Thursday, September 21, 2006

Poor Elvis! He had two teeth pulled.

Since Elvis was a stray who moved in I really don't know how old he is - vet figures anywhere from 4-7 years old. Anyhow, he had a ton of tartar on his teeth, they were nasty. Recently I noticed his breath smelled bad so I guessed he had a bad tooth, infected gums, or both.
Off to the vet for a dental and bloodwork (that was fine) and one tooth had a big cavity on the root & a canine was cracked and vulnerable to infection. I was astonished how big that canine looked - he's only a 10lb cat!
Poor dude, it's probably still hurts this morning. There are very few options for pain relief for cats - most pain meds are unsafe for them. He did get a pain shot before he came home but it's worn off now. He's been mostly crashed on the couch, but has eaten some canned food. Once he heals up, he'll be able to eat just as normally as before.

I wonder how many cats have painful mouths because of cavities and infections because people don't get dental care for them? I admit, it was something that never ocurred to me with past cats. I always figured if they appeared healthy and ate their food, they were fine. Cats often hide pain very well, though, and we'd never know they were hurting until it got very bad. Not to mention the bacterial overload from chronic infection can weaken the heart and other organs - in any animal or human for that matter.
From now on I will be more vigilant about kitty dental health!


Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

Can they not give you some torb pills for him? Our cats are generally given a torb injection, then sent home with pills, following surgery.

And yowsa, that is a big tooth!

10:04 AM  
Blogger yellowdog granny said...

holy cow..that's big toof...rocky before he went off into the sunset had lost all 4 of his fang teeth due to fights..mostly protecting him self from stray dogs...

2:01 PM  
Blogger Carina said...

Vet said the torbitol injection lasted about 24 hours and the pills weren't that effective for dental pain...? Apparently a new kitty pain med specifically for dental procedures is about to come on the market.

Rocky was a tough dude - if you want another cat I've got plenty I can ship you! Tough Eastside Flint strays. I'm feeding several...

4:43 AM  
Blogger Semavi Lady said...

Carina, have you heard of Dr Johan Joubert? He has done a LOT of dental surgery on many kinds of critters. Including undomesticated wild felines.

He's a proponent of species appropriate diet (prey model, not ground up veggies). He's also given lectures with really gruesome dental pics of animals from domestic to zoo carnivores with really horrible teeth. It's so hard to believe that people didn't notice the problem or they are so used to humans NOW having really horrible teeth that they think it's natural for animals as well.
Here is one of his slideshows (not cats)

4:21 PM  
Blogger JJ said...

he does not look amused ;-)

11:37 PM  
Anonymous jan said...

I have my dog's teeth cleaned regularly but have never thought about the cat's teeth because they look so white. Better have them checked. Thanks for the reminder.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

I'm late on this, but, does Elvis eat a raw diet like the dogs? Does he chew on chicken necks? I've wondered how effective those things are for feline dental health.

1:58 AM  
Blogger Carina said...

Leigh Ann, he will eat ground rabbit (it's ground with bones, organs and all) but otherwise he won't, except things he catches. I leave out kibble for him but he doesn't eat tons of it; mostly he gets canned.
There is someone near here who breeds and shows Scottish Folds and feeds raw. Are you still on the list? In the files section there are two large files with lots of info & links on cat nutrition.
I am guessing raw would be excellent for their teeth, just like dogs...some cats are very resistant to diet change though.

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

I'll check out those files on the list. I don't get a chance to read very often, but try to check in periodically. Thanks for pointing them out :)

7:39 PM  

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