In her early years, she had a traumatic time as she suffered from Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia (IMHA). In this disease, the body’s own immune system attacks its own red blood cells, and causes severe anaemia, which can be fatal if not treated.
We are happy to say that Deia recovered well from this, and has been symptom free for several years. She visited us for her routine vaccination and check up this year and at this visit we noticed that her gums were very red and irritated, despite the lack of much tartar or calculus.
A picture of a cat with a similarly sore mouth can be seen in the photos to the right.
We discovered that there was a hole in one tooth – in cats this is usually due to Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions (FORL). This is a different type of disease to the cavities that we get, although the precuise process leading to these lesions in cats is still poorly understood; the result is that the tooth is slowly eaten (resorbed) away and sadly this causes severe pain to the cat. Cats are extremely stoic animals though and do not often show outward signs of pain, or even reluctance to eat. When the painful teeth are finally remove though, owners normally notice the cat having a new lease of life as that constant pain has been taken away.
Deia was booked in for her anaesthetic to remove the affected tooth, and to assess her other teeth. Once she was asleep, we were able to visualise both the inner and outer surfaces of her teeth, and were able to probe into the gum line. This revealed that nearly ALL her teeth were affected. This is why her gums were so red despite the lack of tartar. And this unfortunately meant that almost every single tooth needed to be removed.
After discussing these findings with her owner, and considering her past history of IMHA, we opted to stage the extractions. This means performing extractions on one side of the mouth at a time in order to reduce her anaesthetic time in each procedure, and reduce the stress it would put her through to avoid another bout of IMHA.
We can report both procedures went well, and she has healed with no complications. You can see pictures of the right hand side of her mouth one month following the first procedure - fully healed and importantly no gingivitis.
Deia is now back to her happy self and eating normally.