What to do when you only have 2 good teeth left


Rewind to a year and a half ago in the spring, a dirty, skinny, black and white shadowy figure with patches of baldness showed up in our neighborhood. It was a warm mid-May afternoon as we neighbors emerged from our homes to enter the world of summer.

“Don’t worry,” I told them. “He’s not staying; we’re going to find him a home.”

It didn’t take long before the extremely personable Kitty was spending a lot of time in our yard. We contacted the veterinarian and got him fixed and fixed up. Those bald spots disappeared.

A few months later, kitty moved into the house, and my motto proved true once again: “The best cat is the one you really don’t want.”

Kitty loves everybody, he follows you around the house to see what you are doing, and he loves to snuggle and sleeps with you at night — you couldn’t ask for a better man.

Kitty had his teeth cleaned about a year ago, and after that, his problem with bad breath went away, but only for a short time. Kitty was then diagnosed with an evil disease I had never heard of — stomatitis. It is a painful autoimmune disease that causes cats to be allergic to their own teeth tartar. There really isn’t a good fix for it; we tried, but no luck.

So that is how we finally got to the end-of-the-road solution that Kitty should have all his teeth pulled. I agonized over this; I was glad Kitty didn’t know what was going to happen.

Except Kitty did know something was up because I had to start giving him liquid medicine three times a day for five days before the surgery.

Plan A was I was going to give Kitty all these meds. Plan B was going to be to board him for the five days before the surgery. Let someone else do the dirty work.

On day one I took the first medication and mixed it with some food. Kitty was sure to be fooled. But he wasn’t. One lick and off he went. Kitty wins round one.

Next, I filled a syringe with the second medication, grabbed unsuspecting Kitty from behind and then I made a critical mistake. I squirted the medication directly into the front of his mouth. Kitty started to gag. Oh no! Some of the meds came shooting back out. Round two goes to Kitty.

YouTube and the Helpful Vancouver Vet to the rescue. There is a really good video called “How to give liquid medication to a cat.” The helpful vet was using the tamest, most laid-back cat I have ever seen to demonstrate. He also was demonstrating the technique with water instead of a yucky tasting medicine. I watched the video two times and became an expert.

I also found another video that recommended treats be involved. Bingo! That is the secret. Kitty couldn’t resist coming over for a treat, even though he knew I had a syringe of medicine hidden in my hand.

After that, Kitty won fewer battles and my score went up.

Finally, surgery day arrived, and we were ready. I felt bad dropping Kitty off at the animal hospital. Kitty did well though, and I was given the go-ahead to pick him up later that afternoon.

My guilt eased when I saw a note on the home care instructions — they discovered that Kitty only had two teeth in his mouth that were healthy before his full mouth extractions. Why didn’t I take Kitty in sooner?

And the good news is Kitty already acts like he is feeling better. But please help me: There are still five more days of medication to go.

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