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cat with bad breath

MissPurryJess
March 29th, 2011, 05:05 PM
I know their breath shouldn't necessarily smell like roses, but my kitty Fitzy's breath has been especially bad lately. Like he'll yawn while he's sitting on my lap and I'm like, "Whew!" His sister Daisy has always had bad breath, but he never did - I mean, it didn't smell minty fresh, but I always called it "kitten breath" because it was only slightly stinky, but in a good way, if that makes sense (I know that sounds horrible :o). Lately I've noticed that it's much worse.

Of course my first thought is that his teeth need a cleaning - he and Daisy had a cleaning a little over a year ago - then I thought maybe he had an infection or abscess in his mouth, or worse, what if he has kidney or lung problems? So I took him to the vet - we just got back. The vet said Fitzy has a tiny bit of tartar, but that he doesn't need a cleaning yet, his teeth look good, no redness in the gums, no abscesses in the mouth. Everything else is completely normal - his weight hasn't changed by more than a few ounces (he's always between 8-9 lbs), he's eating plenty of good food, has good bowel movements (for once in his life :rolleyes:), no excessive drinking or urinating. The vet said that as they get older, their teeth need more care, like yearly or every-other-year cleanings, brushing (which we've tried, to no avail), etc. He gave me some CET Aquadent (http://www.virbacvet.com/Products/DentalHealth/RinsesandFoams/C.E.T.AQUADENTDRINKINGWATERADDITIVE.aspx) samples to put in their water - I asked if it would do any good, and he said that some people do see an improvement in their pets' teeth/breath, but that if it didn't work, it wouldn't hurt them any. Has anyone used this before? If so, did it work?

Any suggestions here? I know I'm being paranoid, because everything else is fine, but I have this niggling idea in the back of my mind that something's wrong with the little guy. Paranoia, if you will. :crazy:

Oh, one last random thing - he's getting older, and I can feel his spine now. :(This is normal in older kitties, right? I mean, he's 8, and he's had x-rays in the last 18 months, and he doesn't act any differently. Is it just that he's getting older and I can feel his back now? I know this probably has no correlation whatsoever with his mouth, but I'm trying to rule out everything.

Wow I'm all over the place. Thanks in advance if you can get through this post! :pawprint:

sugarcatmom
March 29th, 2011, 06:12 PM
Hi MissPurryJess, glad to see you here! Hope you're doing fabulously. :goodvibes:

He gave me some CET Aquadent (http://www.virbacvet.com/Products/DentalHealth/RinsesandFoams/C.E.T.AQUADENTDRINKINGWATERADDITIVE.aspx) samples to put in their water - I asked if it would do any good, and he said that some people do see an improvement in their pets' teeth/breath, but that if it didn't work, it wouldn't hurt them any.

Not a fan of Aquadent. It contains Xylitol, which is known to be toxic to dogs, and not enough is known about how cats react to it. Also Sodium Benzoate ain't so great, although presumably it would be in very small quantities.

Biotene (http://www.petkingbrands.com/products/bioteneOral.html) makes some pet oral care products that I think are a little better, although the water additive also contains Sodium Benzoate. I think the best one is the Maintenance Gel (http://www.petkingbrands.com/products/bioteneMaintGel.html). No need to brush, just swipe it along the gumline once or twice a day. :laughing: Ya I know, we ARE talking about cats here :rolleyes:.

One of my kitties had stinky teething breath a little while ago so I got him a minty dental chew toy made for cats. He loved it. A little too much. He's a power chewer and has devoured an interesting assortment of things, including the minty chew toy. Thankfully he barfed it up about 2 weeks later. I'm still waiting for the mice ears from one of his other toys to "re-appear".

Oh, one last random thing - he's getting older, and I can feel his spine now. :(This is normal in older kitties, right? I mean, he's 8, and he's had x-rays in the last 18 months, and he doesn't act any differently.

Hmmm, I wouldn't entirely say that this is normal. I mean, it may be normal for him in that he's just slowing down and has lost a bit of muscle mass, but I would keep an eye on it. If he's maintaining his weight otherwise and is eating/drinking/eliminating fine, and blood work is fine, then I wouldn't panic or anything. Perhaps he needs to up his exercize regime a touch?

SamIam
March 29th, 2011, 06:17 PM
Since you've already had his mouth checked out, one thing that can cause bad breath is dehydration, which might also contribute to the thinning around his spine? If he is dehydrated, he would produce less saliva, saliva cleans the mouth. CET could work in place of saliva, but doesn't tackle the problem at the source, if this is what is going on.

pattymac
March 29th, 2011, 07:51 PM
Bobee, my Manx, who's 11 now has the spine you can feel. he's been like that for years. Been to the vet for regular checks etc and everything with him is normal. Going to take him this spring to meet the new vet and get him checked out. He eats, drinks etc, plays quite a bit..has no choice now that Noella thinks he's the greatest playmate. He had a UTI a few years ago but has been fine since. He's not skinny anywhere else either, just a different shape I guess. He's more active than Nino and Coco combined.

MissPurryJess
March 29th, 2011, 08:32 PM
Hi sugarcatmom!! I am doing fabulously - everyone here is healthy. :clap: Re: Aquadent - I had a feeling the consensus would be a thumbs down on that one. I did know about the xylitol (which may not be a good thing but man I love the spelling of that word), and looked into it a bit. I identify more with your thinking - that if there's any chance that it could harm them, why risk it? I know that the quantity of xylitol they'd have to eat/drink is huge in order for them to get sick, but it still weirds me out to give it to them at all.

What kind of minty dental chew toy? I'm intrigued - I didn't know they had these for kitties. I'll look into those other products - I wanted so badly to brush their teeth, and we even used the Cornell "method" of introducing teeth brushing (positive reinforcement and all that), but it kind of backfired on us, and instead of Daisy accepting the toothpaste because she got a treat, she now associates the treats with the toothpaste and won't come near me when I try to give her one. :laughing:

Re: his spine - everything looks normal. Blood work was done last January (they said they'll do it again in September, although I'm sure they'd do it sooner if I asked), poo is the best it's ever been :D, and while he does sleep a lot, he's super active at least once a day. Their current favorite toys are these little stuffed snails - they attack them like they're kittens, it's so cute. :lovestruck:

As far as dehydration, would there be other signs? He eats wet food (venison) and drinks plenty of water, and my vet said he should be urinating about 1-3 times per day, which he does. My husband will only say, "He is a little bonier than he used to be." To be fair, you can only really feel it when he's sitting down. When he's laying down or standing up, you can't really feel it, just in a sitting position. It's just that Daisy has become more um, how shall we say it...zaftig? with age (she's a bit rounder than she used to be, and her weight fluctuates a tiny bit with the seasons), and Fitzy just has a little belly, like he's always had, but seems to be a little bit bonier on his back. But what are other signs I should watch for? I want to keep a close eye on this whole situation.

And they asked me to thank you for your help/advice, and also to please post their pic on the forum. I told them I'd comply. So here they are, Fitz and Daisy Mae! I'm sorry Fitzy is so big - I can't figure out how to make that pic smaller.

MissPurryJess
March 29th, 2011, 09:06 PM
sugarcatmom - I looked up the Biotene Maintenance Gel, and it has sorbitol and aloe vera - there's so much conflicting info out there, do you know for certain if either ingredient can be harmful to kitties?

SamIam
March 29th, 2011, 09:09 PM
Low-grade dehydration is very hard to detect and would be easily missed through a vet exam or even bloodwork. Some of the things you would see if it is a bit worse are a poor tolerance to heat/cold and if you pinch the loose skin on a leg or eyelid it will stay tented or loosen slowly rather than immediately bouncing back to its original shape.

Water alone doesn't fix dehydration, because the body needs electrolytes to hold the water in, otherwise it will pass right through. I might try giving him pedialyte and see if that helps at all with his breath. Maybe double check first that your vet doesn't have any concerns with you trying that, of course.

Shaykeija
March 29th, 2011, 10:02 PM
I would take the cat back to the Vet and voice your concerns. Feeling the spine at 8, would probably mean something is off. If the vet is not taking you serious, get to another one. Hope your little buddy is Ok...

hazelrunpack
March 29th, 2011, 10:33 PM
Such lovely kitties, MPJ!! :flirt:

MissPurryJess
March 29th, 2011, 11:09 PM
Low-grade dehydration is very hard to detect and would be easily missed through a vet exam or even bloodwork. Some of the things you would see if it is a bit worse are a poor tolerance to heat/cold and if you pinch the loose skin on a leg or eyelid it will stay tented or loosen slowly rather than immediately bouncing back to its original shape.

Water alone doesn't fix dehydration, because the body needs electrolytes to hold the water in, otherwise it will pass right through. I might try giving him pedialyte and see if that helps at all with his breath. Maybe double check first that your vet doesn't have any concerns with you trying that, of course.

I will call the vet tomorrow and ask about the Pedialyte - thank you for your suggestions and help, I really appreciate it. I cannot believe I forgot to ask him about this today. :wall: He returns messages the same day, so if I call in the morning I can talk to him tomorrow afternoon.

hazelrunpack - Thank you! :cloud9:

sugarcatmom
March 29th, 2011, 11:27 PM
Hi sugarcatmom!! I am doing fabulously - everyone here is healthy. :clap:

Woohoooooo! Very happy to hear that. :highfive:

What kind of minty dental chew toy? I'm intrigued - I didn't know they had these for kitties.

It's the Petstages Mint Stick (http://www.petstages.com/cats/dental/fresh-breath-mint-stick.html). My 2 kittens like them (but are no longer allowed unsupervised use of them :loser:), the adults not so much.

she now associates the treats with the toothpaste and won't come near me when I try to give her one. :laughing:

Cats! Sheesh. :wall:


So here they are, Fitz and Daisy Mae!


Gorgeousness! Do tell them I think they're stunning. :lovestruck:

sugarcatmom - I looked up the Biotene Maintenance Gel, and it has sorbitol and aloe vera - there's so much conflicting info out there, do you know for certain if either ingredient can be harmful to kitties?

Aloe is fine unless a large amount is consumed, which would result in diarrhea (the fact that it tends to end up on toxic plant lists is a pet peeve of mine). To the best of my knowledge, Sorbitol doesn't have the same problems that Xylitol does (and I agree, totally fun word to spell). Here is an excerpt from this link: http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/vetmed/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=392959&sk=&date=&pageID=3

Other sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and mannitol have little to no effect on blood glucose concentrations or insulin secretion in dogs,6 although over-ingestion may result in an osmotic diarrhea. Artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose, are generally regarded as safe and should not cause significant illness if large amounts are ingested.22

I would still prefer it wasn't there, but it may play some sort of role with the enzymes in the Biotene gel.