Tora’s Last Dental Visit Ever – Hopefully…

This Wednesday was a big day for Tora – the second dental surgery this year.  It was arranged to extract the correct tooth since the previous different vet pulled the wrong tooth in March.  It turned out that Tora needed more extensive surgery than just pulling one right tooth.  Tora has had weak teeth and gums since he was a kitten.  Now, he is almost 10 years old and I was told by the dental vet (Dr. Capron) that all of his teeth would eventually be removed surgically within a year or two because all of them show some degrees of resorptive lesions or gingivitis.  I thought, “All teeth…removed?  No teeth left at all?”  That sounded awful, as if it was a death sentence to a finicky cat-Mom’s ears, I’ll bet you all could understand that feeling.  For a second, I had a flash picture of Tora smiling without any teeth. 

"Belly rub, please?"

After reviewing the x-rays with Dr. Capron, we decided to save two front upper canines which were relatively healthiest of all – which means, all the rest should go.  It was a very hard decision for me and my husband.  We had a simple most important criterion – what was in Tora’s best interest.  Although Tora didn’t show us in an obvious way, he must have been in pain for a long time and suffering a lot, and we wanted to stop that.  Also, if it is possible, we wanted to prevent future pain happening and to avoid any harsh stress (mentally and physically) with future dental procedures.  Here is the sad truth: Tora underwent 14 extractions yesterday, including the tiny 9 front incisors!  In addition, there were two “clean-up” works to repair his fractured jaw and to remove a bone fragment left behind in the gum from the March procedure.  Dr. Capron took almost three hours to do the surgery for Tora.  Seeing the before-and-after x-rays, it was clear that Dr. Capron is an excellent, thorough, and caring dental veterinarian.  We are very happy with the result.

Today, a day after surgery, Tora is eating and drinking well.  He is also resting well.  He must know what’s done was right thing for him.  He looks much better in recovery today than the one in March.  He is not hiding in places (signs of discomfort and pain).  He is purring away when I pet him.  Today, his “cone-of-shame” (e-collar) looks like a big blue medal to me, showing how brave he has been going through this ordeal with us.

"Hello? Are you in there? What are you eating?"


Mikan must be a little worried about her brother.  She sometimes parks herself right outside Tora’s retreat room sending good vibes…  Or, is she smelling Tora’s yummy canned food under the door?  Hmmmm.

Tora and Mikan will reunite in a couple of weeks.  I will promise to you all to keep Tora’s e-collar on him for a couple of weeks, and not giving in…  If he scratches his jaw or gums without the collar, our investment to this surgery goes down the drain.   Oh, no.  That won’t be happening.

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