His morning runs were inconsistent: If the weather hit 100 degrees at 5 a.m., as it did a few mornings, Dad just wasn't taking Joey running. The dog hit his 11th birthday - and the boy just couldn't handle it. As Dad says, Joey started out his old self but by the end, they were more walking than running.
One day Dad noticed Joey had bad breath. It's hard to miss a dog's bad breath but sometimes dog owners just get complacent.
Bad dog breath was definitely a sign that it was time for a teeth cleaning. Within one day, we had Joey at the veterinarians for his pre-cleaning blood work. When the old boy sat on the scale, I was sure there was a mistake. 70 lbs. it read. This is too low. Joey stepped off the scale, and got back on again - with the same reading. 70 lbs. This dog is too thin! I was under doctor's orders to increase his food intake.
The next week was Joey's dental cleaning. While he was under anesthesia, the veterinarian noticed that he had a severely cracked tooth that needed to be extracted. Suddenly we saw Joey's weight loss through a different lens. We saw his not eating through a different lens. His tooth hurt and he just didn't want to eat more than a minimal amount every day.
So how can you tell if your dog requires dental surgery?