Usually when we think of an emergency happening to kitty, we picture her getting sick or breaking a paw. But dental emergencies happen to cats all the time and can be devastating if not dealt with immediately. As always, if your animal is acting strangely, won't eat or drink water, is vomiting or has diarrhea, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Sometimes a dental emergency will be harder to spot, but there are signs that you can look for.
Drooling or hanging mouth open
Cats will pant with their mouth open and their tongue out if it is hot out enough and they need to cool down. A cat that is drooling and won't close her mouth though, may have a sore, an ulcer, or a tumor. If your kitty is drooling, won't close her mouth, and is acting strange, take her to the vet right away. Look closely at the drool and see if there is any pus or blood. She may need antibiotics, fluids, or help getting enough food.
Eating on one side of her mouth or not eating
Kitties with fractured teeth will favor the opposite side of the mouth. If your cat is not eating, her tooth or gums may be infected. This is an emergency situation as a dental infection could be fatal. If your cat is not eating properly, gently pull open her mouth to see if there are any broken or missing teeth. Even if you can't spot any, if your cat is not eating, she needs to go to vet right away.
Acting lethargic and she has a hot nose
If your cat has a dental infection she may be running a fever. Cats are known for how much they sleep, but you should be able to tell the difference between normal cat laziness and lethargy from illness. A cat that is ill may go limp when you pick her up. If she is running a fever, her nose will be dry and hot, rather than cool and moist.
Her breath smells terrible
Cats with dental infections, ulcers, tumors, or gingivitis will have breath with a terrible stench. If your cat's breath is unbearable, it's time for her to have a dental exam and cleaning. If your cat is lethargic, vomiting, not eating, and has bad breath, she may have a dental emergency that needs to be looked at right away. Contact a local vet, like Gwynedd Veterinary Hospital, with any concerns.