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Abcessed tooth in old cat

December 11th, 2004, 05:32 PM
I took my cat to the vet today and she showed me a back molar that is abcessed. The tooth is brown and decayed and looks horrible. My cat is 22 years old and very fragile and sweet. My question is; shouldn't she have the tooth removed or some other treatment besides antibiotics? I am worried that she is in a lot of pain and probably has been for a long time. I have to go out of town for a week in a few days and can't even give her the antibiotics? Would anyone have any advice on what to do for her? I didn't even think to ask more questions of the vet. Thank you!

December 11th, 2004, 05:44 PM
Can she not extract the tooth and give the cat antibiotics? That makes the most sense to me or else your kitty will be in pain for some time. Probably, the best course is give her (the cat) the antibiotics (so it will be better when the extraction takes place) and then a few days later do the extraction.

But do it ASAP if you do noty want your kitty to be in more pain!! Think what you would want your caretaker to do if you were 100 plus (thus fragile) and suffering!!

December 11th, 2004, 06:52 PM
I had a tooth extracted on a 16yr old cat,he was also diabetic,but came through the extraction fine.The antibiotics were given after,not before..
22 is a ripe old age for a kitty,if she's otherwise healthy the vet should extract the tooth...I've never had a cat live to be 22 and I do not know what condition she's in,but if she's in pain,she must be helped.
Since you have to leave for a week,maybe your vet could board her and make sure she's ok.

December 11th, 2004, 07:41 PM
I had dental surgery done once and was given antibiotics to take 3 days before. Didn't have any infection, but just a precaution I guess.

Glassgirl, just curious - what does your name mean?

December 11th, 2004, 07:57 PM
I would have the tooth removed. Your cat would be under anesthesia for only a few minutes and they will use a "lite" sedation. Infected teeth come out so's like they want out..heathly teeth are a pain to remove.

She will need anitbiotics for a few days at least, but once the infected tooth is gone her risk will lessen greatly.

At 22 years of age...she is a survivor, help her out.

Lucky Rescue
December 11th, 2004, 08:22 PM
My 20 year old cat had a tooth extracted. As long as your cat is in fairly good health, she should come through it o.k. What do you mean when you say she is "fragile"? Does she have health problems?

Just make sure the vet uses Isoflurane anesthetic, and I actually think they have something even better now. This does not permeate the organs and animals wake up from it easily without lingering effects.

Give the old gal a hug from us.:)

December 11th, 2004, 09:42 PM
Hi I really appreciate all your opinions and advice. And I do agree with what everybody has to say. I am very surprised my vet didn't mention having the tooth extracted. I just wish I had thought to ask more questions. I am going to call early Monday morning and hopefully they will have some other kind of help for my poorlittle old girl. By saying (Stardust is) fragile I mean she is just very quiet and slow, doesn't eat much at all sleeps constantly, and only weighs 7 lbs. She is so small and light and is such a cuddley baby. Plus I have to always be protecting her from my other cat, Petey who is a large, fat, bully boy who picks on her all the time if he gets a chance. She did have blood drawn today to see if anything else is wrong but I won't be able to find out the results of the tests until Tuesday. Stardust did have a check up 1 year ago and was fine but now I wonder if the vet checked her teeth then- I can't remember. The thought that she she has had a decayed tooth-that I'm sure is so painful-and possibly has had it for a long time makes me feel terrible. Animals are so innocent can only depend on us humans. Now that I think about maybe I should get another opinion about the tooth. (Glassgirl means that I make make stained glass windows and lamps-I should really leave off the word 'girl' because I am over 50!

December 11th, 2004, 10:27 PM
You made me laugh. Keep us up dated on your cat. And keep calling yourself girl. When I grow up I wanna be the worlds oldest teenager. :p ( I am 6.5 years old in dog years) LOL

December 12th, 2004, 02:54 AM
Well 22... wow! What a kitty! I'm sure that if you get into this more with your vet, they can tell you all about the extraction and what you would have to do. I'm not sure about the boarding her there though as I'm sure at 22 she is quite a home-body. Maybe a family member or friend could come and stay with your cats while you are gone and give her the meds? I'm sure she'll just be relieved to have that tooth out. I'll pray that all goes well for you both. :love:

Oh and appears you have a few things in common!!! ;)

December 12th, 2004, 09:08 AM
Oh yeah Glassgirl,I am a 60yr old "girl"although sometimes my bones tell me different and a real close-up look in the mirror(which I avoid!) :crazy:
I suggested boarding for a week,because it seems GG has nobody to give the cat her meds while she's gone,leaving her with a once a day feeding with someone,might not be good after having had a tooth extracted at her age.
She must be a little sweety and I hope she gets that nasty tooth out,then she might eat a bit more too.

Lucky Rescue
December 12th, 2004, 09:39 AM
It's possible that the vet doesn't want to risk anesthetic at her age/condition and thinks the antibiotics will be enough and is making a quantity of life vs quality judgement.

My cat was still big, heavy, vigorous and healthy at 20. Had he been as frail as your cat, he may not have had the extraction.

Please don't let your big boy pick on her.:(

December 12th, 2004, 10:54 AM
:grouphug: You all are right on with your advice. On the one hand my old girl should really have the abcessed tooth out-I would think it a must-but at her very old age-22 years-the vet just might think she is too old for such a procedure. At any rate I am going to call the vet early on Monday and try to get more information and help for Stardust. Now that I think about it Petey, my fat bully boy cat has been leaving Stardusty alone quite a bit more often. Or maybe she has been laying low more recently. I always rescue her when Petey gets on top of her to pull her off of her favorite sleeping places but he is definitly the alpha male in the house so I give him his due while still protecting my little old girl. I will let you all know what the vet tells me tomorrow and I am thinking I might just not make it down to Tucson next week-I don't think I can leave my poor Stardust because as Krdahmer mentioned my Cat is a homebody and I would just not like to take her out of her home. My son comes over once a day to feed her but he just would not be able to give her her meds. Thank you for your help, and the prayers!

December 12th, 2004, 10:55 AM
Welcome Glassgirl! Sounds like we have lots in common! I'm 57 ( :eek: when did that happen???), also do glass and have an older cat (but only 15). I also have a miniature poodle that likes to tease her. She's now getting her comeuppence for when she was younger teased my 18yo poodle. She realized he was only able to see shadows and would suddenly put her paws in front of his face to watch him get startled. Old dog-young cat is now old cat-young dog. When she's in the mood, she plays his game, otherwise she ignores him and gives him the ole hairy eye-ball! :evil:

Maybe your vet wants to get the results of the bloodwork before deciding what to do about the tooth. I would still ask lots of questions to be sure she gets the help she needs. As you said, she's depending on you to help her.

December 12th, 2004, 04:36 PM
Maybe your"bully-cat"senses their is something wrong with Stardust and leaves her alone,cats have an eerie sense of knowing..
I am glad you'll cancel your trip,I think Stardust(nice name!)needs you..godd luck to you and her,please keep us posted :love:

December 13th, 2004, 09:48 PM
Well It took me all day to get back on this site. For some reason This site would not come back on. I did call the vet this morning and what she said after much questioning is that she wants to get the blood work results to see if she could withstand anesthesia if the tooth was to be pulled. I said to her what if the tests show she should not undergo the tooth removal and she said that she would give antibiotics once a month for 10 days indefinitly-and thats it! I told her that I know my cat is in pain and she said yes-especially when she eats-and of course that is the problem-she can hardly eat! So basically this vet could not seem to offer any other help or suggestions. I am getting more worried than ever because while I wait for blood tests and a vet who appears indifferent to my poor cat's painful problem Stardust is still suffering. It sounds like I am ranting, and I am, but there must be more I can do about this and I will just have to be more aggressive about this. This vet is new to me, and really young, but if she had a more concerned attitude it would help. Well gee, I am just rambling on I see and so sorry about that. You are all so nice and helpful and I will hopefully be able to get back to you all tomorrow with some kind of better news! Hi Glassglass, I love your story about your old cat-young dog! It must be fun at your house! Your cat sounds like such a character!

December 14th, 2004, 11:00 AM
Glassgirl, it sounds like you will just have to wait for the bloodwork to come back. Then, if this veterinarian still can't offer treatment that you are happy with, get a second opinion. It sounds like you haven't really hit it off with her anyway! Some veterinarians are good with animals but not people... I resent the inference that her being "young" might have something to do with it ;)

December 14th, 2004, 11:22 AM
I'll second that second opinion...especially if you don't feel comfortable with her. I lucked out with my vet it was a friend's uncle's practice and my vet (the female partner) seems as much a cat person as I am. Wait for the bloodwork, see what the results are... then if you are not comfortable letting that be the final word, get another opinion. I know here there is a vet's place in St. Kitts that is only for cats.... there may be a place like that there too. This way you know that they specialize in cats and may be more confident in their findings, and who knows maybe they have other alternatives. (I have no idea what they'd be, but maybe.)

And just a question to anyone really and you could ask your vet....if you were there with Stardust, and she was somehow restrained, could they not pull the tooth without the anesthetic? It would be painful yes, but after, she would be relieved of the constant pain. They should have one of those things to hold their mouth open like at our dentists I would think so that she couldn't bite them while they are working. I'm also just rambling... I know how frustrating it can be when your cat is suffering and you are unsure of what to do. Hang in there, and keep us posted! :love:

December 15th, 2004, 06:19 PM
I just found out that my Stardust is in end stage kidney failure. My vet (don't be offended by my calling her young-I only meant that she would not be as experienced with certain conditions) said that to put her under anesthesia would most likely cause her death as her kidneys have all but failed. She talked to the other vets-who I know- and they agreed that it shouldn't happen. Her condition is truly critical and her quality of life is very, very, poor. She can't really eat, or even urinate now. I waited too long to bring her to the vet. What I thought was (mostly) old age turned out to be her final-and only- illness. I just can't let her suffer any longer, and there are no more options at this late stage. I am sure you all know that my heart is broken.

Lucky Rescue
December 15th, 2004, 06:30 PM
So sorry to hear this. It's never easy to lose them, no matter how old they are. :sad:

I just can't let her suffer any longer, and there are no more options at this late stage. I am sure you all know that my heart is broken.

I agree 100% that there are no options, and you want to end her suffering quickly and have her only remember the happy times.

You have given this kitty the gift of an incredibly long and happy life, and I'm sure she knows you won't fail her now.

Hugs to you and Stardust.

December 15th, 2004, 07:43 PM
I am so very sorry Glassgirl.


December 15th, 2004, 07:54 PM
I'm so sorry to hear this! :( Thanks for being there for her and not allowing her to suffer any longer. This is the hardest part of loving our fur-babies - letting them go. If heaven is truly heaven, our babies will be there waiting for us when we go. Please stay with us; we're here for you. There will be better times eventually. I'd love to see a photo of Stardust.

December 15th, 2004, 07:59 PM
:sorry: ,to day will be tough for you. I will light a candle for your kitty on Monday night. Remember the good time with your fur baby. Again, I am sorry. :sad:

December 15th, 2004, 08:38 PM
I'm so very sorry to hear this. Know that your kitty lived a very long time, and could only do that because she was happy! She'll wait for you over the Rainbow Bridge.

My heart goes to you and your family.

December 16th, 2004, 07:31 AM
Glassgirl,I too am very sorry,we love our little pals so much and they leave a big empty space when they are gone,but Stardust was one lucky little girl,to have been loved and cared for by you for a lifetime. :love:

December 16th, 2004, 08:39 AM
She can't really eat, or even urinate now. I waited too long to bring her to the vet. What I thought was (mostly) old age turned out to be her final-and only- illness.

^^^^ quoted from Glassglass.

Do not beat yourself up about this. It really is old age that is taking her away from you. It's all part of the process and the love, kindness and caring you have given her for 22 years is what truly matters. This is a very difficult time for you and my heart goes out to the both of you.

December 16th, 2004, 09:12 PM
Yes, unfortunately these illnesses are a part of old age, and not in any way your fault. I'm so sorry that there are no more options for you, and I know your heart is breaking. Just try to remember all the joy and special moments she has brought to your life over her 22 years, and all the love and devotion you have brought her. We are all here for you in your time of loss... :grouphug:

December 16th, 2004, 09:57 PM
Hello everybody. Thank you all for saying the most kind, comforting words. I took my tiny girl to the vet this morning and had her put to sleep. It really hurts me to think that it ended like this for her. The vet was very kind and understanding and let her lie on a pretty, soft quilt. I was able to stay with her until the medication took effect, and then I was left alone withe her for 10 minutes .I kissed her sweet head and nose and petted her untill the vet came back in the room. I am so embarrassed to say that I cried throughout the whole ordeal. I am actually very stoic and never cry-not even at my parents and sisters funeral. Somehow being with that sweet innocent little body that has trusted me for so long-i don't know -I just couldn't control the tears. I am keeping her ashes and I will keep them in my house with me. My husband thinks I am a little off and really overdoing it by caring so much about a little animal but I don't think so at all. My house is different now without that little body around-I think even my big puss Petey misses her. Or maybe I am just imagining that, but who knows. This is actually kind of funny in a way(but not really!) but early tonight I had noticed that my heart rate was getting higher, plus my blood pressure, and when my blood pressure reached 170/99 and pulse 120 , i decided i would go over to a neighborhood reddi-care office that was still open. The doctor thout at first I might be having a heart attack-even though I knew I wasn't because I am really healthy-but I was really shocked when after I told her about what happened in the morning with Stardust she said I was having a panic attack!! So I feel really silly and have to say that this is what could happen when you are overboard about your animals! Well, now that you all know what a head case I am I will go and get over myself, but thank you all so much. You have all been so helpful and kind and sweet and I wish I knew you all because anyone who cares as much about cats as you all do are my kindred spirits. I don't know what I would have done without you.Many, many thanks from Stardust and Hallie. :love:

December 16th, 2004, 10:21 PM
((( GLASSGIRL!!!)))

I wish I could take your pain away.....I am so very sorry.

December 17th, 2004, 06:27 AM
Glassgirl,there is nothing wrong with you for crying....I cried just reading about little Stardust :sad:
To me it was always important that I would be the person who held my cats when they peacefully went to sleep,yes,it hurt and I cried rivers,but it was also comforting.
For anyone loving their animals the way most of us do,there is no such thing as"just a cat/dog"and a loss is devastating,but so is watching your animal in pain and having to go through medical procedures they don't understand.
Little Stardust was ready to go,I only wish when my time comes,I could go as peacefully and painless. :grouphug:

Little Angels
December 17th, 2004, 07:13 AM
I am so very sorry and I feel your pain. I just wish I could take it away for you. I have been through it and you never forget. It just gets easier to remember the life you had and know that what you gave her was a wonderful long life.

Remember her with a smile. I am sure that she is now watching you and smiling at the wonderful mom that you are

December 17th, 2004, 09:03 AM
I'm so sorry for your loss. Perhaps you'd like to creat a memorial for her here (

Lucky Rescue
December 17th, 2004, 09:13 AM
Hallie, please don't feel silly or embarassed for feeling grief! Stardust was part of your life and family for 22 years! There would be something seriously wrong if you did NOT grieve.

I bawled like a baby each and every time I've had to do what you did. Even my vet, who knew all my pets for years, cried too.

People who have never had pets, or see pets as disposible objects, do not understand and can make you feel like you're a little nutty to be so upset, or they can say very disturbing things like "Well, just get another cat!".

But WE understand perfectly, so feel free to post whenever you like. We'll listen!

December 17th, 2004, 11:37 AM
I cried just reading about this poor baby, and I didn't even personally know her. I must agree with Lucky, that I would be concerned if you were not upset over losing a child.
Stardust is waiting at the rainbow bridge for you to join her, she will watch over you everyday, and as long as you always remember her with a smile, she will never be apart from you. Where she is now, she feels no pain, and she see's everything. Find comfort in the fact that you will one day be re-united. We all understand your pain, and we are hurting for you & Stardust. When you are ready to give your heart again, maybe you'll get another cat, maybe by helping one in a bad situation to know the love that stardust knew, will help you cope with her loss. But, no rush, take your time. There is plenty of love in you to give another animal, but they will never replace your precious Stardust. :sorry: When I lost my cat many years ago, it helped me greatly to talk to him when I needed him, even though I knew he wasn't there.
We feel your pain, and hope you know we understand, and we're here if you need to talk. :grouphug:

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox to Stardust - Godspeed little one :angel:

December 17th, 2004, 03:06 PM
I think I can safely say that most of us here have shed a few tears with you... and how brave and loving of you to stay with her to the very end, I know how hard that can be. May your heart heal soon, and Godspeed little Stardust, :angel:


December 17th, 2004, 03:41 PM
Boy,this thread really clears your sinuses,tears are flowing...I've had 1 dog and 4 cats put down and it never gets any easier... :sad:
When a cat or dog has been a part of your life for such a long time,they are just that,a part of your life...a part that will be empty for a long time :sad:

December 20th, 2004, 05:42 PM
:grouphug: To everyone who said such kind, comforting words;Thank you so much! I didn't even know that there was such understanding cat people out there in the world. You all are so nice and it truly helps so much to know that you guys know what my little Stardust and I went through. Unless it is my imagination even my large boy Petey seems to know that Starry is gone. So now Petey rules-well not exactly-my 7 month old Keeshond puppy 'Wolfy' is trying hard to be top dog. Actually he is kind of rough with Petey and will bite him if I don't make sure he doesn't catch him. I have never had a puppy who tried to bite my cats so it is kind of shocking, really, that this gentle puppy tries to go after Petey. Petey is 11 years old and kind of a fatty so I have to watch the puppy around him. Wolfy even jumped up on the dining room table to try and get Petey. I was shocked at that but Petey is really a tough guy so I think he can handle this dog. But I really wish I had my little Stardust girl back again. Of course I know it makes me sound kind of batty to care so much about one's pets but I guess that is okay. And thank you all again for understanding, and caring! Quote: Cats are people, too!

December 20th, 2004, 06:31 PM
Actually, cats are special little people in fur coats! And yes, dogs and cats do grieve. I saw this in my Den-Den when we lost T'Grrr, although Puss actually seemed to rejoice. We love them so much! The amazing thing is that there's no limit to love. No matter how much love you pour into your pets, there is always more left to give. Our pets are like perpetual children, only they never grow up, just get older. It hurts so much when we lose them, yet, for all the pain, weren't the last 22 years well worth it!? Shedding a few tears here with you! :grouphug:

December 20th, 2004, 06:34 PM

I am so very sorry for your loss!

You should just know that you gave her a good and LONG and HAPPY life and concentrate on all the fun things you did with her, all the good memories!

I know what it is like. And crying is good for the soul. We become so close to them that it is often hard to let go. So take care of yourself and allow yourself to mourn!

April 5th, 2009, 03:59 AM
made me cry.

My sweet little one is 19 and has the same thing wrong with her.. plus she also has kidney disease. I really don't want to get her put down - I can't imagine life without her. I know she's in pain but I just can't bring myself to do it to her.. I figure if she's meant to go she'll go.. y'know? It's been so hard with her the past year or 2, but she really hasn't had a good trot for a while.. it makes me sad to know her time is coming to a close and I wish it didn't have to happen at all and that she'd just recover from it.. but I know it's not going to happen that way.
I don't want to have to call the vet and schedule in a time for them to put her to sleep.. the mere thought of it just makes me break down.

April 5th, 2009, 07:35 AM
brotagaia I am sorry but,this is a time in your poor kitties and your life,where her pain has to come before your own.
Yes, it's a terribly sad experience,a huge loss,but you will take comfort in knowing she's not in pain anymore.
Most of us here have been through this,it's never easy,but letting her pass on in pain at home is not the right thing to do.
If there is no chance her pain and discomfort will end,you have to do the right thing for her,your final act of love.:grouphug: