Friday, August 26, 2011

Thunder's Teeth

Last week, my sister and I took Maggie and Thunder to the vet. Maggie for shots and Thunder for his wellness check. He doesn't get shots because he is very allergic.

Anyway, we had been seeing a particular vet at the practice. She moved on, so we went to Dr. Shaw. Dr. Shaw has taken care of many of our pets over the years. In fact, at one point during the exam, he paused, sighed, and said, "One thing I will remember for the rest of my life is Indi." Indi was my Siamese for 19.5 years. She was as gentle as she was tough. She never gave up--even after kidney disease and losing 5 teeth. She kept going strong--with my help, of course. I gave her fluids, and catered to her every need.

But, I learned a lesson. For cats that live a long time, their teeth need care, How much happier Indi would have been if her teeth lasted as long as she did?

When I got Thunder, I started brushing his teeth. Because I couldn't do a very good job, at first, I got in the habit of doing them every day. I still do. He is now 5, and has lovely teeth.

When Dr. Shaw looked at his mouth, his first words were,"Nice teeth."

"I brush them every day," I proudly replied.

He looked up with this big smile on his face. "Really..." He then reached for his camera. Thunder quietly lay there while Dr. Shaw focused in on his teeth and took a picture. He downloaded it to his computer desktop and showed it to us blown up on his display board. He is going to use the picture to show people to encourage them to try brushing their cat's teeth, too. Thunder is going to be an inspiration!

He also showed us the other picture he uses--a picture of a dog who had 23 teeth removed. He showed us the dog's mouth and then the removed teeth. What a contrast to Thunder's teeth.

It really isn't that hard to teach a cat to allow his teeth to be brushed. I mean, if I can teach a horse to allow me to ride him, why not a cat to allow his mouth to be handled?

My cat has beautiful teeth. My sister's cat has no teeth. He had them removed due to an autoimmune disease where his body was attacking his teeth. He is now eating dry food and playing all the time. She won't have to do any brushing, but if he had normal teeth, I'm sure she would. We really dote on our cats.


Mary said...

I can't imagine trying to brush my cat Buddy's teeth. I think I would end up with bloody stumps. He only gets crunchy kibbles and for whatever reason his teeth are still in great shape. He's 10 now. He's not really the loving being handled type though, any interaction is on his time, even brushing can be an ordeal unless he's "in the mood". Oh well, I still love him to death.

Judi said...

I can tell from his pictures that Buddy is a very "Independant Minded" cat. I'm glad he had naturally good teeth. Some cats do.

He is also proof that you don't have to be overly lovable to be well loved! He certainly is adorable!

achieve1dream said...

Aww that's awesome! Way to go Thunder. :)

I really need to brush my dogs' teeth, but they eat raw so they look really nice right now. There was a huge change (for the good) in Storm's teeth when we switched to raw, although hers were nice anyway for a ten year old dog. :)