Salamann is a charming 19 year old gentleman that we had the honor of getting to know when his usual mobile veterinarian sent him to Cat Care Clinic due to concern for extensive dental disease. Salamann’s care had been impeccable. His hyperthyroid disease was well in-check with medication and his Stage 2 kidney disease was stable. His most recent problem was noted first by his owner. He seemed reluctant to eat as he usually enjoyed and exhibited sensitivity to his favorite canned food when it touched one area of his lower jaw. He was even losing weight.
Salamann’s veterinarian ruled out other diseases as a cause for his weight loss and appetite changes, and concluded that his dental disease was serious. For Salamann to be helped, he needed extensive dental care. As a precaution due to his age and other underlying diseases, she sent him to us for his anesthesia, dental evaluation, and expected oral surgery.
Salamann did indeed have an extreme case of dental disease, as shown in the x-rays below. Over time, his tooth roots had been decaying. This also led to destruction of much of the jaw bone that held the roots and teeth in place. Although it was clear on simple exam of his mouth that he had tartar and disease, the magnitude of dental disease (as in any cat) could not be seen until he was under anesthetic and x-rays could be taken.
Salamann did have oral surgery to remove the many affected teeth. The gum tissue in the areas of tooth removal were sutured closed with dissolving sutures. He was very closely monitored while anesthetized and did great. He recovered well following the procedure and went home shortly thereafter.
Two weeks following the procedure, he was returned for a progress exam. His site were healing well and his owner reported that he was back to eating normally and doing GREAT.
Salamann’s story is an example of how important regular professional dental evaluations and care is in cats. Cats naturally “hide” their discomfort and often live with discomfort and chronic tooth aches. Over time, the bacteria in the mouth cause inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) that allows the germs to get into the bloodstream and affect organs such as the heart, kidneys, and liver. As seen with Salamann, “age” is not a disease. Even though he was 19 years old, his care at home and with his regular vet was excellent, so following through with treatment for his painful dental disease only made sense.
Everyone at Cat Care Clinic is passionate about dental health in cats, no matter what age. From explaining all of the options for home care, to educating cat owners on what professional dental procedures entail, we all want the best for your cat and are ready to help you determine the best plan for your kitty. It’s never too early OR too late to get your cat’s oral health under control and to develop a realistic home care plan to keep it in check.