Bucket’s Story: A Pet Dental Documentary

Video Recap:

Bucket Lopez is a rescue kitty named for the bucket he was found in. His loving owners, who have had Bucket for five wonderful years, realized he wasn’t cleaning himself as he normally would and noticed that his teeth had black plaque with a bad odor to his breath. They searched for the best dental care in the area for their pet and found Dr. Jodi Reed of Harmony Animal Hospital.  Dr. Jodi has a passion for feline and canine dentistry as a general practitioner and has had extensive training in veterinary dentistry.

During his exam, Dr. Jodi could tell right away that Bucket was in excruciating pain from dental issues. There was lots of inflammation and blood in his mouth, one of his canine teeth was starting to protrude, and his breath had a very foul odor. He was having trouble grooming himself which led to the creation of deep mats on his fur.

It was clear after a careful oral examination that Bucket would benefit the most from a full-mouth extraction, which would take out the infection as well as the pain from inflammation. While he was under anesthesia for the surgery, Bucket would receive a ‘Lion Cut’ which would help his fur have a chance to grow back healthier. (If a cat is already severely matted, the best and most humane option is to shave a lion cut, then get the cat on a regular grooming schedule to prevent matting.) Once his mouth was healed and his hair grew back, Bucket would once again be able to groom himself.

Before the procedure, Bucket was weighed, given a respiratory check, and fully assessed so all the medications used during the surgery would be tailored to his specific needs. First, Bucket was given something for nausea, as anesthesia can cause an upset stomach. Once that medication set in, he was given a sedative to make the transition into anesthesia much calmer. A mild sedative also reduces the amount of anesthesia needed, so it’s safer overall for an animal. A lidocaine gel was applied where the IV was placed to prevent any additional pain and discomfort. The anesthesia was started with an injectable medication and maintained with a breathing gas as well as oxygen. Nerve blocks that assist with recovery were placed as the dental procedure began. As anesthesia makes it harder for the recipient to regulate their own body temperature, Bucket was placed on a heating pad and warming blanket for warmth and comfort.

Full-mouth dental X-rays were taken so every single tooth could be assessed. Combined with the complete oral exam, Dr. Jodi was able to get a full picture of Bucket’s teeth above and below the gumline and make a treatment plan. After the surgery, x-rays were taken to confirm all the teeth and roots were properly extracted. The bone was smoothed down so there were no sharp edges left behind and the gums were treated to return them to health. Sutures were used to close all the extraction sites and make sure no hair, food, or anything else could get trapped in those areas.

After Bucket came out of anesthesia, he was placed in a heated cage with another warming blanket to further aid in his recovery from surgery. Bucket’s procedure went extremely well and at his two-week recheck, his gums were healed and there was an incredible difference in his behavior. At his four-week recheck, he was happier, more energetic, and his fur was already growing back and glowing. His mouth had completely healed and he had no signs of pain whatsoever. He even purred during the exam!

Watch the video to see his complete journey towards better dental health.

“I was so excited to be able to really change this kitty’s life!” – Dr. Jodi Reed

Dr. Jodi talks dental care for your pet
Dental Care for your Pet Whitepaper
Pet Dental Facts you can use
Bucket's Story: A pet dental documentary