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 Herpes and Rotting Teeth, Oh My!

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Pretty_Poe
Sun Conure
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Join date : 2012-01-25
Age : 30
Location : Canada
My Birds : Poe - Yellow Sided GCC
Doppler - Pearl Whiteface Cockatiel
Posts : 333

PostSubject: Herpes and Rotting Teeth, Oh My!   Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:28 pm

Soooooooo….

My lovely Locutus – more commonly referred to as Loki – went to see the vet last night.

His handsome, debonair cat face has begun to look a little thick around the edges. His new nickname is “Chunky Butt”. And his breathing occasionally sounds very close to a wheeze. And he
has GINGIVITUS So, we decided to take him to the vet to have him looked at. It kind of felt like taking your car in to the shop: “it’s not moving as fast and it makes funny noises when pushed too hard”.

My poor, sweet Loki. He is mocked so much.

Upon seeing the vet, she squashed our concerns about him being too overweight. He’s slightly overweight, but it’s nothing serious. He’s not wheezing because of his chunky butt. He’s wheezing because he has herpes.

Yeah. You read right. He has herpes.

In fact, ALL THREE of our cats have herpes.

Here’s how that conversation went:

Vet: “Well, his lungs sound clear. It sounds like the wheezing is coming from his sinuses. They’re probably inflamed. This happens often in cats carrying the herpes virus.”

K: “Uh… wut?”

Vet: “It’s nothing to worry about, the inflammation should go down on its own. If you’d like I can send you home with something to add to his foo-“

K: “Slow down. Let’s backtrack here. Did you say Herpes? My cat has HERPES?! Is there like… a cream for that?”

Cue the vet explaining to me that Upper Respiratory Infections in cats and kittens are caused by a strain of the herpes virus. The symptoms clear up, the virus sticks around.

Oh. Okay, then …

So I start thinking: When did Loki get a URI? And it dawns on me…

It was the summer of 2010. Hubs and I had just moved in together. Loki was about 8 months old. Healthy, happy, sweet as sweet can be. We are notified about a kitten living on a farm. It’s not doing so well. It needs to be saved. And so, we agree to save the little kitten – our first rescue. We name him Sarek. He has such a severe URI that we are terrified that in the time it will take us to get him to the vet, he will suffocate on his own mucus. Loki starts sniffling a little bit. We take both cats in to get treated. Sarek survives. Loki never even gets sick…

Except for those sniffles.

Please note: If your cat is sniffling, it might have herpes.

That is my public service announcement for the day.

So the vet tells me that his weight isn’t a concern, his wheezing is not something to be too worried about, and otherwise – he’s perfectly healthy!

YAY!

… except …

What? No. NO. No except! NO!

And this is where the vet grimaces as she lifts up his lip and says: “See that redness? (…yeah…) That’s not gingivitis.”
……

And here, the vet explains to us that my dear Loki has a condition fairly common in cats where his body has begun ATTACKING the enamel on his teeth (insert mental image of T-cells with Spartan style armour and swords screaming “THIS! IS! IMMUNE SYSTEM!” and a crew of helpless looking cat teeth with big bug eyes and little teddy bears standing frightened in a corner) leaving
him nothing but raw nerve. The inflamed redness we saw were his gums trying to crawl over his exposed nerves to protect the poor teeth.

Yaaaaaaayyy….

So, I ask the vet what we can do for this. And she tells me: “There is no prevention. There is no cure. The only treatment is to extract the problem teeth. As he ages, he will likely need more teeth extracted.”

Oh. Okay. So…. How much is tooth extraction for a cat? I mean, I could do it with some rum
and a pair of tweezers soooo… what, $20 a tooth?

$900.

Nine. Hundred. Dollars.
For three teeth.

Ninehundreddollarsforthreeteeth.

And Loki. He looks at me with those big beautiful eyes, and my heart fills with love - and I know that I will pay anything to make him better. And then, I’m pretty sure I saw him smirk, as
if to say “yeah lady, you’re gonna pay that $900. Because you love me. And I know you love me.”

As we left the vet’s office, I think I saw him drop her a wink. Hubs says he saw them fist bump when my back was turned…

And so….

We leave the vet’s office – where we arrived with a wheezing, fat cat – with a herpes infested, rotten toothed con-kitty who is still fat.

At least Loki got SOME good news while we were there: Thanks to his chunky butt and sore mouth, the vet has recommended that we switch him – and the other two cats – on to a wet
food diet. Our cat food costs just increased about 500%/mth.

My wallet hurts. Sad
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RogerP
Scarlet Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-19
Age : 51
Location : Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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(Hatchdate May 15, 2010)

~Arthur - Red Bellied Parrot
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PostSubject: Re: Herpes and Rotting Teeth, Oh My!   Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:31 am

Great story Poe! I feel your pain! If it weren't for animals and kids, we'd be rolling on dough. However, life would not be as full either. Oh well ....
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ScooterNScotty
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 57
Location : Southern California
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* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
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Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
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*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
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PostSubject: Re: Herpes and Rotting Teeth, Oh My!   Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:43 pm

Heh! Been there. Pepe Le Pew was treated THREE TIMES for hyperthyroidism at over $1k for the first go around (radioiodine so they spend several days in a lead lined facility) a half-price discount on the second, and the third was actually free it's so unusual. He now needs dental work...

Our Mattie cat is what's known as a "Chronic snorkeler". She likely had a very severe URI as a kitten and has permanent damage to her sinuses so she is chronically congested and sneezy. One of my jobs today, my last day of spring break, is to go around the house and remove all the dried kitty snot from the walls....
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Pretty_Poe
Sun Conure
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Join date : 2012-01-25
Age : 30
Location : Canada
My Birds : Poe - Yellow Sided GCC
Doppler - Pearl Whiteface Cockatiel
Posts : 333

PostSubject: Re: Herpes and Rotting Teeth, Oh My!   Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:50 pm

We've started looking in to pet insurance. These little balls of fur will see us to the Poor House!

... (by the way .... Your cat has Herpes too, SnS. We should start a support group for families of Herpes-cats. We can compare recordings of the snoring, and hold each other while we weep about the snot stains on our couch cushions).
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ScooterNScotty
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 57
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Re: Herpes and Rotting Teeth, Oh My!   Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:14 pm

LOL.
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Ospreyeagle
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Join date : 2014-02-08
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Star: green budgie
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PostSubject: Re: Herpes and Rotting Teeth, Oh My!   Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:34 pm

;~;

WOW. It should NOT cost $900 for three teeth. That is just ridiculous. 

And herpes, huh? I didn't realize herpes can cause URI. Interesting.
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