In November, I wrote a blog called Insurance, Tumors, Murray, Milo and Me.
Until then, my writing had been strictly informational about insurance. Subsequent articles picked up on that style and theme, including a couple on dental insurance.
For those who did not read Insurance, Tumors, Murray, Milo and Me, it described my extended and close relationship with Murray (a terrier mix), my longer relationship with insurance, and a shorter relationship with a brain tumor and self-reinvention. Murray survived my immersion in insurance and my brain tumor, but not his own mortality (I guess, by definition). Soon after Murray’s death, Milo, who needed a home because of the divorce of his prior owners, came into our home. He has proven to be the proverbial perfect dog. Maybe only “dog people” can understand this paragraph, but no matter.
I wrote that article as a kind of a memorial to Murray and a celebration of Milo. That does not downplay the importance of the other dogs in my life. Different breeds and permutations, colors, personalities, and pack-affinities. Noisy? At times (mostly at dinner). Costly? Periodically. Worth it? Always.
Zeus Needed Pet Dental Care
Zeus came into our lives about 8 years ago -a Chihuahua-Rat Terrier mix (weighing in at about 7 pounds and looking like a minuscule deer). Historically healthy, somewhat of a barker, and notorious for seeking someone to scratch his back in bed. Zeus unexpectedly died on Monday morning, February 8, 2016.
As a long-time, and I believed, responsible dog parent, I thought that I understood and abided by the important factors about care, feeding, and health. But, shamefully, I did not adequately attend to an important element of canine health: dental care. I write this as an advisory to pet owners to take it seriously. While my insurance blog posts about dental insurance were not directly on point, they now seem darkly prescient.
The development of plaque on Zeus’ teeth, I am told, caused systemic health problems that contributed to his death. I did my own non-veterinary-professional research on the issue which confirmed the connection. Gum problems, often the first sign of a problem were not evident and until the last few days before he died, Zeus ate. But then, he stopped eating and antibiotics didn’t work. By that point, it was too late.
I’m not a veterinarian nor do I sell pet insurance. But if never before, I sure know that I have a vested interest in pet dental health.
I hope that tens, no, hundreds of thousands of people with pets read this post and act upon it. Please share it far and wide. Please learn from my mistake and take care of your pet’s dental health as part of their overall health.
Do it for Zeus.