The Silent Sufferer

My poor Bozzie-boo.  Her name is Rosie but we call her Bozzie Boo and she is our very special 11 year old dachshund.  The runt of Ruby’s litter of six, she was too beautiful and too precious to sell so against Carl’s pleas to be sensible, I kept her.

A few days ago I knew something wasn’t quite right.  Yes, we’ve recently had the fractured pelvis and she has been on several kinds of pain medication to help her through and so when she started to be ‘on the nose’, with her showing no signs of obvious discomfort, her issues slipped under the radar.

In her hospital bed with an electric blanket

But last weekend I thought something had to be wrong and so on Monday I took her to the vet.  I told him I thought she must need her teeth cleaned as the bad breath was becoming quite a problem.  I told him I believed there must be an issue with her teeth because if I tried to look at them she would become quite distressed and almost try to bite me.

The vet had a quick look and agreed her teeth needed to be cleaned and he suspected she needed a few extractions.  She would need a general anaesthetic and so I was asked to leave her there for the day and return when her ordeal was over.

I went back to the vet late in the afternoon.  I saw the dear little girl fast asleep and lying on an electric blanket with a pillow under her head and a blanket across her body.  When I approached her cage she woke and stood up on wobbly legs.  She was very drugged.

‘I’m a little drugged, mummy and my mouth’s swollen’

The vet gave me the sad news that in the last few weeks Rosie has been a silent sufferer.  One of her molars had become completely diseased and she had a root abscess that was massive and had turned the root to pulp.  I was shocked and felt like a very negligent mother and was quick to let the vet know she hadn’t shown any signs of being in pain and had been eating well.  He said eating is what they will do even if in immense pain because it’s a survival instinct.

The diseased tooth was so rotten it couldn’t be easily extracted and had to be cut out from the side of her mouth and as a result she has many stitches.  She also had other extractions and then her remaining teeth were cleaned.

I paid the bill that had me reeling and it is definitely a bill I will keep hidden from Carl, then the vet gave me her antibiotics and pain killers.  He also told me that the reason for all her decaying teeth on her left side is because her upper and lower teeth don’t meet properly so she prefers to chew on her right side.  But on the right side some of her teeth are over-lapping trapping plague and preventing her teeth from being cleaned.  ‘Basically’, he said, ‘if she could have had braces she would have been fine’.  I’ve never seen a dog with braces!

Having her IV removed

Then he told me that in the next two years she will probably lose all her teeth but that she will manage quite well tooth-less.  ‘She could even chew a pig’s ear’, he said.  In the meantime he suggested I clean her teeth every day – not right now though, because she’s on a soft diet for the next ten days, but in three weeks time I’m to daily clean her teeth.  He gave me some toothpaste and can you believe, it’s cheese flavoured.  Anyone want some?

She can have this all to herself

I was going to post a recipe tonight but I think with all the talk of bad breath, root abscesses, tooth extractions, dogs with braces and cheese flavoured toothpaste, I’ve probably put everyone off their food.  I’ll just leave you with a few images of my precious little girl.

Me nursing my drugged patient

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  1. claire @ live and love to eat says:

    Poor pup! My in-law’s dog had the same problem and they only noticed it because of his really bad breath, too – I’m glad your dog is on the mend!

  2. Poor little girl! I’ve got chicken-flavoured toothpaste for the cat, but i’ve never been game enough to try brushing her teeth.

  3. Norma Chang says:

    Your girl is beautiful, glad her problem is taken care of and she is on the mend. Wishing her speedy recovery.

  4. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Aww she looks so sweet in that last picture. I hope she is ok and recovers quickly and well 🙂

  5. says:

    Oh no Charlie that poor baby. Dont you just feel so sorry for them suffering like that. Hope you have luck cleaning her teeth. My dog just takes the toothbrush and runs off ( she would probably steal that jar of cheese toothpaste and eat it too!)

  6. Amy @ Elephant Eats says:

    Aw, Charlie, sorry to hear that Rosie was sick, but glad that she seems to be doing so much better! I was worried about the outcome when I started reading this post. My brother and parents both own long haired mini dachsunds so I have a soft spot for them…perhaps one of the most adorable breeds. Glad to hear you have her home again where you can give her some TLC 🙂

  7. oh little poor thing…I am glad that she is doing better. I need to get some toothpaste for my cats too.

  8. Aww poor baby! She is adorable though in a serious way…I’d pay anything to have her not be in pain.
    Joanne (eats well with others)

  9. Oh Charlie, I know that heart wrenching pain of a ‘pet baby’ and I feel so bad for you. That is one very fortunate little puppy to be in such loving care. Cheese flavoured tooth paste seems appropriate for a dog; do they really give dogs braces?
    She is so adorable the way see is sleeping in your arms.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I think my vet was only joking about the braces and it really isn’t something I would consider but judging from some of the comments, it does seem orthodontics are offered to cats and dogs – now there’s a career I never thought of! xx

  10. Oh my goodness, poor Bozzie Boo!! Well, I guess we can be thankful that even though it was painful, it was just her teeth, and not something horrible that was wrong with her! She looks so happy back in mama’s arms. Even looks like she’s smiling. 🙂

    We have two hunting dogs, one of which has had some serious medical issues since we brought her home two years ago. They are our babies of course and we always want the best for them. But even so, those vet bills…yikes. I just pay it, stuff it in my purse, and try to forget about how expensive it all is!

  11. The Squishy Monster says:

    I’m so happy to hear that she’s doing much better!!! =D

  12. A_Boleyn says:

    Poor sweetie. Please give her extra pets from me.

  13. Cucina49 says:

    Your poor sweet dog! I so wish that animals could tell us when they’re not feeling well. My cat was diagnosed with thyroid and kidney issues earlier this year (she’s 17, so this wasn’t out of the realm of reason), and I wish she could have told us she was feeling uncomfortable! I hope your baby is doing better soon.

  14. Sophies Foodie Files says:

    Oooh,..poorliitle cute doggie! What pain that she must undergo! 🙁 But yoy nurse her well. She is a survivor & a real cuty too! 🙂

  15. Poor darling. Both of you.. xx

    I am quite unnerved at the thought of what the vet bill must have been…

  16. i am so happy your beautiful adorable dog is ok, she has been through so much and you must have too!


  17. Glamorous Glutton says:

    Poor little thing. It’s so hard when dogs are ill, you feel so guilty when in fact there isn’t really any outward signs. I can imagine what that bill would have been with anaesthetic as well! But they are so worth it. GG

  18. Juliet Batten says:

    What a sweet little dog, and how sad it is when they get old. You were spot on with the teeth diagnosis.

  19. oh you’re such a great nurse, she looks really calm with you!

  20. Suzanne Perazzini says:

    What a beautiful photo of her in your arms. These creatures touch our hearts in sad and lovely ways. But they can be so expensive. I relate to you hiding the vet’s bill from your husband. I used to do the same with my cat’s bills, which were astronomical towards the end.

  21. InTolerantChef says:

    Poor little sweetie!
    This sounds similar to my cat and his teeth issues. He had pointy fangs like a Sabre tooth tiger, and was hit a glancing blow by a car. This knocked one of them loose and the vet tried to talk us into Kitty-cat-braces. When we were given a quote though, we couldn’t justify that amount of money and so the vet pulled it out instead. From then on, any time he lapped, milk spurted through the gap in his teeth, making meal times very messy indeed!

  22. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    It’s so hard to see animals suffer (yes, and people, I know–but you just can’t explain things to animals or babies). Lucky you caught it when you did. I have one older dog I am worried about, one very active border collie, and a new puppy (son of b.c.) as of last Friday. Caring for them is non-ending, as with children, but that last beautiful photo of you two says it all and makes it all worthwhile.

  23. This post will be a hit with every dog lover. We have two Tonkinese cats and on their first vet visit he said, “they’ll both lose all their teeth, this breed is bad for that” and in spite of the “tooth biscuit” diet, they have plaque. There is NO way I could brush their teeth.. they aren’t very friendly.

    Charlie on the other hand I could brush his teeth by the hour but he will eat tooth biscuits and he has beautiful teeth. (he was named in Dargaville, of course he’s perfect)

    When Carl sees the bill, give him a framed photo of the one above. 🙂 He couldn’t resist going “awww.”

  24. Oh what a sweet little Boo! (we had a bunny named Boo!) I’m feeling guilty about not brushing my pups teeth, especially hearing how she suffered in silence. My heart goes out to her, especially all those sad but cute photos in her cage. You’re a good mommy and it looks like she loves you very much!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Hi Linda, good to hear from you. Are you blogging again? Can you send me your URL as it hasn’t shown up in this ridiculous commenting system of mine that gives me no end of grief xx

  25. Oh no poor doggie 🙁 the same thing happened to by boyfriends dog and it was too expensive and painful for the dog to remove all the teeth so the poor doggie basically had a very bad smelling mouth for the rest of his life 🙁

    Hope Rosie feels better soon ~

  26. yummychunklet says:

    Aw, poor Rosie!

  27. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    Aww poor puppy. I hope she gets better very soon. I love the last photo of her asleep on your lap. So gorgeous.
    ps cheese toothpaste… I think I’d be in danger of eating it not cleaning with it.

  28. SarahKate (Mi Casa-Su Casa) says:

    Poor little puppy… so brave to be quiet and sweet while she was in pain. I love dogs so much. Your pictures of Rosie are just gorgeous… I wish I could give her a cuddle!

  29. your poor baby! I can totally relate to your love of your animals – give her a pat for me!

  30. cakewhiz says:

    awwww… i feel sorry for the poor little thing. i wish her a speedy recovery 🙂
    -Abeer @

  31. Ohhh 🙁 Poor Rosie! I hope she recovers quickly and that your teeth brushing goes well when that starts up. I had no idea you could brush dog’s and cat’s teeth – or that such toothpaste came in cheese flavour!

  32. Oh, the poor dear! My family’s dog is 14 and slowing down, slowing down, slowing down. All we can do is cuddle them as long as we can. xo

  33. ChgoJohn says:

    I absolutely despise having a dog that’s ill. I’m just helpless and have to rely on others (vets & specialists) to help the pet. It’s just terrible and I can sympathize, Charlie. I hope you pupster is already on the mend.

  34. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    Oh no, the poor baby! So pleased she is over the ordeal and on the mend. My 3 fur babies are my life and the thought of them in any pain breaks my heart.
    Now about that cheese flavoured toothpaste – how exactly does this flavour “freshen” breath? Good luck with the brushing.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  35. Oh my goodness – funny how we spend any amount of money on our animals! Poor little thing and not a complaint was heard. Cheese toothpaste! Shame our children don’t behave as well. Get well soon Rosie!

  36. Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake says:

    Oh no poor thing! I hope she’s ok now…but vet bills sure can be expensive eh…
    I would love to try cheese flavoured toothpaste. Why do they not make it for humans? That would most certainly make people want to brush their teeth more!

  37. Poor baby! The Babies have had teeth extracted too and it kills me when they have to go through it, but they never had a bad of time as poor Rosie. I tried brushing their teeth and they would have none of it. When they were babies the vet wanted me to put braces on them but our new vet said it’s simply hereditary, Chihuahaus have bad teeth—do you want a recipe for soft cookies for her to chew on until she feels better?

  38. gardencorrespondent says:

    Poor Rosie! I had to have several of our cat Damla’s teeth pulled the last time I took her to the vet, so I know what you mean about feeling negligent. It looks like she’s getting plenty of love and care though- I hope you’re all over this soon.

  39. what a gorgeous dog! poor thing I hope she gets better soon!

  40. Barb Bamber says:

    Poor sweet Bozzie Boo.. our dogs are our babies aren’t they? Our little guy is 15 (105 people years) and he has an eye infection and is limping quite noticeably today. Off to the vet we go and I’m certain it will be an “arm and a leg” to pay. But what else is there to do? We love our little Lucky:)

  41. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) says:

    I’m glad that Rosie is ok, as I was fearing the worst when reading the beginning of the post. Though I can’t even image what the bill looked like.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Ah yes, the bill. Hmmm, what a problem, especially as it’s only been a few weeks since we absorbed the bill of her fractured pelvis! xx

  42. Awww, sweet Bozzie Boo, I am sorry to hear about her poor teefers:-( I remember when I worked as a veterinary technician, there was a dog with no teeth. The family said the dog could eat anything, it was really interesting to hear that:-) Your sweet puppy will be okay for sure! Give Bozzie Boo lots of hugs for me:-) Hugs, Terra

  43. Oh the poor thing, but there is no way you would have known. i used to be a vert nurse in a past life and this was one of the most common things we saw. she has such a gorgeous face and I can see how much you adore her. They get you those animals dont they – they suck us in with those beautiful eyes and gentle souls.Hope she recovers quickly and enjoys that cheese pegpaste 😉 x

  44. That last photo is just the sweetest thing! Poor darling girl! Funny that animals suffer in silence and we humans will complain to anyone willing to listen! Ha! So now you can add cleaning her teeth to your already very full daily routine. I had Dachsunds as a child. I’m very partial to the breed! I don’t think when I was a child they had braces for their teeth! I don’t know what I think about that! 🙂

  45. I am so sorry to hear about this newest development … hugs and kisses to all of you 🙂

  46. She’s just so gorgeous and what a sweet dog to put up with all of that and just get on with it.

    I hope she loves her cheese-flavoured toothpaste!! x

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