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Burmese cats can baffle you

This is Raya. She is a four-month-old Burmese kitten and she is doing exactly what she should be doing at her age. She is losing her baby teeth. But Raya is a Burmese, so she is doing it differently. One morning Raya woke up and her was jaw shuddering. She was distressed and madly pawing at her face. It was really concerning to watch. Raya came in to see Dr Jill as an emergency appointment thinking something must be caught in her mouth.

On close examination there was nothing unusual in Raya’s mouth. There was no evidence of an insect sting or piece of food caught. So we sat back and watched what Raya was doing. Every 10 seconds she would stop and shudder her jaw, rub her paws on her face and look very distressed.

On closer look, she was teething. There was evidence she had just lost her lower baby canines and the upper baby canines were starting to loosen. This is not a normal teething reaction in a cat. But Raya was a Burmese….With more discussions it was revealed Raya had been doing a funny jaw shudder for weeks, but nothing as distressing as this. It took a little while for Dr Jill to remember that Burmese cats can get a very strange problem called feline orofacial pain syndrome.

With a little research Raya commenced a course of a specific medication which would hopefully target this distressing pain. She was dosed twice daily and returned for a review two days later.

The problem had almost completely disappeared within half an hour of having the first dose of medication. Raya had had some jaw shuddering a few times when she was nearly due for her medication. She was so much happier and had lost one of her upper canine baby teeth. There was only one baby tooth to go.

Hopefully once Raya has finished teething, her painful reaction will go away. But she is a Burmese, so she is sure to be thinking of some other interesting thing to do.

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