16.5 years old kitty cat dental work
My 16.5 year old cat just had her very first dental work done on Jan 29, 2020. It was a very difficult decision to make because the vet warned me the possible risks and it was not an absolutely necessary procedure. However, I know my cat needs dental work. Her breath stinks, she has a lot of tartar on her molars and she complains when she eats dry food. Another vet already told me that years ago when she was ~12, but I didn’t have the money and I didn’t trust the vet enough.
Now that she’s 16 and healthy according to her blood work and her general state, and I have enough money to afford the dental work, I decided it would be a good thing to do on a long term. She might live to 20+ and it would be riskier to undergo the surgery at that time. I did excessive researched online, reading people’s experiences and I even watched a full feline dental work video on YouTube to educate myself. I hesitated till the day before the surgery, but I decided there would be more pros than cons (apart from the big con of losing her).
I brought her in on Jan 29. @ 12pm, signed all the paperwork and talked all my concerns to the vet tech who assured me that they will keep me updated throughout the process. The clinic called me around 1:30pm telling me that instead of 2-3 teeth extractions, it would be 11 😱😱!!! Apparently there’s a lot of bone loss and she even has a slightly fractured lower jaw!! I asked if there was a more conservative option and extract less teeth, but they told me that it was already the conservative decision. I gave them my consent with a heavy heart. I immediately did more researches online and with all the bad experiences I read, I decided to call them back and get more info about increased level of risks and anesthesia time, etc. I was super surprised that when I called them back 30min later, the vet tech told me that they were almost all done with the extractions and will soon wake my kitty up from anesthesia! Sure enough, in about 30min, they did call me back saying everything went really well and my baby is awake!
I went back to pick her up at 6:30pm and got all my post-op instructions and her buprenorphine pain meds. The tech warned me that the cat may be disoriented when she gets home and might not have an appetite for tonight. She also showed me the X-rays which were pretty interesting to learn. When I got out of the room with the vet tech, I bumped into the vet who admitted to me that he was slightly worried doing that surgery because of my cat’s age and the risks with anesthesia. But in the end it all went well and he even showed me a video of her fractured jaw. They didn’t suture the fracture because it was minor and asymptomatic, and he said the bones will probably fuse back together.
When I got home, my cat immediately became more active and wants to get out of her cage. She was so excited to get out that she did walk funny tilting to the left side for a few steps haha. It happened 2x that she kinda fell to the side while walking, and once as she was looking up at me 😂. But after those 3 “drunk” incidents, she didn’t have trouble walking straight. Also, the moment she got home, she wanted FOOD!!! She literally ate nonstop for 30min, and I mean that! I couldnt take her head out of her bowl so she can take a little break! She ate super messy too, dug her paw into the food and splashing it everywhere like a messy baby! I guess she was too high on the drugs 😂. After that massive feast, she still wanted food. She ate on-off for another hour and finally calmed down. However, she didn’t sleep until 1am (when I had to sleep). Her eyes were wide open, pupils dilated (due to anesthesia), and she didn’t close her eyes for a second. The next day, she was a lot more normal. She enjoyed the sun and ate like a champ. The 2nd day post-op was pretty normal too according to my mom who “cat-sat” her. However, I did notice that her ears are flatter since day 2 post-op as if she’s afraid or angry, but she’s not. She would still purr loudly as I stroke her head and show me her “cute moves”. Day 3 post-op (today) is still the same, flat low ears, apart from that she’s eating normally and pretty happy in general 😕. Today is her last day on her pain meds so we’ll see how tomorrow goes.
I am super grateful of the whole vet team and the good skills of the vet ❤️. He did have a great review online and it is well deserved. I followed him from the clinic where he worked at to the brand now clinic he opened himself. I have seen many other vet before him and I loved his work ethics since day 1. He is honest, patient, doesn’t push unnecessary procedures and he listens.
I will give another update in 2 weeks after her post-op follow-up 😊
*** update on Feb 23 ***
My baby’s doing really well 😺. On her 2 weeks post-op visit, the vet tech said she had to be on soft food for another week because she had 11 teeth pulled out and there’s lots of stitches in her mouth, but the wounds healed very well, no any signs of inflammation. The sutures were still very present, but apparently they can take up to a month to fully dissolve. I followed the instructions and she’s not had any problems eating dry food since the day I introduced her back to it! I started softly brushing her teeth yesterday because it’s important to maintain her beautiful white teeth now, ain’t it! Haha. There are still some sutures in her mouth today, but it seems like most of them are gone!
The biggest change I noticed is that her breath is fresh now! When I give her kitty kisses, she doesn’t smell like a stinky cat anymore :) Another change is that her tongue would stick out quite frequently. She used to have a tiny bit of her tongue out because she only has one bottom incisor left and I guess there’s nothing to block her tongue from sticking out. But now since one of the lower canine got extracted, her tongue would stick out quite a lot (well at least visibly, not to the point a dog would) and even when I pull or play with her tongue, she would just let it hang out lol. Last night and tonight, she even adventures outside! She has wanted to go out for about a year now, but she had never gotten any further than the front door, but she actually stepped out and even went down the stairs today!! She is also having more energy at night and wants me to play with her. I guess her body doesn’t have to fight with the constant toothache anymore and she has energy to do other things!
Overall I’m super happy that I made the decision of doing the dental work. I’m sharing this hoping my experience would help other pet owners to make their decision because it’s not easy and we don’t always get the best advice from some less honest vets.