Most cats with painful dental conditions do not show clinical signs that are obvious to the owner, but this does not mean that they are not feeling pain. They cannot tell you about the pain. In the wild, animals tend to hide signs of illness or weakness – cats possess this instinct.
Many painful dental conditions develop gradually and are more common in middle-aged and older cats. As a result, behavior that the owner interprets as acting grumpy may be the result of dental pain. Owners often observe that their cat acts years younger following dental treatment.
It is important that we examine your cat’s mouth every time your cat visits our veterinary hospital! It is critical to examine your cat for conditions that cause oral pain. Some dental treatment and oral surgery procedures such as extraction, or even deep scaling of teeth may cause pain. We are trained to treat and prevent discomfort your cat could experience as a result of treatment. These steps include the use of general anesthesia and local anesthetic blocks during the procedure and post-operative medications when indicated. A pain-free mouth encourages prompt recovery of appetite and other activities following treatment.
Our strong emphasis on and interest in cat dentistry requires us to aggressively address pain management. What does that term really mean?
To us it means treating pain before it occurs, anticipating the need for pain relief and using a combination of pain relievers to minimize any pain or anxiety a cat might feel associated with a surgical procedure. This also involves the complete knowledge of drugs used for anesthesia because we need to have a balanced plan for both anesthesia and pain management.