Sabis mom, you are going to lose this one too. I am sorry, but she is six years old, and some time within the next 6-7 years, she is going to cross that bridge where you can't follow. It is a price we all pay. Some of us get our dog to 13 or even 14, some dogs don't make it to six. In some ways, we really are only temporary guardians of these critters. We do have to give them back. And it always is hard.
That said, yes you are working yourself up. Unless she has had a negative reaction to sedation, they should be able to safely sedate her lightly to be able to look at the thing in her mouth. The thing in her mouth, if it has suddenly changed, is more of a cause for concern and getting it checked now is being proactive. Hopefully it is nothing to be concerned with. That not being the case, hopefully you noted the changes and brought it to the vet in time to prevent any disease to progress further.
Worrying about it can't add a hair to your head, or a day to her life. It can take away time that you have. And it can make her more ill at ease -- make the entire ordeal more stressful, so cut it out. It really isn't helpful.
The werewolf lost use of her back legs briefly a few days ago. I took her up and they anesthetized her, took pictures, and gave her a reversal shot. I could not have improved the x-rays, or improved the experience for her by being nervous at all. I willed myself not to be nervous. X-rays were ok. We are unsure what is going on. She is inside most of the time, and maybe it was heat-related. It was miserably hot to be running around with the big dogs, and she only has one speed (fast-forward). Sometimes we have to discipline this particular emotion so that our dogs are not negatively effected. I know it is not easy. Parents have to do it, when they take their kids to the ER -- no one is served by parents melting down in front of their kids. Our kids need to be reassured by our presence. So do our dogs.
This is why so many vets want to take the dogs into the back (away from owners) to work on them. Because we make it worse for the dogs by worry/nervousness -- dogs can smell that shtuff all the way out in the parking lot. We have to not just pretend we aren't nervous but we have to figure out how not to be nervous.
Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.