Brush Your Teeth!
Way back in December, I took my dear precious little fluff bomb Marley on a trip for the holidays. This involved me driving up to see my parents in Northern California and then going to stay with my boyfriend and his dog in San Francisco. I was concerned about driving all day with Marley, and I also knew that A) my cat didn’t super get along with my mom’s cat, and B) my cat is pretty terrified of dogs, with a possibility of tolerance in the long term. But the alternative was that I would leave him at home for almost three weeks and come back to a bed full of poop.
So off we went, and Marley was amazing. Once we were on the road, I let him out of his cat carrier and he just stayed in the front seat, cozied up and napping, settled in for the long haul. He mostly ignored my mom’s cat by hiding out and sleeping in my brother’s closet, and going on the occasional walk with us. And then we got to my boyfriend’s house. Marley hid in the closet once again, the dog was super excited and tried to sniff Marley at every opportunity, Marley was not having it but grew tolerant. But by the end of the trip, they could even be on the same bed for five seconds!
But during this time, Marley developed the sniffles and I thought he might have caught a cold, exacerbated by stress from the travels and the new places and the dog. Now, he’d gotten sick a few months prior and after a few days of sleeping it off, he was fine, so I thought the same thing would happen this time. But it never got better.
So off to the vet we went, where they informed me that it was quite possibly cat herpes, because apart from the sniffles, Marley’s behavior had not changed one bit. He still meowed every other second, he ate normal amounts of food, drank normal amounts of water, still tried to escape all day. Now cat herpes, unlike human herpes, is not sexually transmitted and is very contagious from cat to cat, and my ex-roommate had a cat that had cat herpes, so I thought this was very reasonable and started him on lysine. BUT THEN, the upper respiratory panel that the vet took came back entirely negative, which meant that not only did Marley not have cat herpes, but that there was no known reason for him to still be congested!
The vet said it may be a strain of undetectable herpes, so the lysine should still continue, and I said sure, and she also recommended that Marley get a dental cleaning because there was some tartar on his teeth. This wasn’t news to me – when I first adopted him, he had a lot of tartar on his teeth and had bad breath so one of the first things I did was schedule him in for a teeth cleaning. And then tried to brush his teeth after that, but then he bit me, so that was obviously not going to happen.
Since then, his congestion had progressively gotten worse. His snot became thicker and bloodier, and I just didn’t know what to do. I of course went online and got any congestion remedy I could find, and none of them worked. The lysine didn’t seem to be helping, yet Marley himself wasn’t suffering from the congestion. He snored when sleeping, yes, but still jumped and pranced around and demanded attention when he was awake just as much as before.
So last week, Marley went under to get his pearly whites back to pearly. And he had to get SIX teeth extracted because they had gotten infected. And apparently, one of the teeth was infected so badly that when when the vet touched it, a bunch of pus came OUT OF HIS NOSE.
And now Marley’s congestion problems have pretty much gone away with the healing of his gums. No more bloody snot on my pillows. Just a tired little fluff still recovering from his traumatic experiences.
The lesson here, obviously, is to brush your teeth so they don’t get infected so badly you’re bleeding snot for months. Also, brush your pets’ teeth. Even if they try to bite you.