Why dental care for cats is important – Jasper’s story


Dental care for cats

Jasper

 

When your pet is diagnosed with a serious health condition it can be a shock and a worrying time.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed by deciding what tests to run, what type of treatments to use or how to manage costs of medication. 

To understand the impact a health condition can have, we asked a pet parent to share their experience. Here’s Jasper’s story: 

Dental care for cats is something I’d never thought about, despite having a cat in the family all my life.

Once I left home I quickly bought two ginger toms, Jasper and Oliver who did actually attend annual check-ups (most years..) at the vets for their boosters and they seemed to thrive, remaining a healthy sleek weight and fit and well.

That was, until one visit when they were aged around 9 years old. The vet said that Jasper had severe gingivitis, a dental plaque-induced gingival disease. He must have been in a lot of discomfort for a long time and it’s a wonder he was managing to eat at all. I was distraught to hear that it was recommended that Jasper should have all of his remaining teeth removed! The vet left the front fangs, but apart from that, they all had to come out.

All his life he was mainly on a wet diet with a few dry biscuits available occasionally. Despite being a life-long animal lover, I’d never thought about his teeth, or the fact that in the wild, his teeth would have been naturally scraped clean on bones and crunchy bits! As it was, the wet diet wasn’t scouring his teeth and gums, and I guess the disease just built up.

After the procedure to remove his teeth, Jasper managed to eat by flicking food up with his tongue and continued to have a happy life until the great age of 16.  Saying that, I suspect his remaining years would have been easier if he’d had some teeth!

I’m now the owner of a young rescue cat, Wilfy, and because of Jasper’s unfortunate experience, I’m much more aware of dental health. Instead of an all wet diet, he has Royal Canin dry food. The kibble shape and hardness of the food should hopefully go some way to helping his teeth and gums remain healthy. I’ve also introduced other dental supplements into his diet. I sprinkle ProDen Plaque Off powder onto his food throughout the week, and for a treat I only give him VetQl Healthy Bites – Breath & Dental.

As he becomes older I’m going to keep an eye on his teeth, regularly checking his teeth for plaque. I now know if there is some, I can add an anti-plaque solution (like AquaDent) to his drinking water. Also, what’s great about these products, I don’t have to go too near his mouth!

Hopefully these easy to implement measures will prevent history from repeating itself and I’ve learned something from Jasper’s unfortunate experience.