Monday, October 17, 2005

the white and ghastly spectrum of the teeth

seems like every time i take the cat to the vet, they discover a new problem unrelated to why i brought him in. ("every time" doesn't mean every vet appointment—indeed, each "time" might include 2-3 vet appointments—but that each situation that calls for vet visits turns up something new. this is probably a sign that i should take him to the vet more often than i do.)

you might recall that last year, i took leland in to the vet because he had conjunctivitis, and the vet discovered a heart murmur, which turned out to be hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (essentially a hardening of the heart tissue, which means the heart has to work harder to pump the same amount of blood.)

today i took him in to the paw patch. the dr. (i didn't catch her name) didn't seem to be too concerned about the growth—just like i theorized, she suspected it was a normal cyst that he had broken open a few times recently. what concerned her more were leland's teeth, specifically on the left side of his mouth (his left, not your left as you look him in the eye). one tooth was badly rotten, and clearly painful to the touch—she probed it lightly with a swab and he recoiled in obvious pain—and the one behind it was so covered in tartar that she couldn't tell what kind of shape it was in.

her suggestion was to bring him in for a teeth cleaning (during which time one or both of the aforementioned teeth might have to come out). this would require putting him under gas anesthesia, so while he's under "we can snip that thing off"... cut off the cyst. once it is removed, if it looks like it could be cancerous, we might decide then to send it off for further testing.

so the cleaning/surgery is scheduled for next thursday, oct 27. she also took a blood sample, to run some tests and ensure that he is in good enough shape to go under anesthesia (as general anesthetic and heart disease do not go together as well as peanut butter & jelly). the results for the blood work should come in tomorrow morning, so assuming there are no further bombshells waiting there, i'll be dropping him off on my way to work next thursday and picking him up on the way home.

reading through all his health problems, you'd think he was like a sickly old man, feeble and on the verge of death. but, other than the growth (which until recently was hardly noticeable; the dr. pointed out that there was no note about it in his file, meaning that nobody there had noticed it last year), he doesn't look or act sick at all. still, he did turn 7 this year (he was a stray so i don't know his exact birthday), which i guess makes him a "senior". and yet i still call him my "little boy"...

No comments: