Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The (No Longer) Whole Tooth

(NiKki resting on the electronics bench)

So, I had a bit of a shock yesterday upon looking in Nikki's mouth. I try to do this periodically with all the cats in order to keep track of their dental health and check for any issues...and Nikki definitely appears to have an Issue. Specifically, her top left canine tooth (the long fangy ones) has apparently been partially broken off!

I suppose it's worth backing up here a bit because something else happened recently that I haven't mentioned yet...which is to say that Nikki was in a fight with some other animal (another cat, or a raccoon, or a squirrel, I'm not sure).

She came home limping one afternoon, about nine days ago, and while initially it wasn't obvious what was wrong (I didn't know if she'd fallen off something or what), I eventually found two small puncture marks on her right thigh. The area around the marks was slightly swollen but didn't appear to be infected, and Nikki was eating and drinking and using the litter box just fine, so I just did the "watchful waiting" thing and kept her indoors, rather than rushing her off to the vet. And as far as I can tell now, she's totally recovered from the bite injury...not only is she walking normally, she's back to her usual level of high energy athleticism and has been busying herself climbing and jumping on everything she couldn't investigate when her leg was hurting.

So yeah. Let's just say I'm VERY glad she was up to date on her shots. I'm also seriously considering looking into some sort of cat fencing system, because Nikki seems to NEED the outdoors for the sake of her mental health, but it would be nice if I could at least reduce the risk of things like fights and traffic.

But...that aside, right now my immediate concern is her broken tooth. She has an appointment to see the vet this Saturday as I know THAT isn't going to get better on its own, and while she's eating fine and doesn't seem to be obviously in pain, I don't want this potentially escalating to a nasty infection or something (which it could if the tooth is cracked in a manner I can't obviously see). I've not thoroughly investigated feline dentistry so I don't know what options there will be for treatment in, will they just want to pull out the tooth entirely, or do some vets offer dental crowns for cats? Guess I'll be finding that out soon...


  1. Eek. When I was young our chocolate lab broke her canine in half tossing a chunk of concrete in the air and catching it. You could see the nerve in the center and everything. It never appeared to hurt her and I don't think my parents even took her to the vet about it.

  2. Audrey:

    Eek indeed! And speaking of chocolate labs...Matt's older sister has one, and he ended up in emergency surgery last year due to apparently *eating a rock*. Didn't break any teeth, though...just gulped the rock right down, apparently.

    That's kind of amazing that your dog didn't seem to be in any pain,'d think if the nerve was visible it would have to hurt! Though on the other hand, it seems possible the nerve might have been "killed" by the impact of the concrete. Who knows.

    Anyway, Nikki's tooth break appears to be pretty superficial...there's no nerve or pulp visible, no bleeding, etc. So I'm not TOO worried, I just figure it's probably better to get it looked at, seeing as she's nearly nine years old and I know cats that age often have dental problems regardless.

  3. I guess she left the pointy end of the tooth in whatever poor fucker made the mistake of fighting with her!

  4. CPP: hahah, I'm sure she'd be very pleased with herself if that were the case! Nikki's a tough kitty and takes her SecurityCat duties VERY seriously.


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