Otani, Trey & Virgil were born to a feral mom cat; we discovered them near the highway, and trapped them when they were about 9 weeks old. Unfortunately, they were a little too old to socialize fast and easy, a little too young for us to have the heart to ‘Return’ so we kept them.

They had severe flea infestations, and heavy bartonella infections. They also had stomatitis starting at approximately 4 months of age. We took them to MedVet; they had a dental specialist there at that time, and thus started their layaway plan for a full mouth extraction. They had multiple extractions through MedVet twice. We tried prolonged courses of antibiotics, steroids, and we put the whole household on a limited ingredient diet for a year, but their stomatitis persisted.

Dr. Klein extracted their remaining teeth in (2014?? ) – all three cats came home with me the same day as their surgery, cleaned their plates that night, and at every meal since. The inflammation never returned, and their personalities continued to blossom, though they are now senior cats.

-Dr. Danya Linehan, DVM

History: abandoned in an apartment for an unknown period of time, Dobie was emaciated, dehydrated and severely anemic when we found him. In addition, he is FIV +, and had a blood parasite infection. How many strikes is that? 🙂 He was 6 pounds when we took him. Now he is over 9 pounds.

Although on exam, his teeth and gums looked pretty good with the exception of one upper canine tooth, Dobie appeared painful on both sides of his mouth when eating. He is a textbook example of why ALL of our dental patients need dental radiographs! He ended up needing all teeth extracted except his incisors.

By Day 2 after his surprise nearly full mouth extraction, Dobie is grooming himself, making use of the highest shelves in the cat playroom, and back up to speed eating his 6 meals of canned food per day! He feels great. (AND he’s up for adoption – big selling point: he’ll never need a dental)

I call Dr. Tom and the rest of the East Hilliard Veterinary crew the veterinarian’s veterinarians. When it comes to my own cats’ oral health needs, they are the only ones we go to.

-Dr. Danya Linehan, DVM

A Bad Situation Turns Positive

Buddy the Boxer is almost ten years old. He is a handsome fellow and a hard working watch dog who takes his job seriously. He is a loyal and trusted family member
who generally makes responsible decisions.

In his earlier years Buddy began to develop a medical condition called stomatitis. This is where his immune system attacks and destroys gum tissue where it contacts the tartar on his teeth. It causes mouth sores, bleeding and loss of teeth. At first, teeth cleanings were sufficient to keep the condition under control. Even so, some teeth still had to be removed. Over time his condition accelerated and became more difficult. Antibiotics provided some relief between cleanings. However those also became less effective. I was told that full removal of all teeth was the only known “cure” but I hesitated, hoping that he could keep his teeth if possible.

It didn’t work out in our favor.

Even with treatment Buddy’s condition worsened to the point where he left blood in the water bowl just by taking a drink. He drooled excessively, leaving a mess where he lay down and shaking his head to deliver a nasty shower of dog goober on anything or anyone within range. From TV screens to eyeglass lenses and especially dress clothes – nothing was spared. At one point we were wiping his mouth every 15 minutes when he wasn’t sleeping and it hurt him to put pressure on his mouth for the wipe. A roll of paper towels lasted two or three days. It was cleanup all the time. He continued to lose weight and didn’t enjoy eating at all. Something had to be done. We had reached a point where treatment was becoming ineffective. He was bleeding and losing weight. He probably would not survive for long if this health decline continued.

Enter Dr. Klein.

Full mouth extraction is serious business and best left to a specialist. My veterinarian recommended Dr. Tom Klein at the East Hilliard Veterinary Services to take Buddy as his patient. Dr. Klein has a reputation for his dental skill and knowledge.

After a few visits we scheduled a day on the table to get the teeth removed. But instead of getting his teeth removed we got some really bad news. Buddy’s heartrate was so irregular that he might not survive the operation and the anesthesia. This was confirmed by a cardiologist on site. This really surprised me so I’m glad they thought to check it first.

So now Buddy may die slowly of starvation and bleeding or he may die on the operating table. I was forced to decide between maybe dying and probably dying.

I chose maybe dying and now I’m glad I did.

We took some time to build him up for the operation. He got heart medicine and antibiotics to improve his heartbeat and immune condition. Lots of love and prayer, too. His heart improved in the meantime. It improved enough that he might make it through ok.

I was a mess the day of the operation. I took the day off work because, well because we didn’t know how it would turn out.

The three hour and forty minute surgery actually went well. He came out of surgery with zero teeth, a big, big buzz and a toothless smile (see photo). When he got home he dropped at the first comfortable spot and slept there for the next 13 hours.

It’s all been positive since then.

He has no more mouth pain and eats better with no teeth and healthy gums than he did with teeth and bad gums. He has a lot more energy and honestly he seems like he is now two years younger. We are also celebrating that his drool level is about one tenth of what it was before. And no bad breath.

Buddy is enjoying his newly found popularity. For a while there, Mr. Goober Slinger went through a long “not so popular” phase that a great guy like him doesn’t deserve.

I’d like to thank Dr. Klein and East Hilliard Veterinary Services for the thoughtful care that Buddy received. It was competent and thorough and I feel like Buddy got the best care available.

Truly, my best friend got a new lease on life and that was the best possible outcome.
– Lee Ryan