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Gum hardening after extractions in a feline...

August 19th, 2009, 11:33 AM
Hello out there! My kitty had nearly all of her teeth (mostly molars and pre-molars extracted recently. This was necessary due to a chronic gum condition that required constant steriods and occasionally a antibiotic. The vet felt that the only way to get her off steriods was to extract those back teeth. Before the extractions, all she would eat was hard food. She won't eat canned foods very well. So, I'm wanting to see if anyone else has a toothless cat, and what your experience is once major teeth have been extracted. I hope the gums will harden quickly because I'm concerned she won't get the proper nutrition until she can return to hard foods. I sure hope she will be able to get the hard food down! Any advice???

Thank you!!

August 19th, 2009, 01:10 PM
She won't eat canned foods very well.

What canned foods have you tried and how did you introduce them?

August 19th, 2009, 02:40 PM
Thanks for responding...Prior to the extractions, my cat would hardly eat anything until after he rec'd a steriod injection. She prefers Hills Science Diet dry food until the inflammation flares, so at that point, I introduce Sheba canned shredded chicken, which is just ok, (just laps the sauce) and also canned Fancy Feast. Basically, anything wet and soft just to get some nutrients in the hungry cat. Kitty has had some long spells when she would not eat because of the situation with the gums!!

The cat is at the vet still, and I will bring her home today! I'm worried because I know she prefers dry vs. wet food. I'll ask the vet, but I'm trying to get a sense of how long it really takes for the gums to heal and hardened in order to tolerate the dry food. And do you know of a good canned variety that my cat might have an appetite for? This is going to be interesting. I just hope extracting the teeth is going to cure her condition. The vet just referred to it as gingivitis. I am going to ask if they found any lesions when they extracted the teeth.

It is really nice to get some support out here on the internet. Thank you!
I await your response...

August 19th, 2009, 04:51 PM
also canned Fancy Feast.

What types (pate, sliced, etc?) and flavours? A lot of the FF varieties are a kind of shredded fake meat that may be difficult for a cat with dental issues to eat. Pate style with extra water added so she can lap it up might be better (some pate FF flavours are Tender Beef Feast, Tender Chicken And Liver, Beef and Liver, Turkey & Giblets, Salmon Feast). You can also crush some of her favourite kibble and sprinkle it on top of the canned to make it more familiar to her. Cats are often quite suspicious of new foods so introducing them slowly, like mixing it with the old food or leaving it out next to their dish so that they become used to the smell of it can help.

Have you ever tried offering plain chicken baby food (no onions)? This is very enticing to many cats and can be mixed with other canned foods to get them eating. Another option is trying some Hill's A/D or Medi-cal kitten canned (both from the vet). Not appropriate for long-term feeding, but might be enough to get your cat on something better than kibble.

I hope the surgery helps your cat! Gingivitis/stomatitis can be an extremely frustrating condition to deal with. Good luck, and let us know how she does.

August 20th, 2009, 12:50 AM
Thanks for the advice. I agree some of the FF canned food does look like fake meat!! When I buy it again I'll try some of those you suggested. Based on what you've said, I feel that I've probably overwhelmed my cat to eat because just this evening I put out several kinds of foods. She is familiar with all, but probably too many choices. I did get Hill's AD from the vet. I mixed it with a little warm water for a pasty consistency, but she wouldn't try it. I've used it before with some success. So, I put down her regular kibbles, some watered down and another stash of dry. Of course she went for the dry kibble, and seemed to get some down, so I'm glad for that, especially since it is so soon after surgery.

I was surprised to find that the vet didn't suture the gums, but they said that the gums heal fast and it wasn't necessary.

So far, so good. I have pain meds to administer too. She is grooming herself so it seems shes feels pretty good... I will post a little later to let you know how things are going. Kitty just made it home today, so time will tell if the surgery actually makes a difference. I'm crossing my fingers!! There is nothing else we can do if this doesn't work. Thanks again....

Tim W
August 20th, 2009, 11:57 PM
Anpother method to try is taking her food that she loves put it in a bowl and wet it down so its mushy enough. Sometimes the cats will eat it because its familiar but other times they don't like the mushy part.