Onyx started having trouble eating hard food about a month ago. He would look like a cow chewing cud, yelp and then walk away from his food. He stopped eating all together for a few days then began eating the wet food I started to give him. He seems to still be hungry though so I don't think he's eating enough at one time, because it probably hurts too much. Sometimes he paws at that side of his face too, his left side.
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Onyx's difficulty in eating hard food and the signs of discomfort while chewing, along with the yelping and pawing at his face, suggest that he may be experiencing dental pain or an oral issue. In cats, dental disease, such as gingivitis or periodontitis, is a common cause of such symptoms. Additionally, a tooth abscess, a broken tooth, or a mass in the mouth could also be responsible for the pain and discomfort he is experiencing. Of course, the exact cause will only be known by inspection.
Offer him soft, wet food that is easier to chew and swallow. You can warm the food slightly to enhance its aroma and make it more appealing, but be careful not to make it too hot. It's also important to monitor his water intake to ensure he stays hydrated.
You can gently examine Onyx's face for any swelling or asymmetry, but be cautious as he may react if it's painful. Avoid trying to open his mouth or inspect his teeth directly if he shows signs of pain or aggression, as this could cause more distress or injury to both of you.
If Onyx's condition worsens, if he stops eating entirely, or if he shows signs of severe pain, such as crying out when trying to eat or becoming increasingly withdrawn, these are urgent situations that require veterinary care. Similarly, if you notice any difficulty breathing or changes in his gum color (such as them becoming very pale or blue), take him to the hospital as soon as possible.
While you are managing Onyx's care at home, it's important to plan for a veterinary visit. A veterinarian can perform a thorough examination, which may include looking inside his mouth under sedation, to determine the exact cause of his symptoms. Treatment will depend on the diagnosis and may range from dental cleaning and extractions to medication for infection or pain management.
If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to come back to us! Thank you.