Cat's teeth repaired with gold

Sunday, August 20, 2006

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. -- This cool cat has traded in his catnip for some bling.

Sebastian, a 1-year-old Persian with long black hair, sports gold crowns on his two bottom canines, which grew sticking out from his lips in an underbite similar to a bulldog's.

His owner, dentist David Steele, said he gave Sebastian gold crowns to help strengthen the fanged feline's teeth. Steele said he was worried the teeth would break off or become a problem.

"It's possible to work on animals the same way we do humans," he said. "I did it to strengthen (Sebastian's) teeth, but it had an excellent cosmetic result. The cat gets a lot of attention now. Everyone is tickled to death when they see him."

The gold teeth protruding from Sebastian's furry face make him seem a bit menacing, like a hip-hop star's guard-cat or a movie villain's pet. The feline didn't seem too happy with his new look at first.

"He's normally around me all the time," Steele said. "After I put the crowns on, he didn't 'speak' to me for two days."

Two weeks ago, veterinarian Larry Owen tranquilized the cat at the Alexandria Animal Hospital about 30 miles northeast of Indianapolis so Steele could do the dentistry work, which took about 15 minutes to complete.

Owen said putting gold crowns on teeth can be done for any pet with a dental problem.

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