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Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Difference Between Cats and Dogs

Sweetie the dog and Simon the cat both had dental work done in the last six weeks. This is the first time for both, and both had known dental issues when they went in. They're about the same age, although it could be argued since Sweetie is a big dog, she's older than Simon the cat.

Sweetie had one tooth pulled and came home with heavy duty pain meds, extra antibiotics and obvious pain for the first 24 hours. She wouldn't open her mouth, so I dissolved her meds in water and used a syringe to squirt them in the opening between her back teeth. Give it two days, and she was better. A week later, and you'd think we'd knocked five years off her age, the sweetheart.

With this recovery curve in mind, I was extremely reluctant to put Simon through that. Cats don't take meds like dogs do. I knew Simon had at least two cavities, and that means extraction. If my sweet girl had such a hard time the first week, what would it be like for spoiled Little Brother, who can be a real toadmonkey even in his best mood?

I read an article in the Tufts University cat magazine Catnip that claimed cats do very well with tooth extractions. For most, it's a new lease on life.

OK, that's most. What about my guy? Would he be "most" or the "least?" The article was convincing and my vet is skilled. I took the chance.

I can't believe how true the article was. Simon came home without pain meds, without extra antibiotics, and other than a severe case of the tipsies that had me running after him to prevent landing slippage, no apparent side effects at all. I even fed him a little wet cat food that night, probably more than I should have, but it was either feed him or put him in a carrier to prevent him from searching the house like a dopehead on a munchie binge.

If your pet has cavities, spend the money and vacation time and get them out.  Yes, it's harder on the dog than the cat, but bad teeth cause all kinds of other expensive problems no one wants to see. I wish I'd done it sooner for Little Brother. He probably does, too.

Happy Thursday, dear readers. Hug those furry family members and check their teeth when they aren't looking.

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