Rex's  Dentist.

Late one steamy Cam Ranh Bay AB afternoon, I returned to my hooch to find my roommate, Dr. Victor E. Anspaugh  " bummed" over a disagreement he had had with his supervisor. Vic was the junior "Vet" assigned to the 483rd USAF Hospital back in '71. His boss intended to "put down" one of the Sentry Dogs that had recently lost 13 pounds and would no longer bite during attack training. The Major's diagnosis was Kidney failure but Vic insisted that the dog was suffering from gastritis secondary to severe dental problems. Vic asked me if I'd look at "Old Rex". In true "MASH" fashion (which is how everything seemed to work at the 483rd Hospital) I, of course, said yes.

As it turned out, I was the Dental Officer on Duty scheduled for the next week. I would be the only one who would be in the Dental Clinic that Sunday. Further enabling our "mission" for Rex was the fact that our Commanding Officer,  used to catch the " Milk Run" to Saigon on Friday afternoons and didn't return until late on Mondays. So, it seemed, his clinic was ours for the weekend.

On Sunday morning, Vic transported his gas machine (to sedate Rex) from the Vet Clinic.  I prepared the dental clinic for my four legged patient by  "borrowing" a Gurney from the E.R. situated next door to the Dental Clinic. Rex and Sgt Patrick Higgins (his wary handler showed up around mid-morning. 


Rex was "gassed" by Vic to the point of unconsciousness where I could safely work on his "action" end. 


Poor old Rex had fractured off both lower canines (undoubtedly on his chain linked kennel), and had exposed the pulps of both of them. A tooth is a tooth. A dentist is trained to repair teeth, I knew that I could help Rex. So after some discussion with Vic, I started. 

Continued at Dentist-2



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