carey and her dental adventures, which actually compare okay to those of her sisters.

Marcie had kind of unfortunate childhood and young adulthood in a puppy mill. Most of the dogs who were recovered with her — 11 of the 16 — died shortly after they were seized by animal services in Georgia. I can only imagine that her taciturn nature is both a result of the horrible experiences she had (three litters of puppies before she was 18 months old among other things) and part of her survival strategy. Marcie is very reserved and quiet — she had lived with me for three years before I ever heard her make a sound — and very loving with cats and people she knows well; I wonder sometimes if she is completely cheerful but she seems content most of the time.

Anyway, like a lot of puppy mill dogs, Marcie has always had terrible teeth. They’ve been extracted one by one over the years, but today, recognizing that all of her canine teeth were practically parrallel to the jawbone and that none of the molars met, the very nice dog dentist Dr. Michael Peak recommended that it was time for total toothlessness. (Also, the spaces around the teeth accumulate bacteria which affect dogs’ health in other ways.)

This is a challenging procedure not just because of the tiny bones of Italian Greyhounds but because their low body fat makes anesthesia tricky. Dr. Peak used only light sedation (isoflurane) with Marcie and some nerve blocking shots around the gumline. And of course Marcie had plenty of dog tranquilizers and painkillers plus subcutaneous and IV fluids.

Also, Marcie is simply much younger — Astra was 16 years old when she had her major extraction and bone graft! — than her sister was undergoing the same procedure.

Naturally I asked to keep the teeth, which you see here, and to have lots of photos.

However I do not think either Marcie nor myself was prepared for embarking on the new adventure of canine cuisine we are now faced with addressing. Marcie already was used to a lot of food — soup, stew, oatmeal, various kinds of cooked vegetables — she just sort of slurped up (not to mention the diet staples of ice cream and yogurt — what can I say?) but if people have ideas about what else a tooth-free IG might subsist on, that would be great.

The excision of Marcie’s tusks are certainly a loss to the world of Italian Greyhound glamour but I think you can see she is going to quickly make a good showing of the “tongue as accessory” thing.

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