Aby-a-Day – 31 Augusti 2020: The one tooth (Medical Monday)

Remember back in March, when I discovered Angel was down to two teeth?

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Well, guess what?

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Yesterday was claw-clipping and general grooming day (where, among other things, I brush everyone’s teeth apart from Angel), and I got the idea to check Angel’s teeth: And, not entirely to my surprise, I found that Angel is now down to ONE tooth.

Sigh…I wish I could find one of them. I guess she’s just swallowing them.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Mars 2020: Two-fer (Medical Mystery Monday)

The last time I posted about Angel’s dental situation, she only had three canine teeth left.

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Last night, however, I needed to give her medication…and I noticed she’s lost another of her fangs!

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I have not seen any teeth lying about, so I have no idea when or where she lost it. I suspect she may have swallowed it.

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So now she’s down to two teeth…and one eye.

Aby-a-Day – 11 Mars: The rest of Lorelai’s vet visit (Medical Monday)

Last week I posted about Lorelai’s first visit to Min Vetrinär.

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But that wasn’t the whole story.

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We took all the Abys to the vet that day. This was before Izaak joined our family, of course.

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Alfred got busy exploring the doctor’s supplies.

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Freddy! That’s marked “biohazard” for a reason! Get your face out of there!

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Oh? It’s my turn?

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Wait…a shot? Nobody told me about a shot…

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After the shot, Freddy was a little jarred.

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But he had his new little sister to cheer him up.

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Next up was Angel.

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Being the oldest cat, this was definitely not her first rodeo.

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But that doesn’t mean she enjoys it.

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She took her vaccination like a champ, though.

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The last cat to be checked out was Jacoby.

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He is always so good at getting his shots. Like everything else he does…he’s just bulletproof.

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I wanted the vet to take a look at Jake’s teeth.

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He’s an Aby, a breed known for bad teeth…but he was nine years old and had never even had a cleaning. When Angel was his age, most of her teeth were gone already.

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But Jake has awesome teeth. Partly because he lets me scrape and brush them…but partly because he just got lucky in the genetic roulette.

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All in all, a pretty good day at the veterinarian.

Aby-a-Day – 26 May: I have no teeth and I must chew (Silly Saturday)

You may recall my post a while back about Alfred’s obsession with chewing. A favourite is rawhide sticks covered with dried lamb or duck, but I also give him Matatabi sticks and dried turkey feet (our kitchen floor looks a bit interesting). Well, now it’s become a kind of fad amongst the LunaTicks. Jacoby doesn’t really get why Freddy likes it so much, but he’ll steal the chewsticks or rib bones and gnaw on them anyway.

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But there’s one cat I never thought would jump on the chewing bandwagon.

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Angel.

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I mean, she only has THREE TEETH! But there she was, the other day, carrying one of Freddy’s chewsticks around the apartment and chewing on it when she felt safe to do so.

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Teeth or no, nevertheless, she persists.

Aby-a-Day – October 1: Toothless Carnivore

There is one thing that can turn Angel from a skittish kitty to a fierce and fearless cat.

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Raw meat!

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Angel absolutely loves raw meat, especially beef and lamb.

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She does have a bit of a hard time with eating it, though, since she only has about nine teeth left in her head. She also likes to touch it with one paw to make sure where it is before she eats it. Sometimes, she’ll even bat it around a little, so she can “hunt” and “catch” it.

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Even though it takes her a little longer to eat her raw meat snacks now, than it used to, she still defends it ferociously.

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Although, she prefers to be given her meat someplace that’s protected from the other cats.

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Nom, nom, nom…all gone!

Abys in Need: Abe in Atlanta

This adorable guy isn’t exactly “needy” but he does need a forever home!

He’s currently being fostered by The Tucker Farm with a batch of very interesting rescue dogs.

According to their Facebook page, “Our latest foster is a male Abyssinian cat. This guy was living outside for a few months before approaching a friend. We’ve been searching for his owners, but no leads so far. He is declawed on all 4 paws, so be certainly should not be outside. He has some serious dental issues that are making him quite uncomfortable, but he is starting to settle into our crazy household.”

He seems to have made himself right at home!

They think that he is 4 years old and he is not at all afraid of dogs.

Can you believe that, as of yesterday, there are still no applications to adopt this personable boy? The Tucker Farm is raising money to have his bad teeth extracted, but after that he should be ready for an Aby household to manage. If you’re interested in him, contact the Tucker Farm via their Facebook page or through their website.

Aby-a-Day – July 3: When is it time to go to the dentist? Tooth hurty!

As I’ve posted in the past, Angel hasn’t got the best teeth. She gets Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions (FORLs) and she’s already had two extractions, when she was four years old.

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Now she’s seven, and she just had another extraction. She went to the vet today to get a tooth that was not only being resporbed but was dissolving in her jaw. That tooth was in pieces in her mouth, held together by her swollen gums. I’m pretty sure this was a Stage 4 lesion: Extensive dental hard tissue loss (cementum or cementum and enamel with loss of dentin that extends to the pulp cavity); most of the tooth has lost its integrity.

There are several theories as to what causes this in some cats and not others. Of course, one is that some breeds are more prone to this than others, with Abyssinians, Persians, Siamese, and Oriental Shorthairs heading up the list. However, I think it Angel’s case, it may be due to her rocky start in life: “Viral infection at the time of tooth development leading to a defective and susceptible tooth.” Since other parts of her obviously had problems with viral infections when she was a kitten, it makes sense to me that it would have affected her teeth, too.

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My vet is awesome in that she gives us a “Dental Report Card” for each cat after every cleaning, regardless if there are any extractions involved. In this photo, the “before” shots are on the left and the “after” shots are on the right. Look at the circled tooth – that’s the FORL! See how little of the tooth you can see compared to the same tooth on the other side of her mouth? And it was painful, too; Angel didn’t even want her chin touched. It didn’t seem to affect her appetite, though.

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She had bloodwork done before her procedure on one arm, and she had IV fluids and anaesthesia in the other. She was also prescribed a new pain medication I’ve never heard of before: Onsior. Onsior was only approved in the US fairly recently (April 2012), and it works differently from most NSAIDs in that it specifically targets tissues that are inflamed. It’s also especially easy to give to cats, which is an important aspect of any feline medication.

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Despite everything, she was pretty perky when she got home. And she was hungry since she had to fast and couldn’t have breakfast.

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She wasn’t really in the mood for Jacoby’s shenanigans, however.

Aby-a-Day – May 30: Wordless Wednesday (My, what big teeth you have!)

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Aby-a-Day – July 9: Toothy matters at the vet

Today was the annual expedition to the veterinarian. Everyone is basically healthy (Tessie has an overgrooming issue, Kylie has allergies…and Jacoby, well, Jake’s perfectly fine), and even though it sounds like a major job taking four cats to the vet at once, it’s really not that bad.

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Angel won the “most medically needy” award today the moment Dr. Natalie opened her mouth. For one thing, she’s lost almost all of her little front teeth. She has only two left, one on the top and one on the bottom.

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The bigger problem is she has at least two Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions.

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They’re the really red spots on her gums. She’s already got an appointment set for next month to get those teeth extracted. Removing the teeth is really the only treatment; it’s not always connected with gingivitis or tartar build up. Angel has fairly clean teeth, but she has two FORLS, while Kylie had her teeth cleaned last year and we brush them daily, yet she still has gingivitis…but no FORLS.

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Cats’ teeth are really frustrating to deal with. You can have two cats of the same breed, in the same house, eating the same food and drinking the same water and their dental health can be wildly different. My two Siamese, Harri and Patrick, are a perfect example: Patrick had most of his teeth removed starting from the time he was 5 or 6, while Harri didn’t need his teeth cleaned until he was 15. Angel’s only 4 and she’s already losing teeth…but, according to Dr. Natalie, this would probably be the case even if she did let us brush them. So I suppose that’s somewhat reassuring.

Aby-a-Day – April 10: Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born, to signify thou camest to bite the world.

Jacoby is the most mouthy cat I’ve ever known. He bites things. He bites me when he decides Ive slept long enough. I have shoes with little Aby fang-sized holes in them.

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This morning, I learned that at least one set of blinds has been thoughtfully perforated.

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Oh, I know it was Jake who bit them. Look how proud he is of himself!

A feline dental miracle

Last night when I was brushing Jake’s teeth, I decided to check and see if daily brushing was making any difference. I was pleased to find that it was; his teeth are really clean and his gums look very nice and healthy. He just had a little tartar build-up in the crevices of the first top molars on either side of his mouth. I have a dental scraping tool that I use on my own teeth, and last night, I thought, “Hmmm…I wonder if he’d let me…”

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So, after washing it carefully, I held him on the counter and I gave it a shot…and he let me scrape the tartar off! I was stunned; I mean, I know he’s an exceptionally patient cat and he trusts me implicitly and unconditionally, but I did not expect him to actually let me chip plaque off his teeth! Cats usually need to be put under general anaesthetic to allow people to do that!

However, I do have to mention that, while I was looking for a dental reference and a picture of a cat’s teeth to accompany this post, I found a greater-than-expected percentage of Abyssinians showing off their pearly whites, like:

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Truman, and


Ivanhoe!

So it seems that Abys seem more likely to let people mess about with their mouths than most cats. Too bad nobody’s told Angel about that…

Aby-a-Day – Day 231 of 365

Veterinarians are always telling us we should brush our pets’ teeth, but how many of us actually manage to do it on anything like a regular basis? Not trying to make you all feel guilty, but I actually do brush Jacoby’s teeth nearly every day.

Why do I brush his teeth, and none of the other cats’ teeth? Basically…because he lets me. He doesn’t like it, but he doesn’t fight me, scream, squrim, pummel or push me away with strong arms and dull but still scratchy claws.

I started getting him used to the brush and the toothpaste as a young kitten. We alternate between C.E.T. Poultry Flavour (for him, because he likes chicken) and C.E.T. Vanilla Mint (for me, because I like the smell) and he seems to like the taste of those; at least, he licks the toothbrush when I’m done.

I use a toddler toothbrush from the Korean market to brush with because it’s got a tiny brush head, it’s super soft, it’s got a nice grip and it’s made for a parent to brush their child’s teeth with. It’s also got cute little cartoon sea creatures on it, but that’s beside the point.

The point is, he tolerates it, and the vet can tell that his teeth are being brushed when she looks in his mouth. I’m glad because Abys as a breed have a genetic predisposition to gingivits.

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He actually holds pretty still while I’m brushing…although, he will try to hide from me when he knows it’s toothbrush time.

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He’s trying to lick the toothbrush before we’re even done!

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I even give those tiny teeth in front a little brushing!

I wish I could do the other cats…and believe me, I have tried – I can’t even get near them with a toothbrush without my husband’s help. Kylie screams blue murder and twists like a tornado, the usually gentle Tessie growls and bites, and Angel…well, Angel is the only cat I ever saw a need to put into a kitty straightjacket, and even then she ripped out the zipper and escaped! Angel may have a divine name…but don’t make her angry. You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry. She does everything but turn green.

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Jacoby, unlike most cats, actually tolerates having his teeth brushed. This is awesome, because he may avoid the dental problems Kylie has and Angel will have (the only cat who ever let me brush his teeth was Harri). Obviously, it’s a great help starting him out as a kitten, but I tried to start Kylie and Gun-Hee out as kittens, too, and they would have none of it.

I had some Benedent Triple-Pet All-Natural Vanilla-Mint toothpaste I’d gotten for Gun-Hee and Kylie, barely used since neither of them would put up with it. One day I was brushing Jake’s teeth, and I happened to notice that the toothpaste contained tea tree oil. That didn’t seem right, since tea tree oil is poisonous to cats. I’d bought it at a local groomer/pet supply shop and had been assured it was okay to use on cats. I looked around online to see if I could confirm or deny that it was okay to use on cats, and discovered it’s definitely marketed as a cat-safe toothpaste. In fact, I only found one site that even included a warning that it should be “used on a less frequent basis with cats”!

Needless to say, I threw it away, and ordered CET Enzymatic Toothpaste for him in Vanilla-Mint (because I like it) and Poultry (because I figured he might not like Vanilla-Mint) and now I’m alternating the two. No more tea tree oil!

Still, how scary: a toothpaste marketed for use on cats, containing an ingredient that’s poisonous to them! Good thing I read labels!

Chin Acne and Teeth

I have to leave work early on Tuesday to take Gun-Hee to the vet; he seems to have feline acne which didn’t seem to be going away through normal means

Patrick’s always had it, but never very bad. Gun-Hee’s is not only more extensive but it bothers him: he scratches his neck.

I started treating it last week; I basically took everything I already knew and beefed it up with some fresh internet research, which ended me up with a regimen of flea-combing the area and applying hydrogen and benzoyl peroxide, Bacitracin, epsom salts, and Malaseb pads and MalAcetic lotion with Hydrocortisone to help the itching (these are special for cats and dogs) which I found on a vet meds site in the course of my research.

But I took him in just in case he needed oral medication, and be be sure it isn’t something other than acne.

Then, too, we have a plastic bulk feeder and water bubbler, so he may have an allergy to plastic; that was the case with my high school cat, Sgt. Pepper (a Siamese and white)but Patrick has it no matter what sort of bowl we use. Kylie, Tessie and Harri have never had a problem. And we kind of don’t want to get rid of those, since they’re convenient for us and them…
It’s rather hard to find bulk feeders that aren’t made of plastic. I could only find this ceramic Pet Well for water, and it’s a bit expensive. For food, there are more choices, but they’re none of them very attractive, and I don’t know that the cats could open them.

Good thing he doesn’t mind going to the vet.

Turns out, I was doing all the right things, and I just needed to keep on it. Which is a reassuring comment on my abilities as cat mom, but which means that there’s nothing else that can be done. While we were there, the vet also looked at Gun-Hee’s teeth. There is one premolar on the left side that isn’t coming out all the way, and the gum nearby is very red. 10 months old, and he still has a tooth coming in. The vet said I should just watch it for now; if the tooth never comes in he may need a gingivectomy to remove the gum that hangs over the tooth; because the tooth isn’t all the way out, there’s a pocket between the gum and the tooth where food can be trapped. It’s not serious, and the fact that I brush his teeth helps. It’s something that would wait until his first major tooth-cleaning, because it needs to be done under general anaesthetics.

He’s up to 8½lbs now; he’s getting to be a big boy!