Friday, February 11, 2011

Cats And Dental Disease, "Mario Da Cat's" Story, Guest Blog By Mario's Mom, Mary


This post originally ran in 2010 but with February being "National Pet Dental Health Month", I felt it was important to re-post it. Enjoy and thanks to Mary for allowing me to re-post!
Please be sure to visit Mariodacat's Blog, "Mario's Meowsings" just click here!


Mario's Story

I was thrilled when Caren asked me to do a guest blog post regarding my cat’s (@Mariodacat – on Twitter) dental problems and how he became toothless at the age of 4. Hopefully it will bring awareness to the importance of having your animals teeth cleaned when your veterinarian recommends such. If your vet recommends brushing, it can be done with proper training.

Handsome Mario!
We adopted Mario from our local shelter in October 2008. A week later we were in having his teeth cleaned, and one had to be pulled as it could not be saved. He kept having recurring infections after that. Finally, after 4 changes in antibiotics (which clearly were not helping) our veterinarian said Mario might be one of those rare cats that are allergic to his own bacteria in the mouth. She recommended seeing an animal dentist in another city.

After many blood tests, extensive
 X-rays (Mario did have to be put under anesthesia for that), the dentist called us and said Mario’s teeth would have to be removed. When normal veterinarians remove teeth, they do the best that they can with their skills & equipment. Probably 99% of the time, it’s good enough for most animals. But it was determined that Mario was allergic to his own bacteria in his mouth. The dentist found little tiny bone fragments remaining from what his regular vet had pulled. These could not normally be seen without the specialized equipment that a dentist has.



He pulled all of Mario’s teeth, except the 4 canines, that first visit & cleaned up the hidden fragments left behind from his visit to our local vet. We were sent home with toothpaste for cats, a tiny brush, taught how to brush his teeth, and of course, more antibiotics. The Dentist stressed the importance of brushing daily. Well, even with our faithful brushing the infection still did not clear up. It was then determined that the 4 canines would also have to be removed.

By the time Mario had been with us a year, all his teeth had been pulled, we were missing a few $1,000 dollars, but we gained a very happy, healthy, loveable cat. He is able to eat dry kibble and, of course, canned cat food for a treat.

There wasn’t anything that we could have done to prevent this from happening, as we didn’t discover the problem until we had adopted him. But we are very grateful to our dentist for being aware of the problem and referring us to a specialist.

If you have an animal that has recurring infections in the mouth area, question your vet on whether or not your pet might be allergic to the bacteria in his/her mouth. If your vet hasn’t even heard of it, I would encourage you to contact an animal dentist in your state. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Had we not been referred to a dentist for animals, Mario probably wouldn’t be around today. Peridontal disease in animals is very serious and can be deadly. The infection can eventually enter the blood stream and that is when it becomes deadly.





Mario wrote about his ordeal in his blog – http://mariodacat.blogspot.com/It was written by him (with me, his human) typing for him so it is very lengthy, but informative. If you have an animal that you think might have a similar situation, I would encourage you to read it. 

52 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing Mario's story, we just visited his blog too.
    Dental care is one of the important issues that we have to pay attention to our pets. Keeping them clean is our job!!! Hope all pet owners have this awareness and help keep their pets' teeth clean and healthy.
    I brush Eva's teeth once a week with a piece of gauze wrapped over my finger, I don't think she likes this but she lets me have my own fun because she loves the taste of the toothpaste. She is pure greedy :)

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  2. This was and excellent post. Poor Mario, but glad his issues have been resolved.

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  3. M ... great post. Thanks for the information. I'll pass it along to HH so she can watch the boys for problems.

    pawhugs, Max

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  4. @Priscilla, I feel soooo guilty! I used to brush Dakota's teeth (with a doggie toothbrush)...I feel guilty because he also loved the toothpaste, then I got lazy and haven't been doing it. In April he has to go in for a tooth cleaning and I feel so bad because it is my fault. I have to start doing once a week like you...it is totally my fault because I stopped out of being completely lazy :(
    Thanks for visiting Mario's blog as well!

    @Max thanks so much, I am sure Mario will be thrilled that you liked it!

    @Diane, so happy you like it! Mario and his Mom will be thrilled!

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  5. Mario my friend, you're such a brave boy and an inspiration.

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  6. Mario, I love you. I read your story on your mom's page on her bloggie and I love you dearly.
    pawhugs, sweet friend.

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  7. I didn't know cats have dental problems, what an informative post.

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  8. @Admiral Hestorb ohhhh poop! For a minute I thought you loved me too!!!! lol. Hey, are we following each other on Twitter? What is your twitter name? Mine is @catchatcaren (couldn't find you for my #FF)

    @Indrani yep cats AND dogs! Glad you enjoyed Mario's Mom's PURRFECT post!

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  9. Thanks for bring this to everyones attention, it's very impawtant. Mario is one cool dude and I'm very happy to have him as a friend!

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  10. Mario's mom here. Thank you for re-running this post. You know I'm a big supporter of taking care of your pet's teeth. Since Mario's problems started long before we adopted him, we're not sure if brushing would have made a difference in his particular case. But I can tell you it would have been well worth it if someone would have brushed his teeth from kittenhood. Now the poor little boy has lost all his teeth. Keep brushing parents of pet owners. Mario is still doing fine today without teeth, but he isn't able to chew certian foods like human beef. We do cut up chicken for him when we are eat it ourselves, but it's cut up in very tiny pieces. Most of all, if your animal keeps having infections in the mouth over and over agsin, get to an animal dentist as they are specialists.

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  11. @Mario's Mom, we are thrilled and thankful to not only have you in our lives but for you sharing Mario's story with us. I have to admit I am lazy and awful about brushing both of my boy's teeth and I must get it together and begin right away! We love you!

    @Brian yes he is and we feel the same! We feel that way about you too!

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  12. Awww lovely Mario! I clicked on his blog and he's caught up with the football at the moment!! What a cutie!!!

    Thanks so much for this very handy info about dental care. Charlie sees the vet regularly for his teeth care - fingers crossed there won't be any surgery as yet - the vets are very hopeful that his teeth won't be as seriously infected as poor Mario's!! Take care
    x

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  13. This was very interesting and I'm headed over to read Mario's take on the toofie situation. I just wish dental polishings weren't so expensive. we can only afford to have a few kitties done each year.

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  14. Thanks very much for this information-well worth posting again!
    My kitty, Bella, who's only 6 and a half years old, has pretty bad tartar build-up and was supposed to have her teeth cleaned about 2 years ago. I've given her some dental treats that seemed to have helped a bit, as I look for additional employment;-) I'm also a bit scared to put her under...but I understand that I have to do it pretty soon.
    I can't imagine her letting me brush her teeth!

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  15. Thank you so much for re-sharing this post, as we had never seen it before. It always helps to hear about these rare cases, just in case one of your babies happens to be unlucky enough to have one. Of the 4 cats I have (or have had), 1 had to have several teeth extracted (1 fang just fell out!), and he did just fine.

    Have a great weekend!

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  16. I've never heard of a cat being allergic to the bacteria in their mouth. But I'm amazed that Mario can still eat kibble without any teeth! Thanks, Mario, for calling attention to periodontal disease!

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  17. Wow, what an amazing story. I'm so glad that he is ok now. I'm curious how he can manage dry food without teeth. Does he just 'gum' the biscuits until they're soft enough to swallow or does he have enough strength in his jaw to crush them even with out the teeth to help? It's impressive either way!

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  18. @Old Kitty, I sooo hope that Charlie won't have to go through that as well! I have to be much more vigilant about brushing Cody's for sure!

    @Eleanor yes it is an amazing story! I think Mario might be like Cody (who inhales his food!! practically without chewing! lol)

    @Canidae yep cats can be allergic (so can humans and dogs too!) Yes we are grateful that Mario allowed us to re-run his Mom's most wonderful post!

    @OkCats, thanks so much!! I had thought about it and realized that at the time it was posted previously I didn't have as many followers and Mario's Mom did such a great job with it that I wanted it to have the attention it deserves! I am so sorry that one of your kitties had to have teeth extracted...OUCH!!

    @Bocci thanks so much for your kind words about reposting. Don't worry about Bella. My Bobo had to have his teeth cleaned practically once a year when he was alive (even when he was a senior but not in his very old senior years) and he did just fine. I didn't like putting him under either (and he didn't like to have his teeth brushed either) but he did wonderfully. I completely understand about the cost..I have been out of work for quite some time now (due to downsizing) and vet bills can be quite hefty but also many vets (including mine) will work with you for payment if you are upfront with them. Some are nicer than others and hopefully you have one of the compassionate ones. I hope that Bella's teeth will continue to improve. Thanks for stopping by!

    @Katnip Lounge...OMG they should give you a multiple cat discount! I can just imagine how that would be to get all of your cat's teeth taken care of. OMG!!! I know! I have an idea! You should turn part of the catio into a kitty dental office and your kitties would be right there and others could come and have their teeth cleaned! xoxo

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  19. I had never heard of this, thank you so much for sharing the information. What a cute kitty he is. Hugs

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  20. That is a big health consurn that alot of people overlook. Well, good that it went alright and Mario is just so cute!!!!!

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  21. Hello!
    Thank You very much for this post!
    Very informative post!

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  22. @Mumsy I am so happy that you found this to be helpful and yes Mario is ADORABLE! ((((hugs))))

    @Hana-chan thanks so much for visiting! Yes Mario is adorable!

    @Amin you are most welcome! Mario's Mom did a great job!

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  23. I'm glad Mario is still with us because he is one of my closest furrends. xoxo

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  24. Poor kitty. Having your teeth cleaned is no fun, but the alternative is worse!

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  25. Excellent guest postie!

    Nubbin wiggles,
    Oskar

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  26. Thanks for this post. Very informative! Austin has gingivitis (has always had this) and I have to check regularly. The vet recommended he ate hard food, which he does as well as soft. He is a very picky eater though. Not sure if this is to do with his teeth or whether it's just the way he is!

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  27. @Cathy I am sure glad Mario is here as well or I would never have met him or his Mom! :)

    @Noll, soooo true! Thanks for stopping by!

    @Oskar thank you! Mario's Mom will be thrilled!

    @Carolyn thank you and we sure thank Mario's Mom for writing it! Both of my cats always ate both hard and soft food (soft food is very good for their hydration and hard is good for the teeth as you know). I think in some cases cats are just like people, it is the luck of the draw. xoxo

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  28. Very good post and reminder that dental care is important to a kitty's over all health! We've all had our teefs cleaned but only once in our lives (we range in age from 4 to 10) (Yikes!) We think that will change from now on tho... Our mom wishes she could brush our teef, we like the toothpaste but don't care for the brushing part, mol!

    PIp, Smidgen, Minnie, and Hollie

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  29. @Cara thank you! Mario's Mom did an amazing job that is for sure! Cody is like your kitties, he likes the toothpaste but not the brush! Maybe we could do what Priscilla above does with her Sheltie. Put some gauze on our finger with some toothpaste and smush it around our kitties mouths. It would be better than nothing!

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  30. Yup, I have read Mario's story before and it's such a lesson. Pimp is getting his teeth cleaned in a couple weeks! Gotta keep the toothies sparkling and healthy. :)

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  31. Aunty Caren,
    Yeah...it's not easy maintaining my million dollar Hollywood smile but Mama insists that we all adhere to her routine. So, we all get flossed and brushed till kingdom comes. Check out my fangs.... har har har *evil laughs*

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  32. Mario has a great message for everybody... including humans! Even though they brush their teeth way more often then we kitties do, that bacteria in the mouth can affect them too. So it helps a lot if they floss daily also. Dental health is important for all species!

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  33. Poor little dude! I recently had Scarlett's teeth cleaned at the vet, which was a horrendously traumatic experience for her (she hasn't been the same since), and I think she could've avoided that if I'd been better about brushing her teeth. So... I just got some new toothpaste and brushes and both kitties are getting their teeth brushed!

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  34. @Your Daily Cute good luck to Pimp with his teeth cleaning! Dakota is getting his done in April, if I had been more vigilant about it he maybe wouldn't have to go in but he will be ok. Thanks for stopping by and showing Mario the love!

    @Natalie I am so sorry that Scarlett had a traumatizing experience with her teeth. Did something happen there? Bobo had it done many, many times and was always fine. Cody hasn't had his done yet. YAY for getting toothpaste and brushes!

    @Chat thanks! Thanks for stopping by!

    @Sparkle flossing a cat's teeth? Now how in the world do you do that??? That I don't think I could do. Tell us!

    @Cat-in-Sydney ok now you mention flossing too? How do you floss a cat's teeth? How often do you brush your babies' teeth? You and Sparkle are wonderful!!

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  35. Mario, so glad you could share your story. We're sorry to hear you had so many infections and had to lose all your teeth. You're still a handsome devil--even toothless! Marmie probably needs to consider getting my teeth brushed. But she had a bad experience when her childhood cat was put under at the vet to have his done, so she's a little scared.

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  36. I have never heard of such a thing! So glad Mario is well and happy now!

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  37. Poor Mario ! My cat Lisa had 3 times a mouth infection which were treated with antibiotics but always came back. The vet pulled all teeth out and after that she was a happy cat without any problems. She could even eat a mouse as cat gums become so hard without teeth that they are like teeth. This happened when she was about 5 and she lived for 20 years.

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  38. Wow… what an amazing story and a beautiful cat…. Mario was so lucky to have found such a good vet (oh, and have great parents too!)

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  39. Dear Caren,

    This is fantastic post ! I use to wonder for a long time. How Mario, my friend been look after his teeth !
    Thank you so much to post this. It's really useful for us

    xxx
    PS : Thank you for beautiful friendship with my mom : )

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  40. @Mr.Puddy thank you but it is Mario's Mom that gets all of the credit!! I am sooo glad you found it to be helpful though.

    Awwwww you nearly made me cry Puddy!!! I think your Mom is INCREDIBLE and sooo intelligent and talented...I THANK YOU BOTH for coming into MY life! xoxo

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  41. @Hilary soooo true! Great vet and great parents!

    @Gattina, thank you for sharing that information about Lisa with us. I am so sorry she had to go through all of that but I am happy to know that the gums get hard like teeth. I never knew that! I am also glad that Lisa lived to be such a wonderful age! Thank you!

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  42. @Art and Sew Forth, yep it is the same with people and doggies too!

    @Link ohhh your poor Marmie!! I am so sorry she had bad things happen when she was little. My Bobo had it done many, many times throughout his life and he was fine. How old are you Link? I forgot....your Marmie could use gauze wrapped around her finger with toothpaste (it is poultry flavored! I bet you would love it!)

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  43. Thanks so much for sharing Mario's story! I learned so much that I had not thought about before, I am definitely going to be more diligent about caring for my cat's teeth. I'm so sorry for what Mario has been through, but glad he is doing so well now. He is a beautiful cat, and I so love his pictures. He looks like a king on his throne on that red pillow, as he should! :D

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  44. @Julie you are welcome and we are thrilled that Mario's Mom shared it too! I love how you said that Mario looks like a "king on his throne!" He does!!

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  45. yay! Mario sent me over and I love your Blog too! I am glad Mario is doing better, and his photos are simply adorable.

    Madison

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  46. Superb blog post, I have book marked this internet site so ideally I’ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future!

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  47. I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.

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  48. What a great post! I had never heard of a cat looseing his teeth before. Like you said this is rare and great info to pass on.

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  49. Mario is such a beautiful, handsome cat! His story is sad, but very important for everyone to read!! Thank you for reposting!!

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  50. @Catsparella yes Mario is quite handsome and don't be sad cause he is doing quite well! xoxo

    @Denise G yep Mario's Mom did a great job. Doggies and kitties can lose their teeth just like people.

    @wheelchairs thank you for wonderful words. I am sure Mario's Mom will be tickled with your comments! We hope to be seeing lots more of you around here! Welcome!!

    @Madison we are soooo happy to have you and Mario was so nice to have you come over and see us! Thank you! We sure hope to be seeing more of you!

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