After being seen for advanced periodontal (gum) disease and tooth resorption at Veterinary Dental Specialties and Dental Surgery, Sophie returned for her 2-week recheck. As is very common for us to hear, her owner reported that she was acting like a kitten again. She is an older (approximately 15 years) cat and has some minor health issues. Because of her age and these concerns, the clients were not recommended to pursue dental care. Thus, Sophie had developed significant dental disease prior to presentation.
Oral exam confirmed the severe periodontal disease, especially to the upper left canine (Image 1).
There was also significant periodontal disease and tooth resorption to the majority of her teeth (Image 2 and 3)
Sophie was carefully placed under general anesthesia and a complete exam and dental radiographs were performed. (Figures 4 – 11). Oral exam and dental radiographs confirmed advanced gum disease (green circles) as well as tooth resorption (red circles). There was also a severely infected retained root on the lower left (purple circle).
She was treated with numerous extractions but did great with surgery and recovered normally. Sophie is much happier and healthier now with a few less teeth. While she ultimately received the care that she needed, the change in attitude is common in our pets because they “suffer in silence”. They cannot tell us that they are in pain so it is up to us as veterinary professionals to alleviate pain and suffering whenever possible. Age and minor systemic illnesses should not be a reason to avoid necessary dental work. It is vital to provide annual dental care for your cats, regardless of age.