Working at Killarney Cat Hospital we get to see a lot of interesting dental cases, but I never would have thought that one of them would involve my own cat, Tavish. I knew he had dental problems and was due for a cleaning, and I had brought him in not thinking much of it…I had been working at Killarney Cat Hospital for a few months and had seen the procedure done quite a few times. I was allowed to stay and help the Registered Animal Health Technologist monitor him while she scaled and polished his teeth and everything was going fine until the vet noticed something strange. He had a strange lesion on his gum line, and it was complete news to me because none of the other vets who had looked at his mouth before had noticed it.
The vet removed it and sutured it closed, and he was put on a short course of anti-inflammatories to keep it from coming back. Let me tell you, he did not want to take those pills! He fought me every day but finally the dose was finished and it was time to bring him in for a recheck. But the news was not good, and we were shocked to discover that it had grown back again!
So now we were worried.
A biopsy was recommended to find out exactly what this was and whether it was a tumor in his mouth, and I brought Tavish back into the clinic for the procedure the next day. They removed it once again and sent the sample off to be tested, and what followed had to have been the longest week of my life. I was terrified, what if they found something horribly wrong? What if it was malignant? For his part Tavish remained cheerful and upbeat, he was as affectionate and playful as ever and in his own special way my little man helped me stay optimistic. He had to be fine!
When the results finally came back I had never been so relieved to hear three words; it’s not cancer. I hugged Tavish so much that night and we celebrated the good news together. But the question still remained as to what exactly this was, and another close inspection at Tavish’s mouth revealed a jagged tooth that seemed to be digging into his gums where the lesion was.
The next step became removing this problematic tooth, and after the extraction I could tell immediately that he felt better. So much better, in fact, that he managed to tear his stitches out only a few days later. Oops! But the vet didn’t seem worried and he was put on a diet of only soft food for another week to prevent any further irritation to the wound. Needless to say he loved this a lot, and I’d never seen him eat so much before! Thankfully his gums healed quickly and he was back to normal before I knew it.
With the tooth gone it is no longer causing gum problems, and this has allowed the lesion to heal completely. The change in him has been remarkable and he is now happy and pain free. I can never thank all my coworkers enough for looking after him like they did, and I know that even after everything he had to go through that Tavish thanks them too.