Saturday, September 26, 2009
now we can get her that diamond grill she's always wanted
Sierra's been kinda overdue for her shots, so this morning I took her and Nev (who had an exam last month but needed a booster shot as well) to the vet for get checked out and caught up to date. The vet literally took a single look at her and immediately said, "Have you noticed that she's lost some teeth?"
She proceeded to show me, how all the teeth on one side of her top jaw are missing (except for the big fang, that one's still there), and she has a couple missing on the bottom, too, and one that's not looking so hot. Apparently it's relatively common in cats (affects 28-67% of cats. Yes that's really the statistic listed) to have these "feline resorption lesions" which act sort of like cavities but are different, an unexplained auto-immune response that basically rots their teeth. She recommended giving Sierra a full dental cleaning to clean out her mouth and possibly remove that one nasty-looking tooth (with an estimated bill of $500 and a day's stay at the animal hospital). She may still lose more teeth as she gets older, but the cleaning should sanitize her mouth and help save her remaining teeth.
Amazingly, Sierra hasn't given any indications of being in any sort of pain, and has been eating her (dry) food quite well so at least it seems she's not suffering a whole lot from this tooth thing. Some websites I looked at recommended doing routine cleanings every 6 months, which is just not gonna happen, I don't even know if we'll get around to brushing her teeth every day (another recommendation). But I think we'll go ahead with this first cleaning and then see how things go.
I asked if this tooth thing could possibly be caused by stress-- poor Sierra has undergone many major life changes in the past few years including two international moves, the arrival of a baby (who is now a toddler who loves to chase her), and then a new kitten in the house. But the vet insisted that stress has nothing to do with it, it's just a random thing that happens. Which helped me feel less guilty about it all. Other than the tooth issue she's a healthy, beautiful, 9lb, 6 yr old kitty (Nev's quickly catching up, weighed in at 5lb on the dot this morning and she's still only like 4 months old) who continues to adjust beautifully to all these changes and demands in her kitty life.