Friday, November 30, 2012

A Public Service Announcement From Cain And Kerry: You Should Be Brushing Your Cat's Teeth. No, Really.

Cat ladies and lovers, Cain and I recently had an upsetting experience involving his oral hygiene. A bit of background: Cain seems to be the cat who got a shitty genetic hand. Thank god he's neutered. Otherwise, he'd have sired huge fat diabetic gray kittens in 3 states. So yes, he developed diabetes at a young age, and he also seems to be ace at having tooth issues. A while back, the vet said that Cain had some buildup and that he thought Cain would lose one of his upper fangs/canines soon. He didn't, but when I took him for an exam in mid-September the teeth issues had become more pronounced and I decided to book him for a dental.

Now, a cat's dental treatment involves putting them under general anesthesia. Because really, is your cat going to realize that you want to open his mouth and scrap off plaque and tartar and cooperate? Hell no. And they don't make straightjackets in cat size. And Cain needed pre-work medical testing to ensure he didn't die on the table because he is 8. And Dr. Bishop only does these things on Wednesdays. And the vet's office messed up the first appointment and I had to reschedule. And then one of his bottom fangs fell out, which I didn't worry about because Dr. Bishop had said that usually happens with cats when the roots dissolve, and besides, what am I going to do?Put it in a glass of milk and rush it and him to the vet for re-implantation?

It turned out Cain's tooth roots do not dissolve and he must have been in great pain. Which because he is Cain, I couldn't tell. He needed gum surgery and to get his other bottom fang extracted.

Let me tell you this: Gum surgery for your cat is expensive. It's not as expensive as it would be for a human, but the techniques are similar.

So poor Cain was all traumatized and hated me for 12 hours after he got home. We're now back to normal. And he still has a nice smile.

The upshot is that you should brush your cats' teeth. Now that we've discussed what happens when you don't do that, I need to dip my finger in butter and massage my cats' gums, step one on the path to getting to the point where I can brush their teeth with a little brush and some liver flavored toothpaste.

This pet ownership thing is absurd.

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