17 June 2013

Wendy's Teeth (or Lack of)

One of the things on my summer to-do list was to take Wendy to my vet and have her do a dental on her.  So, I made the appointment and then I proceeded to scare myself silly by looking up anesthetics.  I was a bit more nervous than normal when I got to vet.  (Thankfully, my vet is patient and we had a wonderful chat about anesthetics.)

I knew her teeth were bad as she had broken off two canines already.  Actually, they really rotted off.  Plus,
Wendy sleeping
I had scrapped off large chunks of plaque.  Doc took one look at Wendy's mouth and agreed -- dental!

So, I left my little girl overnight and Doc did the dental the next morning.  Usually a dental takes 20-30 minutes, even with an extraction or two.  Doc spent 1.5 hours!  Wendy apparently already had a number of missing teeth, other than the 2 canines.  Several of the remaining ones had large cavities at the gum line and had to be removed.  A couple of teeth looked okay but when she went to scale them, the teeth crumbled.  Apparently the tartar was holding the tooth together.  And one of the two remaining canines has infection at the root.  The bottomline is Wendy has 2 lower incisors (the teeny tiny front teeth), 1 upper incisor, and her one canine.  4 teeth total, and we both expect the other canine to fall out at some point.

But why were her teeth such a mess?

  1. Her jaw and thus teeth were not in alignment so she never used her teeth to chew.  When teeth aren't used to chew, they just build up tartar.
  2. I suspect her food allergies interfered with proper nutrition as a kitten, when her adult teeth were forming.  The teeth were weak to begin with.
Don't feel sorry for her.  Not having teeth hasn't bothered her at all -- she's eating, playing, and her tongue is cleaning.  In the long run, having her teeth removed will be good for her -- a lot less bacteria in her mouth, so I expect a lot less eye, ear, and tongue crud.

And she still can eat her greenies (treats).


Anonymous said...

I hope Wendy continues to recover so well from her procedure Linda. I have read that edentulous cats do very well eating and live a happy life. Good wishes to your sweet Wendy!

L.M. Hornberger said...

Thanks, Joane! Wendy's gums seem to be mostly healed and she's back to eating full force. In her case, no teeth doesn't make any difference because she never could really chew. Well, there is a difference -- the pink tongue hangs out further. LOL!