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Impromptu Vet Visit

Today I called our vet and mentioned the problems of my cat and that I need an appointment. But you probably know Murphy’s law, of course, there was another issue, namely that she couldn’t give me an appointment as they’re full due to the fact that they have holidays next Monday, which is even worse. So, I activated my charming voice and said “Oh, I do understand that but I’d really like to help my cat, this week”. She talked in the background for a moment and came back on the phone and said “Umm, we can only offer that you come here today in the evening without an appointment, but then you might need to wait up to two hours”. I didn’t have more questions and said: “Awww, awesome, no problem, I’m going to be there, thank you very much!”.

I took a nap in the afternoon and set the alarm clock to have enough time to make me ready and catch the cat. But the trick with the transport box worked yet again. You integrate the transport box into your cat’s life beforehand, so that she can use it as a sleeping spot, that she sees it as her safe haven. You know what I mean. I wanted to visit the vet know and looked for the transport box and saw Shyna was already relaxing in it. Lid closed, let’s go.

On our way, as always, she wasn’t very stressed but also not very relaxed. Maybe slightly alert but it isn’t the first time I had to transport her. I heard her miaow a few times, that’s it. Due do the Corona safety precautions, we had to wait outside for a while as they did only let a certain amount of people in to make sure that people can keep a distance from each other. As I hate crowds of people, especially in confined spaces, I like that. I truly do. That’s the irony about this pandemic, the Corona behavioral code is nothing else but pleasant for someone like me with anxiety quirks but that’s another story. But at the same time, I was also concerned to be outside because it was very windy and I was afraid that it’s not good for my cat. Then I saw a hedge and thought it would be a nice windbreak and places the transport box there. My mother did accompany me, we always go together, to the same vet, be it because of her dog or because of my cat.

We talked about this and that, and when I looked into the transport box again, I realized that our voices might have relaxed my cat. She didn’t sleep, but she made herself comfortable. Meanwhile, a couple arrived and they had a transport box that was transparent. Inside were two tiny male kittens as I heard from them, aww, so cute. We waited and waited but suddenly we’ve been called in. Then we waited a little more time inside but then we were finally called into the diagnostic room. I did explain the three symptoms drooling, bad breath, and that my cat seems to touch her mouth or face and the vet said “I do understand, let’s see”. Now I wondered if she will be able to open the mouth of my cat and I was very surprised how easy it looked like.

Well, that’s her job and she knows her stuff. Meticulously, she checked the ivories of my cat and also showed and explained things to me. You know, that is what a good doctor should do, no matter if doctors for pets or doctors for humans. Involve us, interact with us! A lot can be learned, except empathy and social skills. But you notice it quickly if a doctor has social skills and empathy, and if his or her clear mission is patient education. I know the vet for quite some time, and my cat too. The vet is always doing a great job. Talking about the procedure again, I always find it funny how my cat is freezing, like “If I show no motion, they might think I am not here”. Thus, my cat was basically cooperative. Just later, when the vet wanted to check something for the third time, my cat clearly signaled “Stop this, or things will get ugly!”. Fortunately, before that, we already saw what we wanted to see. As I expected in my earlier post, the vet noticed a lot of dental calculus and also a couple of suspicious teeth.

vet is checking teeth of my cat

She pulled out of one those metal sticks and explained “I am going to hit individual teeth softly and if the jaw will twitch, it’s a sign of pain”. She proceeded, and in fact, with some teeth, it occurred and with the majority not. And honestly, I almost got toothache too by just watching lol. I saw maybe two or three desolate-looking ones and was worried and she said “Nah, I will show you photos of much worse cat ivories”. The photos were like “Uh, oh, no”. She then explained the teeth of my cat are according to age but that surgical extraction is advised as the cat has toothaches. I requested to define surgical extraction and she said it would be calculus scraping and removal of two or three teeth. The number of extractions seemed to be vague but she explained that they will make pictures during anesthesia to be very sure.

She also showed me a picture of a stranger cat tooth with a 90% crack or hole at the bottom, only still attached with the 10% remaining structure. She explained, sometimes that’s what you find only after you scraped off the calculus, it can be hidden.  I wondered if she was talking about FORL now because I’ve read an article about it. She smiled and said “Exactly! Amazing, you’ve read about it!”. She just wanted to explain, in the worst case, more is found during anesthesia.

It isn’t always the case but some cats have severe damage below dental calculus. In such a case, the tooth would have to be extracted, of course. She then explained that the costs will be most likely within the range of €250-€350 but that surprises like in her shown example could add some costs for each pulled extra tooth. She then said, it just needs to be said, but it doesn’t have to be the case. I understood and agreed with the surgery. It’ll happen by the end of this month.
medication for my cat

The problem is the appointment is still far away. I understand they have holidays, but I still had questions. Obviously, my cat has toothaches and I wondered if there is anything that can be done against it now? She then said that she can inject a base pain medication, and from tomorrow on, I will have to put something into her food once per day to sustain it. I agreed here as well, so my cat got the injection and I got the medicine for the following weeks. She said this should be ok until their holidays are over and remembered me that they get cats with infections and swollen faces. I got told, while my cat has a toothache, it’s not as severe as the problems can get.

She also praised the fact that I came here with the suspicion that something is wrong and said in 80% of the cases, people come here because of vaccination and get a shock when a quick general examination shows that their pets have severe dental issues. I thanked her for the praise but honestly, I told her that until not so long ago I thought too that my cat would miaow like a siren if she would be in pain. I just learned recently that this is not the case, that they can hide their pain very well. She nodded and said, “That’s an issue but you still noticed other symptoms and did your research and turned up here, thus you paid attention to your cat, that’s what we should do”. Well, I think we both have a point. Maybe I just don’t like to be praised. But then again, I am always going out there with the feeling that I have the right vet. So, I could praise her too.

So, yeah, things are getting serious by the end of the month for my cat. I hope she will withstand the anesthesia well. She isn’t the youngest cat anymore. I also really hope there won’t be surprises like the one the vet mentioned. Now we can only wait for that day and I hope it will solve her teeth problems and pain.

9 Comments »

  1. It sounds as if you have a good vet Dennis who takes the time to explain things. It is a pity that Shyna must wait for the surgery but on the other hand I’m sure if they felt it was really urgent they would have tried to fit her in sooner. In the meantime at least she will be more comfortable with the pain medication although I am sure she won’t thank you for another vet visit.

    • Yes, she always has lots of time. I never had the feeling they’re in a hurry. It’s only a downside if you have no appointment, due to the waiting times. But going there without an appointment was an exception anyway.

      That’s basically what I got told, “I’ve seen her teeth, it needs to be done, but it isn’t as urgent as in other cases I’ve had”, she said. Ironically, it happened to me too in the past, I do always get medical problems when my doctors go into holidays lol. That’s always a bad coincidence, but it happens. Yeah, at least she got pain medication. She got her second dose today via food, it was easy.

      I actually noticed she is even more clingy after a vet visit and wants to cuddle a lot.

    • We sadly have to wait until the end of the month, that’s when the surgery will be. They have holidays before that. At least we got pain medication to get through the time to the surgery appointment.

  2. Cats are very good at hiding pain. I suppose in the wild that is an advantage because a predator might sense weakness. I hope that Shayna will be okay until the surgery. My cat Chris had eight teeth pulled a couple of years ago. I thought he would have a hard time eating, especially dry food, but he actually still prefers the dry food even though I try very hard to get him to eat wet food.

    • That makes sense with the advantage in the wild. I was afraid that my cat could get trouble eating after the surgery but the vet told me too that this won’t be the case, she said they continue to eat as always. Can Chris still chew or does he basically swallow the dry food? I’m not sure yet how many teeth Shyna will get pulled, so I am not sure what to expect.

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