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Painful Teeth (Senior Dog)

My dog is 13 years old and has recently shown pain when eating food. I noticed a couple months ago he was sensitive when chewing his dry food and it looked like he could only chew on one side, so I started wetting his food so it wouldn’t be so hard for him to eat. Wetting the food seemed to work well so I continued this for a while, maybe a month or two.
This worked ok until recently when he randomly would kind of yelp then run away when eating food and when just moving his mouth. He still seems interested in food, I was trying to feed him a dog pain pill today and I normally wrap it in bread, I did this and he tried to eat it, but quickly dropped the bread and kind of looked confused and scared because he clearly was in pain. After being in pain he wouldn’t touch the bread and he acted as if I hurt him and stayed away from me. About 5-10 minutes later I wetted his food again, basically swamping the food in water and he scarfed it down no problem.
This might sound bad, but the only thing that has changed in the last month was that I allowed him to chew on his choke chain because he seemed to really enjoy it and basically is the only thing he enjoyed to do besides take walks (which he has a hard time doing). He doesn’t ever play with toys or chew on any bones, so I allowed him to chew on something that he liked, but I fear that this might have fractured a tooth or just made his teeth worse.
I am extremely concerned with my dog’s health and if his teeth are infected for it to spread to the rest of his body. My dog is my life and clearly he needs to be taken to the vet. This is my family’s dog, I have had him since I was about 5, but my parents failed to properly take care of him, he basically has not been to the vet for his entire life. He is the type of dog to be loyal and comfortable with one person, which would be me. Any other person he is very defensive and not very nice too, especially to people outside of my family. He has bitten people in the past and will snap at a stranger. I am afraid that it is going to be hard to bring him to the vet because of this reason. I have heard of people putting a muzzle on their dogs before bringing them to the vet, but since the problem is in his mouth and I don’t own a muzzle I am not sure what to do. PLEASE help by giving suggestions on a plan to help my poor dog who is in pain. I hate seeing him in pain.  
Additionally, to all the above concerns I have. I am very scared about putting an old dog under anesthetic, I do not want anything to happen to him, but I also do not want him to suffer.

2 Responses
974371 tn?1424653129
So sorry to read this.  You really do need to take him to the Vet and ASAP!  The Vet and staff handle difficult animals all the time.  It just goes along with the territory.  Just make sure to give them this information before you go into the office.  Yes, an infection could become life threatening!  Hard to believe the dog has never been to the Vet.  You are lucky he has been in good health.
Anesthetic is always a concern,esp in an older animal.  The Vet will most likely want blood word dine and this can tell if there are any serious kidney or liver issues going on.  
Keep trying what you have to get him to eat.
Good luck and please make that appt and come back to update.
Avatar universal
I agree with Margot49, your dog needs to be seen by a vet immediately.  He sounds like hes in extreme pain, and probably will need extractions.  Our dog was 15 when she went in for her last cleaning, and extractions, and did just fine.  Your vet will keep the dogs age in mind when doing the procedure, I know you worry about his age but I'd worry more about his quality of life right now.  Please make an appointment very soon, and good luck.
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