Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tooth Crowning

We took Maya to the dental office again today to put in the crown. Everything went smoothly and she was home in 3 hours. The total cost was a few hundred dollars less than the quote, mostly because both operations were done faster than they expected. While Maya's under, they also cleaned her teeth. Once again, the lady there was really nice and send me some photos. She even trimmed Maya's nails while waiting for her to wake up.



To my surprise, they also gave me the mold used for casting the crown. I guess it just takes up too much space for them to keep it anyways. In case Maya ever damages her crown, we can reuse the mold to make a new one. I hope that'll never happen though.

Maya: Even though I have a broken tooth and black eye (due to allergies), I can still pull off a great smile!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Day at Doggie Daycare

Maya spent a day at doggie daycare today. Not because I can't be around for her, but because the facility requires a day at daycare within three months in order to board her, and we are planning to go on a trip next month. The requirement is a bit annoying, but we really like that place. They have a webcam set up to monitor the pups online, and even published their own iphone app to stream the video, which is really nice for owners who are traveling. They also always have a trainer (sometimes even two or three) with the dogs and constantly interacts with them. 

Maya's "helicopter parents" spied on her all day

The only complaint I have is that they don't have an outdoor area (because of the city law), so all dogs pee and poop in the room. The first time she boarded there when she was only 10 months old, I was afraid she would get into a bad habit of potty indoors, but fortunately nothing changed when she came back. They do have a potty patch, but seems like Maya refuses to step on it and would just go at ramdom places. I guess it must be kind of painful for her. 

Unlike her previous visits, which were almost an year ago, she didn't have much interactions with the other pups today. She used to be tangled up with another dog throughout the day, but somehow she just walked around "cluelessly" this time, which made me feel like we are wasting money. We did notice this similar behavior at dog parks as well. It seems like as she age, she has less interest in other dogs. She still gets excited to see them, but once she's done with the sniffing and greeting, she's off to do her own thing. 

Tangled with a shiba on her last visit

Even though she didn't play much, at least she's not stressed in the environment and enjoys the company of the trainers as well as other dogs. Next time she'll be there for five straight days, and it's good to know she'll be in good hands. 

Exhausted after a long day

Monday, March 19, 2012

Itching Again

Since Maya had an upset stomach a while ago, we've went through a few weeks with no allergy problems (though we got some tooth problems instead). We thought it's because the of the food we fed her, so we started a food trial by feeding her THK Zeal only. Unfortunately, it didn't went as well as we wished. After taking Maya to a baseball field about two weeks ago, all hell broke loose. She started scratching again and it went from bad to worse in a short period of time. Though I didn't find any on her, I believe she got bitten by fleas while she buried her face in the tall grass sniffing around. Taking the meds seemed to help a little, but never really eliminated the itchiness. I guess we just have to wait patiently till all the flea saliva got flushed out.  

The poor girl seems to know that scratching makes me unhappy. Sometimes she'll sneak to a corner to scratch or just rub her face on the carpet when I'm around. Sigh. I just wish she can have a break from all these health issues. Though none were life threatening, it sure is frustrating, especially when waking up in the middle of the night by the scratching sound. It also breaks my heart seeing her hurting her beautiful face like that. 

Scratching herself raw again around the mouth area

Got a black eye because of the excess scratching

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tooth Issue Update

After a weekend of not knowing what to do and worrying about losing the window to fix the tooth, we finally nailed an appointment to meet with a pet dentist on Monday. Thanks to the lady at the dental office, who helped convinced the doctor to stay for an extra hour to see us.

Tuesday afternoon, we took Maya to the office to meet with the doctor. He gave us three options (from the cheapest, which isn't cheap at all, to $$$$$$$): extract the tooth, root canal therapy, or root canal therapy plus a crown.  He showed us a fake dog jaw with removable teeth, and pull the one Maya fractured out for us to get a better idea how it actually looks like. After seeing that the tooth has three roots and all go deep into the jaw, we decided to save the tooth, which should be mush less risky nor painful. We also leaned towards doing the crown, but weren't certain as it's really expensive and she'll need to be put under a second time to put it on. After the visit (which itself cost us $125), I felt bad because of the big dental bill, but also felt a lot better because at least we know what we're dealing with. Before leaving, we made an appointment to do the surgery on Friday, which left us a few days to make our final decision.

My boyfriend and I were both raised in middle-class families. Though not wealthy, our parents never had hesitations when it comes to our health or education. Luckily, they are both relatively cheap in Taiwan and we never had any major medical issues. I had friends who went back to Taiwan just for dental procedures, as it's often much cheaper even without insurance. Too bad we can't do the same with a dog. It saddens me that we need to make our decision based on the cost, not just Maya's welfare.  It saddens me even more, knowing that there are people making this kind of decisions everyday, not only for their pets, but for their children. After some back and forth, we decided to go with the crowning. With the knowledge we gathered so far, it seems to be a better option for the long run. Maya's still young, and if we take good care of her and the tooth, she'll be using it for many years.

This morning, I took her to the dental office for the scheduled surgery. She was jumping up and down as usual, excited to meet everyone and walked to the back happily with the lady. According to the doctor, everything went smoothly, and I was able to pick her up three hours later. When I entered the office, Maya was once again jumping up and down. At home, she ate a little, drank a little, and slept a lot. It'll take her a few days to fully recover, but everything should be back to "normal" tomorrow. We will go back in about three weeks to put the crown in.

Thanks to the nice lady at the office, who kept me updated via email, I got some photos of the tooth pre and post surgery.

Before the surgery

After smoothing the surface

After root canal therapy

View from a different angle

Dozing off after coming home

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Maybe I Overreacted

I guess I overreacted a bit about Maya's tooth yesterday. I was extremely upset because it wasn't shit that just dropped on me, but something I could have prevented. Maya was making crunching sound when chewing on the Himalayan chew and at one point I did thought about taking it away.

Yesterday ended up to be a bad day for the entire family. Not only did we found Maya's broken tooth, my boyfriend also got into a car accident. Thank goodness no one got hurt and his insurance can cover most of the cost. I'm just glad that in both cases, the damages are fixable with a bit extra money. I guess that's what savings are meant for after all.

Just a bit rant on my end. I really wish the vet office could show a bit more sympathy when owners are freaking out. The doctors have always been warm and fuzzy, but that's only when you pay the ticket to enter the examination room. They always say "call us if you have any questions", but I was never able to get anyone besides the receptionist on the phone when I have questions. During this incident and Maya's upset stomach, which both could and could not be emergencies, all I can get over the phone was a cold "the doctor has to see her to give you answers" and "the next available open spot is X days later". What am I going to do NOW? How am I going to decide if X days later is okey or not? This is a place I spend hundreds of dollars per year, but even the strangers on the forums had been much more supportive. It's not like I want to be cheap and get free professional advices, I was planning to take my pet in right away if possible. I'm even fine if they charge me for the phone calls. I thought about going to a different vet, but after talking to a few neighbors with pets, it seems like this clinic is the best around the area. If the best is like this, I don't know what to expect from the worse ones.

As of Maya, she seems to do fine as long as we don't touch the tooth. She isn't playing as much, but eats and drinks as usual. Though she's really annoyed by me examining and cleaning her teeth a few times a day, she behaved very well and hasn't snapped nor even growled at all.

We decided to take her to a specialist first to get some professional opinions. If saving the tooth is an option, we'll probably do so, since it's the biggest tooth and kind of important. If it's not worth saving or too late, it's seems like most dogs can do fine without it. It sucks that no one works during the weekend, so all we can do now is to keep her mouth clean and hope for the best.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fractured Tooth?

Maya might have chipped her tooth when chewing on the Himalayan Chew or antler yesterday. I noticed her constant licking and pawing at her face, so I decided to brush her teeth this morning. While brushing, there was this spot that made her almost jumped up when I reached in. Then she refused to let me touch her teeth nor open her mouth at all. I was hoping it was just some food stuck in there, but after lots of pampering, I finally got a good look, and it sure doesn't look good.

Sigh. I remember reading about the "when your dog made you cry" topic on the forums. This sure was the moment. I sat there and cried for a good 10 minutes while Maya was hiding from me cause she didn't want me to touch her. I know shit happens, but I still feel like killing myself at the moment.

After the emotional moment, I called the vet and it sounded like all they know is removing the tooth. I asked if it's possible to repair and they referred me to a doggie dental office. I looked up the dental office's review on Yelp, and it seems to be another specialist that totally rips off their costumers. I am at lost now...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Monthly Expenses: February 2012

February 2012
  • Accessories: $15
  • Food: $42
  • Supplements: $52
  • Toys: $7
  • Treats and Chews: $37
  • Vet & Medical: $114
  • Miscellaneous: $13
TOTAL: $280


I got a new treat bag since the old one was pretty torn, and also got two Munchkin Snack Catchers as a even better solution for holding training treats.


I ordered a box of the Honest Kitchen Zeal for Maya's food trial. The box should be able to last at least a month if that's all we feed her, but I'll probably start adding in some raw meaty bones soon if her conditions remain stable.


After learning that flea Saliva could be the biggest offender of Maya's allergies, I got some rosemary leaves, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and neem oil to make my own flea repellent. Too bad the neem oil smelled really gross and almost made me throw up, so I ended up throwing it away without even opening the bottle. I also got a jar of brewers yeast that I plan to add to Maya's food, but haven't gotten a chance to try yet. In order to get free shipping, I also stocked up on coconut oil and some vitamins.

Homemade flea repellent


I got Maya a toy that has a small pocket to hide treats for agility training, but I ended up making one myself that worked better.

Treats & Chews

I ordered two bags of Terra Paws Beef Liver and Sweet Potato Pet Treats through Barking Deals for $10, and a 1lb. bag of Mojopet Pizzle Pieces from doggyloot for $16. Both deals were good and Maya really liked them, but I probably should stop subscribing to those daily deals.

Maya's daddy also got her an extra large Himalayan Dog Chew when we were at the pet expo, because I "accidentally" said "I heard those are really good" when we walked by the booth. It wasn't as long lasting as I expected, so I only let Maya chew on it for about 5 minutes whenever I brush her.

Himalayan Dog Chew

Vet & Medical

I thought we could save a bit on this category this month, but Maya had an upset stomach and we had to take her to the vet. Next month won't be fun either, cause we are running low on Frontline and Heartgard, sigh.


I had to pay $5 to cross the bridge for an outdoor agility class, as well as $8 parking for attending the pet expo. Though going to the pet expo has nothing to do with Maya, we probably would never go there if we didn't have a dog.