Friday, March 15, 2013

Oral Surgery...

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Warning!!!  This post contains graphic pictures of dental surgery on a cat.  If this bothers you, you should probably skip it.

Did you know that cats from the same litter can have different fathers?  I think surely that must have happened with our Jack and Sam.  Although they have the same mom, they really couldn't be much different.  Jack is a beautifully dispositioned grey tabby with a trim figure, while Sam is, well, usually cranky, has been dealing with weight issues her whole life and has arthritis.  (Of course, having arthritis and being on a diet would tend to make many humans cranky too!)  Another big difference (in Sam's favor this time) is that she has perfect teeth, while Jack doesn't.  We are very blessed to have a great mobile vet that comes out to our house and so Jack had a dental cleaning (and extraction) yesterday.

Jack after her morphine shot
It's hard to watch them go under anesthesia or have any type of surgery, but it's so much better being there with them the entire time.  Unfortunately, Jack got sick from the morphine shot before it starting to kick in, but then she became very relaxed.  It was obvious right away that one of her canines was infected and would have to be pulled.  See how much longer the one on the upper left is?  The vet explained her body was slowly expelling it from her and it's how the expression "long in the tooth" came about.  It was also very loose and filled with pus.

Jack's infected canine tooth
Did you know that animals don't close their eyes when they're under?  She put a gel in Jack's eyes to keep them lubricated the entire time.

Getting ready for the anaesthesia
I'm going to skip quite a few pictures here because they're just hard to see.  She had the tube put in and her teeth were cleaned.  She had some gingivitis and light bleeding on her gums because of it.  However, this is her first dental cleaning in 12 years, so I was impressed at how white her teeth ended up.  She didn't remove her bad tooth until the end and it was very hard to watch.  I could never be a dentist!  It turns out the root was being eaten away because of infection, so it was a good thing we did this now.  Here's the tooth after it came out...

Jack's rotten tooth
She cleaned it up and gave it to us, but really, what do you do with it?  I'm at a loss.  She cleaned out the cavity and filled it with a bone filler.  It took 4 stitches to close it up.

Jack's stitches where her tooth was
Cats don't use their canines to eat with, only to hunt prey, so she has no food or other restrictions now.  After the stitches, we just had to wait for her to wake up, which took a long time.  She looked so very pitiful lying there.

I brought her inside wrapped like a burrito in some warm towels. She stayed like that for almost an hour before she started to come out of it.  But it took her another couple of hours of weaving and such before she was pretty much back to normal. 

She hadn't eaten since the night before and so she staggered to her food bowl as soon as she could.  She kept sticking her head in the bowl, but her mouth couldn't pick up the food.  It was probably 30 minutes before she was able to eat her first piece of food, then I think she spent the rest of the day eating.

Slowly her eyes became more focused.  She didn't seem to be in any pain and was actually super happy and extremely friendly.

And I'm glad to say she had a great night and is back to normal this morning!

I took my troubles to the LORD; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer. 
Psalm 120:1 (NLT)


  1. Poor Sam! I'm happy all is fine with her now and she can eat normally. Happy weekend to you all!

  2. Poor little Jack. Glad things are better now:) Cats are so precious!!

  3. Oh my! Poor kitty to have to be put under, but it sounds like you nursed her back perfectly. :-) Have a happy weekend!

  4. I'm so glad Jack is over her ordeal. Not a fun experience for cat or human. Give her a hug for me!

  5. I am glad Jack is doing well. It must be so easy for the pets to have a vet some to them! My Angel kitty yowls all the way to the vet. It is only a mile, but for a tiny cat she has a big voice!


  6. Poor baby Jack, I hope she is feeling better.