You Make The Diagnosis: What Is Wrong With This Cat’s Mouth

The image below is a closeup of a cat’s mouth.  Study the image carefully, then make your diagnosis.  Is this condition painful for the cat? 


Diagnosis:  Fractured Lower Left Canine Tooth

Look at the right side of the picture, next to the large upper canine tooth and you will see the remnant of the lower left canine tooth.  The discolored area in the center of the tooth with the black dot is the pulp cavity.  This condition is very painful.  Dental x-rays of the tooth revealed infection from the gum line to the tip of the root.  It was removed and the cat made a complete recovery. 

Let me emphasize one important point.  I have immense compassion for animals in pain.  So, I expend considerable effort on pain management.  Make sure if your animal is suffering you ask your veterinarian about the steps they are taking to resolve pain in the hours after a procedure and for an appropriate length of time thereafter.   

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.

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