Note: Top photo of Maize is 5 months past extensive dental surgery performed by Dr. Steve Capron, a veterinary dental specialist of Austin, Texas. If you compare the two photos you can see that Maize has gained weight. In the bottom photo she is thin and frail. Now she is running about the house and has a healthy appetite. Currently, I am giving her a liquid vitamin-mineral supplement once daily. This medication has definitely helped increase her appetite. The iron in this medication is needed to increase the production of red blood cells. She needs her labs done again to insure that her red blood cells are regenerating and that her lab values (BUN and creatinine) are within or almost within normal limits. She is like a “new cat” since her bad teeth were pulled and her gums treated for gingivitis. I continue to give her about 75ml of Ringer’s Lactate 2-3 times each week.
Maize’s ordeal was initially posted in June, 2011.
BUN and creatinine are tests for kidney function. If the kidneys are failing, the cat or dog will be anemic. However, chronic infection anywhere in the body can lead to anemia. It is vitally important to determine if the red blood cells are regenerating- that is making new and complete red blood cells that are healthy.
According to veterinary information one of the primary killers of pets over 9 or 10 years of age is kidney failure. Why do dogs and cats succumb to kidney failure also called renal failure? It all boils down to keeping your pet’s teeth and gums in good condition. If your cat or dog has not had a dental exam or had dental care performed by your vet then there is a huge chance that the your pet’s mouth is in pretty bad shape by the time it is 9 or 10 years old and sometimes younger.
Dogs and cats have the same kind of dental problems as people. This means cavities, tartar, plaque, infected gums, and rotten teeth. If the pet has at least moderate to severe dental problems it is a sure thing that the infection may have already traveled to the kidneys, heart, liver, or lungs. The favored target of the bacteria happens to be the kidneys.
Kidney failure is one of the primary diseases that causes death in cats and dogs. In order to keep kidney failure at bay, your pet should have at LEAST a yearly dental exam. Of course, we are told to brush our pets teeth. In some cases if your pet came into your life as a feral or an older adult cat (such as almost all my cats) it is impossible to brush their teeth.
A kitten or young cat can adapt to having its teeth and gums cleaned. Getting an older cat to cooperate with brushing its teeth would certainly be a challenge and maybe not impossible. But a skittish cat is a whole other ballgame. So- start early if your cat or kitten is still young. I guarantee your pet will reap the rewards of healthy kidneys and you the owner will benefit even more by saving your money for other health issues that might arise.
Keeping your pet’s teeth and mouth healthy is the one of the essential ways to extend your pets life. I’ve been fortunate to still have around two old cats who have both had dental care. I’m sorry to say that I totally neglected some aspects of my pet’s care when I had too much on my plate. I was very lucky to have an expert veterinary dental surgeon perform the needed extractions, gum cleaning, etc of these two cats. The dental surgeries alone did not get the job done. These two cats required some intensive nursing care from me that included sub cu fluids to keep the kidneys flushed, special food, injectable pain medication, and two antibiotics that were given for 2-3 weeks. One antibiotic was to kill the bacteria in the mouth and gums and the other given in an attempt to save the kidneys by killing the ‘bacteria that was causing an infection in the kidneys. Both cats are doing well at this time. One cat needs repeat labs and that is coming up in two weeks. I’ll go into more detail regarding dental disease and recommended preventive dental care for your cat or dog, in a future post.
Of special note, I owe much gratitude to Dr. Lisa Daniel who did the blood draws, IV fluids, and injectable antibiotics, prior to my cat’s dental surgeries by Dr Steve Capron of Austin, Texas. Dr. Daniel put a great deal of effort into diagnosing and preparing my cats for surgery. I feel fortunate to know her and that many of my animals are a recipient of her talents.
Post and photograph by Yvonne Daniel