Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lucy and the Dental

So yesterday Miss Lucy went back to the shelter for her dental.

Tuesday was interesting.  I immediately went and fed her when I got home from work to give her the option to eat something.  I went out grocery shopping and when I got home I spent some time with her.  Once again she chose not to eat.  Sadly she was back down under 8lbs.  I warned her that she was about to lose all food for the night, and she scoffed at me, daring me to do it, so I did.  She gave me the back of disdain and I gave her a kiss and went to bed.

In the morning she was oh so happy to see me, and did a little dance about where the food bowls had been and I had to laugh - not to mention I felt a little bad that I couldn't feed her.  So I plopped her in the carrier and off we went.

I was very fortunate to be able to observe the dental.  I was told she would be done at around 1pm so I went off to work and showed back up at the right time.  I had visions of taking all kinds of pictures to share with you but when the time came I just felt uncomfortable asking, so I just observed.

The tech did a bulk of the cleaning which is pretty standard. She was very efficient and did a wonderful job. She let me get a good look at Lucy's teeth and the tartar she had built up.. maybe not as good as I would have liked but I didn't want to be intrusive nor did I want to make it so Lucy was under sedation any longer than necessary. It was pretty bad.  The tartar completely covered the back upper teeth.  It was so bad it was causing some gum erosion and there was an excess of puss.  She used what looked like a pair of pliers and pulled chunks of it off.

One piece from one side,
and I don't have small hands
She made note of every time Lucy "chattered" when she touched a tooth.  Lucy didn't chatter, but she did move her lower jaw like she was chattering to a bird.  It is a pretty standard reaction to a cat during a dental when something hurts.

The vet came over and took another look at the teeth, paying attention to the ones the tech noted, and he proceeded to take her two rear upper molars - one on each side.  I watched the vet pull them out.  Some parts seemed to go very easily, some seemed to be a lot of work, so I asked if they were coming out easily, and he said they were very easy to pull out that the infection had worked up into the root to loosen them.

He said he didn't think she ever had any care to her teeth, and that the infection had to be brewing for months at the least.  He believed Lucy had been seriously hurting for quite some time.  The removal of the teeth left two huge gaping holes that he didn't want to suture up because he didn't want to sew up the infection and cause abscesses.  I left Lucy at the shelter to rehab there.  She will most likely be having bloody drainage for a few days, and a darn good chance her diarrhea will come back.  While it won't be as comfortable there as it would be here, she will have more eyes on her more often than she would here.  I told them if she freaks out or they feel she will do better out of the shelter she is welcome back.

I do have to say it is so interesting watching surgery.  The cats go under sedation so quickly, and the staff always work so efficiently.  They aren't delicate in it, so it can be a little disconcerting to watch them manipulate the cat, but you can tell they care and are very proficient in their job. I am beyond thankful that the staff at the clinic allowed me in to watch and get a better idea of what Lucy was suffering with.

So makes me want to pin all of my cats down and give them a good scrub to their teeth.

I wish you well Miss Lucy. You really are incredibly sweet and anyone would be lucky to have you.

So once again I'm foster free.  Spring is only 20 days away.. when cats start going into heat and mating will begin..  *sigh*  as much as I love what I do, I so wish I was out of business.


  1. How interesting that you got to watch the dental being done on Lucy. Hopefully Lucy will start eating and gaining weight once her mouth heals.

  2. Oh that poor baby. To have something that large and uncomfortable in her small mouth for so long... thank goodness she is being cared for properly now.

    Foster free, huh? Want to wash some kittens for me this morning? ;)

  3. Oh wow, that sounds interesting. I can't quite make out what it is in that photo--is that a piece of tartar? Or gums? It sounds like her situation was awful, and I can't blame her for not wanting to eat. I hope she recovers quickly.

    1. it was a piece of tartar (and some puss) the flat side that is facing you in the photo is what was up against her gum line, the pointy bit was hanging down.

  4. Poor Lucy - we wish a quick and pain free took Tim a while (though he lost a LOT more teeth) but it made a huge difference.

  5. Oh Lucy, I'm sorry she has been suffering for a long time. I hope she recovers from surgery and starts eating well. So glad she finally got her teeth taken care of.

  6. Hope she heals up quick!

  7. Oh dear Lucy. Purrs for a quick healing! Thanks again for the awesome guest post on fostering on Thursday.

  8. Oh Lucy! We're purring for you sweetie!

  9. Anonymous3:52 PM

    I always wanted to be a vet, but watching a surgery is already too much to me. But interesting that you got to see it!
    And poor lucy. she has been going through a rough time, hasn't she? :(

  10. Awww sweet Lucy... Lots of purrs your way!


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