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My dog ate a silica packet"_
_"How many silica packets did you give him?"_
You can't expect the doctor to be as concerned about your silica packets as about your dog's teeth. The doctor will say, "I'm sure he has to lose teeth eventually. We've given him antibiotics, the best course of action is to give him a low-calcium diet and see what happens."
**_YOUR DOG'S MOUTH CAN BE AN INDICATOR OF OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS._**
The health of your dog's mouth is a strong indicator of the health of his teeth and bones. A clean, healthy mouth is an excellent way to judge how well your dog is taking to the low-calcium diet. If your dog has a problem with dental disease, his mouth will be dirty and the gums will be tender. Your dog may start to lick his teeth compulsively. Sometimes your dog can tell you when he has an infection by how he feels. If you pick up your dog in the morning and he doesn't seem to have a mouthful of teeth or seems to be suffering, take him to the vet right away.
### **_Preventing Bad Breath_**
The way you feel about your dog's breath can have an impact on the way your dog feels about his breath. I had a dog once whose breath smelled so bad that it was driving me crazy. He didn't like it.
I called him one night and he didn't pick up. When I called again the next night, he didn't even pick up. It was Saturday night, so I called again on Sunday morning. That time, he answered the phone and he sounded great. When I told him how nice it was to hear him, he said, "Oh, I have terrible breath. I had to do the best I could to cover it up last night."
I think there's some common ground for all of us, regardless of how we feel about the world, about the dogs we've chosen and the breed we've chosen. We're all here to please people and make them happy. The fact that our pets are so much a part of us emotionally means they have a huge impact on how we feel about ourselves and our own place in the world.
It doesn't matter if you are a dog lover or a cat person, a dog person who loves cats or a cat person who loves dogs. What matters is that you and your pet live together in a harmonious relationship. No one should be alone at night, so we all need to play well together. It's not rocket science, but it takes work.
If your dog has a bad odor, you have two options: You can deal with the odor through some kind of masking technique, or you can remove the source of the odor. The first option is most likely to end in frustration for the dog and for you. You can mask the odor in many ways, but it only works if the odor is mild. If the odor is more intense, a mask may not help. Some dogs seem to smell worse when they're really sick, so it's best to address any underlying medical issue before you deal with the symptoms of poor breath.
If your dog has a particular problem with odor, the answer may be as simple as removing the problem, or it may be more involved. Your vet can tell you what options are available. There are some situations when a dog's body odor can be very difficult to remove. If a dog starts to smell really bad after receiving a tonsillectomy, it may be because their nose has become blocked with material that he normally exudes. If this is the case, it may be possible to remove some of the accumulated material without causing further damage to the dog's nose. The same goes for cases where dogs have a buildup of oil in the glands of the neck and the skin in that area. The glands produce too much oil, and it starts to accumulate in that area. When the accumulation becomes very bad, the only solution is to remove it. A simple surgical removal of the glands will usually work. Most of these cases are easily handled and resolved.
### A note about medical care
I don't want to put down anything you might read, hear, or see about veterinary care. However, some things to consider before you sign a contract for surgery are:
* Have a list of the medications the vet will prescribe for your dog in advance.
* Before surgery, ask if any sedatives will be given to your dog. Most dogs recover quickly, but surgery can be traumatic. Make sure you can go home safely, with your dog at your side.
* Ask if your vet is a member of a pet practice you can trust, and find out what other owners say about his practice and staff.
* Make sure you get a second opinion. Most vets can handle a tonsillectomy, but this is not always true.
* Before you sign the contract, read it over carefully.
* Don't feel bad if you change your mind and decide not to have the surgery. Your dog can be placed in a local clinic for a period of time until you feel ready.
* Don't hesitate to talk to other owners of dogs you're thinking of having surgery on. Ask if they're happy with the care their pets received, and if they have any regrets about having a pet that required surgery.
* Keep in mind that the cost of veterinary care varies greatly from place to place. The cost may vary depending on where you live. You can call or go online to get information about what you can expect for a given procedure.
## Surgical Emergencies
The following are some of the more common surgical emergencies:
* **Vomiting:** Most vomiting is caused by gas escaping from the digestive system. To help the animal relieve itself, your vet may suggest that you hold the animal on its side, or even hold the animal's head in your lap.
* **Bites and stings:** Most of these types of problems can be treated by a first aid kit, if you have one. In any case, seek emergency medical treatment as soon as possible.
* **Bleeding:** Many kinds of bleeding are a medical emergency. It is important to get immediate attention from a vet as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage.
* **Seizures:** These can be caused by a traumatic injury, a brain tumor, a poisoning, or a brain infection.
* **Paralysis:** Paralysis can be caused by many things, including a head injury, spinal cord injury, or a toxic substance in the animal's system. Seek medical attention immediately.
* **Shock:** Shock is a medical emergency. If your pet shows signs of shock, you will need to take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
* **Trauma:** Trauma is any physical injury. This includes a broken leg, a broken tail, or anything else that causes pain and possible bleeding. Seek medical attention immediately.
## Common Medical Problems
The following list contains the most common medical problems that dogs and cats often have. However, it's not a comprehensive list, and there are many other medical problems out there. Make sure you understand your cat or dog's medical history, so you'll know what the vet is most likely to suggest.
* **Overweight:** Obesity is one of the leading causes of death in companion animals. In an effort to help reduce this problem, you can offer your pet foods in