Case File

Loki, his sneeze and his teeth - a Case Story

by Hannah Darbey BVSc MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon

Loki is a 10-year-old Balinese cat that came to me with a persistent sneeze. Loki had his sneeze for a few weeks before coming to see me as it was getting worse and it had started to affect his appetite.

When I checked him over, Loki was in very good condition for an older boy but was missing a lot of teeth. His owners assured me that these had been removed as Loki had suffered from a virus called Calicivirus when he was younger. The calicivirus can cause cats to have a painful inflammation of their gums and the removal of teeth can help stop this inflammation.

However, it wasn’t the lack of teeth that concerned me with Loki, it was actually one of his canine (or fang) teeth. The top left tooth had started to drop out of the socket indicating to me it was loose and will be causing some local irritation and could well be the reason for the sneeze given how close tooth root is to the nasal cavity.

Loki’s owners booked him in to have a general anaesthetic so I could better assess the tooth. This included me using a tool we call a ‘probe’ to inspect all angles of the tooth to see if there are any areas where the tooth root is exposed, and also a dental X-ray to see if there was abscess at the root of the tooth.

For Loki, he luckily didn’t have an abscess but the inside of the tooth was exposed and I could feel all the way to the root with my probe. Next step, remove the tooth!



   This is the location we would look for an abscess in the tooth.



  Marks where the gum line should be.

After the dental procedure, Loki had a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and 2 weeks on I was pleased to see him back, without his sneeze and healed mouth!