Luther’s Broken Jaw

Another day, another vet bill here at HJB. Yesterday Luther seemed a little off. He screamed a few times when another dog brushed by him, but when I picked him up and felt him over, he seemed fine. Until last night, when I touched his jaw to put his sweater on and he screamed again! And I realized that his jaw was off kilter somehow.

Luther came in with bone loss in his jaw from chronic infection. He lost most of his teeth in his first dental, back in January, keeping a few molars and his canines. He lost a few more in May, when we went back for a check. Last night, his poor porous lower jaw broke spontaneously, and the front of his jaw is loose. Back at the vet for yet another dental, he lost one of his lower canines and one of his upper, and he is in pain. THere is nothing to be done for this. The bone is just wearing away, and is not strong enough to fix. He can eat, and once his body adjusts, he should not be in any pain, unless he wrenches it, but within the next 6 months, he will probably lose the rest of his teeth. We have left a few, because they do help to anchor the bone, unless they are rotten.

Luther is a favorite here. He came last January with his mouth a mess, a bit afraid of people, and not quite sure what to make of us. He now sleeps at the foot of the bed (occasionally venturing up between dogs and people) and his entire back end wags when he is happy. He’s getting so brave, and inviting attention. It hurts to see one of our babies hurting.

This is an example of why the expenses in a rescue such as ours are relentless. It’s not sexy, it’s everyday doing all the things that these dogs that have often been neglected for a lifetime need. Luther is likely 7-8 years old, which means his adoption fee, if and when he is adopted, will be $150.00.  Since January, we have spent over $700. just on Luther- he has had a couple of little growths removed, had three  oral surgeries and been neutered, brought up to date with shots, etc.  Luther is only one of the 12 foster dogs we have right now, and only one of the 34 dogs we have taken in and cared for throughout this year.

It’s the quiet, constant expenses that keep us teetering on the brink of disaster. If you are able to donate to us, please do.  You may use our donate button, or send a donation, clearly marked “HAZELJANE’S BLESSINGS” to Ranch Acres Veterinary, 3241 S Harvard Ave, Tulsa, OK 74135.  All donations are tax deductible. Thanks!

3 Comments

  1. Finally a person that puts some real work into a blog. I do like what you have done with the blog.

  2. Mary Jane Sepmeier

    May 22, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    I just discovered youall and wanted to let you know what admiration I have for you both, and for the unrelenting efforts you’re making to try and care for these beautiful little dogs. I had no idea that these dogs broke so many body parts so easily. Is this normal for this breed, or are the fractures more seen in your group of dogs due to their backgrounds as breeding or “kennel-puppy-mill” type animals? I walk and wonder if getting an Italian Greyhound would be a good choice as a companion to help me keep at the necessary effort ? Thank you for any advice you might have. I’m trying to get stronger after three years of having to cope with chronic fatigue syndrome and the effects of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and most of the time, I don’t want to exercise at all , so wondered if having a companion would help? Then, is the breed too delicate to start out expecting it to exercise with one, short walking to start with, of course?

    • Maggie Lenertz

      June 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Mary Jane- I’m sorry, I am just seeing this post. While IGs are slightly more prone to broken legs than other breeds, because their legs are so long and skinny, they are not particularly breakable. IN fact, they are tough little athletes. Luther’s jaw is a direct result of spending most of his life with an infected mouth. In our experience, the most vulnerable times for Italian Greyhounds are when they come out of a puppy mill for the first month or so (adults mainly). They have never been allowed to run, and they are born to run! But they don’t yet have the bone density or muscle mass to protect them. They don’t know how to climb up on things like chairs and sofas and have no idea how to land. Landing is the primary cause of leg breaks. The jaws- well, Italian greyhounds are a very healthy breed, but the one thing that is genetically not so good is their mouths. Proper dental care extends the life of an IG more than any other thing. Or shortens it. They have terrible teeth, so paying close attention and getting dentals when they need it are crucial. I think the right IG would be great for you. They are mostly couch potatoes. A youngster might not be the best choice, but an adult who just wants to cuddle- there are a whole lot of them looking for homes. I have chronic shingles, and totally get what you are going through. Give me a call at 918 814 6313 and we can chat. I am not sure where you are located, but I’d love to help you decide on the right pet for you, and help you get to someone that can help, even if it isn’t me. XOXO Maggie

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