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Our pup has been healthy and showing no signs of illness, other than a little slowing down due to age. A few days ago we noticed that her lymph nodes in her throat were swollen. The other lymph nodes were normal. The vet took a sample from the nodes and sent it in for a cytology analysis. While we wait for that report, the vet said it may just be a tooth problem. Though I brush her teeth daily, the rearmost molars have some plague which the vet calls a Grade 2/4 and suggests the dog may just need a dental cleaning. I'm concerned that the risk of anesthesia at this point may be too great and am looking for advice as to the actual degree of risk and possible alternative approaches, like antibiotics.

Thanks in advance.

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At 14 years old, I feel that a dental should be the very last choice.  But I'm not a vet.  I've had lots of dentals done on my greys but never when they are over 10 years old. When my Henry,, who had horrible teeth, became an elderly dog, my  vet just said it wasn't worth it.  So I would look at all of your other options first.  I would think antibiotics could be tried.  If you do decide it needs to be done, I would not let a general practitioner vet do it. There are vets that specialize in dentistry and I would find one.  They cost more but know how to deal with risky procedures.  

If the tests show cancer, I would consult with a cancer specialist before anything is done.

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If her blood work is good and you decide to go ahead, I would definitely go to a specialty dentist. When Conner had his dental at 12.5, he had a team, including an anesthesiologist who monitored his vitals in addition to the vet and tech who did the actual cleaning and extractions. More expensive than having his regular vet do it, but worth every penny. I would try the antibiotics first, though.

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Thanks for the well wishes. She has had a wonderful life and even when she was training to be a racer (never raced), she must have been treated very well given her personality. So, from this day on we'll treat her like everyday is her birthday.

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Best wishes for your girl as you deal with this diagnosis.  May you and she spend her remaining time filled with love.

Mom to Ranger (PB's Long Ranger) and Cookie the rattie mix

Missing Kahn (Gil's Khan) 10-29-03 - 11-7-16  Belle (Regall Belooow) 8-9-07 - 3-12-17  Star (Greyt Star) 1-19-07 - 3-13-2020  Pitch (Emerald Pitch) 4-1-08 - 6-3-2020

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I'm sorry, we've been there too. Spoiling her like her birthday every day is the best thing you can do.

Beth and Petey (8 September 2018- ). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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I’m so sorry for your devastating news update.

btw, we had our 13.25 y/o greyhound’s teeth cleaned in February. She was fine with proper anaesthetic management. We just want her to remain healthy for as long as possible and get them cleaned every year. And yes, we brush her teeth. 
 

Hoping you still have lots of good quality days.

Jan with precious pups Katie Crazykatiebug, Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si) Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; and Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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