Adventures of Chloe and Oscar: Teeth Cleaning 1- A Multi-part Saga
Well, folks…. This past two weeks have been interesting to say the least. Before I share the events I figured it would be a good idea to share a bit of Oscar’s back-story.
I adopted Oscar from my local shelter after falling in love with his unique aqua eyes. I had never seen a cat with such pretty eyes and orange tabbies are something we’ve always had in my family. When I adopted him, I didn’t realize that for some part of his life he had been a feral cat or was living in “the wild”. After his first vet visit, I found out what having the clipped ear meant. He was a very skittish and nervous cat and did not like being picked up, which is fine. Some cats do not like that at all and that’s just their personality. After almost 7 years, I’ve gained his trust despite taking him to the vet(which he HATES). He plays with cat toys, is obsessed with treats and is actually a very loving cat. However, he doesn’t like to groom himself and thinks that when I brush him, I’m going to take him to the vet which isn’t the case.
Due to this, I had to look in to getting him groomed. Finding a place that grooms cats in my area was actually a lot harder than I thought. Most places only do dogs and I knew he would have to be sedated. After taking him to my current vet, I discovered that their sister clinic did cat grooming. I was so happy to have found a place. In addition to getting him groomed I was going to get his teeth cleaned because I’m sure he’s never had that done and having your cat’s teeth cleaned is WAY cheaper than tooth extractions. I don’t think I can stress that enough.
So, last week the journey began. As I said before, Oscar HATES going to the vet, or being moved, or picked up, etc. He quickly takes on what I call his “alter-ego” of: Oscar the Grouch. I have to make a battle plan a night in advance because he just somehow knows every time before I even make a move. After getting him in the cat carrier, I set off towards the vet clinic. We went over the teeth cleaning package, the grooming, etc. It’s optional to have blood work done prior to make sure that it is safe to sedate your cat and I knew that it was necessary to have that done because he’s an older cat. So I left the vet’s office and got home only to get a call from them.
The vet who was doing a preliminary check-up was concerned that Oscar had an overactive thyroid. He had always been a smaller cat, and even my regular vet didn’t bring up testing him for this. However, I didn’t want there to be any question or unnecessary risk when it came to sedating him (it is actually very dangerous to sedate a pet with an untreated overactive thyroid due to increased heart rate). So I agreed to the additional blood work.
As it turns out, Oscar had a very overactive thyroid. I felt so bad as a pet owner because I had been oblivious to this and could have lost him if I didn’t agree to the additional blood work. Thankfully it’s an easily treated condition, but they wouldn’t be able to proceed with the teeth cleaning and grooming until his thyroid was under control. It’s actually an ironic situation because I have an underactive thyroid so I just had to laugh a bit knowing that I have a cat with an overactive thyroid. We go together like peas and carrots.
So, the journey to clean teeth and grooming is delayed while I trick Oscar in to taking his medication twice a day to get his thyroid under control. There are a few ways to treat an overactive thyroid. Unfortunately, a liquid medication is not in existence (to my knowledge). Therefore, I’m going the pill route with him because it is the cheapest and he has to take this medication the rest of his life. Figuring out how to trick a cat in to taking a pill requires stealth and sometimes ninja-like skills. I’ve been able to just rely on stealth to get him to take his medicine. I found out that he likes soft cat treats, which is something I’m extremely thankful for. I break one apart, hide the medication in the pill and reform the treat around the medication.
So far, I’ve gotten him to take the medicine without struggle. Sometimes the pill doesn’t make it down on the first treat, so I just get out a second one and use the same method. He still hasn’t caught on, and I’m hoping it stays that way. I go back to the vet with him in about 5 weeks for a check up to see if I can actually move forward with grooming and teeth cleaning. He might be extremely angry with me when this is all over, but he will have a controlled thyroid, clean teeth, and be freshly groomed.
To end this blog post, I figured I would finish with some advice. If your pet always seems hungry or gluttonous but never gains any weight and is on the smaller side, you might want to get them checked for an overactive thyroid. It’s common in older pets and something you do not want to ignore. A happy cat is a healthy one!
Be sure to check out the amazing pets at Texas Humane Heroes and their upcoming events!