Dental Care for Cats
Bringing your cat to our Morton veterinary clinic for a dental appointment is a lot like taking your kitty to a cat dentist for a checkup and cleaning.
At Stoney Creek Veterinary Hospital we provide complete dental care for cat and dogs, including dental exams, teeth cleanings, polishing and dental X-rays and surgeries such as cat tooth extractions.
Cat Dental Surgery
A cat tooth extraction is when a tooth is surgically removed by a veterinary dentist. During the extraction process, your cat will be put under general anesthesia. This keeps them comfortable, prevents them from struggling, and allows our veterinary team to safely complete the extraction.
Why Your Cat May Need a Tooth Extraction
In most cases, a cat will have to have a tooth removed due to decay or advanced gum disease caused by poor oral hygiene. When a tooth is damaged beyond repair, it is important to remove it in order to prevent infection and pain caused by the decayed tooth.
After your cat has their diseased tooth or teeth removed, you should speak to your vet dentist about the proper home care for your cat to prevent their other teeth from becoming similarly decayed. You should also be sure to bring your cat in for regular professional dental cleanings and examinations. Good dental care is essential to your kitty's oral and overall health.
Besides the common cause of gum disease and decay, your cat may also need a tooth removed for the following reasons:
- Fractured or broken teeth - Broken teeth can lead to painful abscesses and infection.
- Deciduous teeth - Baby teeth that do not fall out on their own may need to be removed.
- Oral tumors - The treatment of tumors may involve the extraction of nearby teeth.
- Orthodontic abnormalities - Just like humans, sometimes cats have teeth where they don't belong.
Your Cat's Recovery From Dental Surgery
Teeth all are held into our mouths by roots. In cats, as many as three roots can be holding an individual tooth. To fully extract a tooth, all roots must be removed.
As the recovery from this procedure is relatively quick, you should be able to bring your pet home on the same day as the procedure. If your pet eats primarily hard kibble, you can soften it in warm water prior to serving it for the first few days.
That said, you may notice that your feline friend is showing some symptoms related to anesthesia.
Side Effects of Anaesthesia in Cats
Anesthesia will be a necessary part of your cat's oral surgery. Anesthesia is used to ensure the safety and comfort of your cat during the surgical procedure. While anesthesia is generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects that cat owners should be aware of.
The most common side effects of anesthesia in cats include temporary drowsiness and disorientation upon waking up from the anesthesia. Cats may also experience mild nausea and vomiting, which typically subsides within a few hours.
Occasionally, some cats may exhibit a decreased appetite or reluctance to eat in the immediate aftermath of anesthesia.
In rare cases, more serious side effects such as allergic reactions or complications related to the respiratory or cardiovascular systems may occur, but these are relatively uncommon. It is important for veterinarians to closely monitor cats during and after anesthesia to minimize the risk of any adverse effects and ensure a smooth recovery.
Possible Post-Surgery Complications
Most cats heal well following tooth extraction surgery, there may be occasional instances of complications during the recovery process. Some of the symptoms to watch out for are:
- Very bad breath
- A slight swelling on the lower or upper jawline, or under the eye area\
- Eye may seem to bulge or protrude from your cat’s head
- Loss of appetite
- Drainage from the nose or mouth
- Lack of energy
- Pawing at the mouth or rubbing their face on the ground
- Dropping food while eating
You may also notice traces of blood in your cat's saliva. While this is normal, there should not be any significant bleeding. If there is, contact your veterinary dentist immediately.
If your cat shows any of the symptoms listed above contact your veterinary office for more information. Your vet may simply reassure you that your cat's symptoms are normal based on the surgical procedure they underwent, or your vet may recommend that you bring your kitty in for an examination.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.