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.