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cat teeth

goobygirl
August 16th, 2012, 01:10 PM
Hi all,

new member today! :) I'm trying to find out more information about abcessed cat teeth. I have a Maine coon mix and she recently developed some abcessed rear teeth. When she does eat, if the food gets on that side she hollers and runs to hide. She will drink wet food juice and water. I tried some food in the blender on liquify but she won't eat it. Our vet says she has a weak heart and advises against pulling the teeth. Are there any other options besides putting her down (she's around 12-13 yr old). Should I risk her getting her teeth pulled? Any advice appreciated.

sugarcatmom
August 16th, 2012, 02:13 PM
Hi goobygirl, welcome to pets.ca!

When she does eat, if the food gets on that side she hollers and runs to hide.

Sounds horribly painful, poor girl.

Our vet says she has a weak heart and advises against pulling the teeth.

What does your vet mean by "weak heart"? Were any diagnostics done, like an echocardiogram, to determine exactly what the heart condition is?

Should I risk her getting her teeth pulled?

Before going that route, you could try a course of antibiotics and pain meds (but NOT Metacam!) to help her feel more comfortable and get her eating sufficiently. But that might only provide short-term relief and if the teeth are truly in bad shape, it could still be necessary to get them out. The bacteria from infected teeth can travel through the bloodstream and cause other health problems, namely to the heart and kidneys.

I totally understand how scary it can be to put a cat with heart issues under anesthetic, but I think the risk in your kitty's case might be worth it. Painful teeth are debilitating and it becomes a quality of life issue, so if euthanasia is the other option, I would be inclined to TRY the dental, taking as many precautions as possible. That means I would ask your vet for a referral to a dental specialist or at least someone with more confidence/experience in handling such a situation.

My own cat, who is 19, had a dental done a few months ago and did great. He has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, diagnosed via echocardiogram and has been taking Atenolol for it for many years. He's also diabetic and has renal insufficiency, so the risks were high. But even though I was scared silly at having it done, I don't regret it for one second.

Good luck!

goobygirl
August 18th, 2012, 01:38 PM
Sugarcatmom,

The doc listened to her heart with a stethascope. Gooby is actually small so that is why I think she is Maine coon mix. I bought her some CatSip milk which she gives a few laps before running off. My husband has also put some wet food (Friskies) and mixed it with some CatSip and chickenbroth, puts in a blender and liquifies it and puts it out for her and she does the same thing. Other than that she is perfectly healthy. Personally I don't believe her heart is weak - just small, as she runs all over and actually jumps from the floor onto the countertops (around 3.5 - 4 ft). I'm thinking my vet is not very experienced with this problem.

sugarcatmom
August 18th, 2012, 01:52 PM
I'm thinking my vet is not very experienced with this problem.

I'm thinking you're right. There is no way he can determine what the nature of the heart condition is, or how serious it is, just from listening to it. Not even a certified veterinary cardiologist can do that! Did he even suggest other options besides euthanasia? I personally would be finding another vet, preferably a feline-only one. Your kitty needs some relief from her dental pain NOW, or she's just going to get weaker and weaker and will be an even worse candidate for anesthesia.

marko
August 19th, 2012, 08:47 AM
First off welcome to the forum - glad u found us!

1 100% agree with sugarcatmom here....I'm also not convinced this vet has the most experience with this matter. How many years of experience does this vet have? I too would very likely get a second opinion at another vet..and that second opinion would come from a recommendation only.

If this were my cat, those abscessed teeth would be extracted.

I would never euthanize a cat for this, I would do the extractions and pray that the cat makes it...

- If the cat makes it you've saved her life and given her quality of life.
- If the cat does not make it, then you've tried your best to help her.

Good luck and please update us.

goobygirl
August 19th, 2012, 07:26 PM
Marko/Sugarcatmom,

Gooby seems to be eating quite a bit today :cloud9: I am going to take her to a cat-only vet (decided this yesterday). She is still going to the kitty box, so that is a good sign. As I write this, she is drinking water! I've looked at some vet sites about pulling teeth and they say they have to take blood tests and see how strong the bones are. Is this necessary and why don't humans get this when they have teeth pulled? Just asking.

sugarcatmom
August 19th, 2012, 09:10 PM
I am going to take her to a cat-only vet (decided this yesterday).

:thumbs up

I've looked at some vet sites about pulling teeth and they say they have to take blood tests and see how strong the bones are. Is this necessary and why don't humans get this when they have teeth pulled?

I think the pre-op blood tests are mostly to see if there are any other health conditions that might need to be taken into consideration for a cat undergoing anesthetic. The reason people don't usually have the same lab work done prior to a dental is because they aren't being "put under", they just get a local anesthetic.

marko
August 20th, 2012, 09:06 AM
another 100% in agreement with SCM post! :highfive:

Glad you will be going to a cat only vet goobygirl!

My cat twiggy (only 6 pounds...) has had 3 separate dental extraction operations in the past year.

Each one required pre-op blood work to determine her level of health to make sure she could undergo the operation.

goobygirl
August 20th, 2012, 12:00 PM
We have an appointment Thursday afternoon. I hope she continues trying to eat up to that time. Its the earliest she could get in. I will post the results after her visit.

Thanks

goobygirl
August 25th, 2012, 10:11 AM
Hi all

Sorry for the delay in posting back! Okay, took her to the vet on Thursday and here's what happened. Gooby does have a heart murmur and all her teeth need to be pulled. The vet says her chances of pulling through the surgery are not that good. Gooby was given an antibiotic shot and she is eating again. We also got some Buprenorphine injections for pain. The dosage is .6mg/ml (.1 ml in 10 syringes) to give by mouth every 12-24 hours as needed. I was supposed to get the blood results yesterday but they never called. This was to see if there is anything else going on, because the vet suspects there is. Thats where it stands right now. :shrug:

hazelrunpack
August 25th, 2012, 10:44 AM
At least the antibiotics and pain meds are allowing her to eat. Sending some :goodvibes: for a good blood result!

Hazmat
August 26th, 2012, 07:14 AM
As long as she is eating she is ok. I would wait a week or 10 days to see how the antibiotics do.
I would be very weary of a Vet that recommends pulling all of her teeth. In fact, I would find another Vet for a second opinion.

I too have a smallish Maine Coon mix. Smallish for a Maine Coon since he is 10-12 lbs which is normal for a cat but light for a Maine coon. He sometimes stops (or rather reduces his eating) for several days. When this first occurred I had convinced myself that it was his teeth. Vet #1 took his opinion from me and recommended pulling some teeth. Vet#2 wasn't convinced and said to wait a few days. Turned out that he (the cat) was just a little constipated. Maine Coons have a lot of hair and mine gets plugged if I don't help him out by brushing him a lot. Needless to say, Vet#2 is now my #1.

ps. A dab (pencil eraser size) of Vaseline on her paw (she will lick it all off immediately) is a quick home remedy to try once a day for one or two days. Longer than that and its time for real medicine.

marko
August 26th, 2012, 09:08 AM
As long as she is eating she is ok. I would wait a week or 10 days to see how the antibiotics do.
I would be very weary of a Vet that recommends pulling all of her teeth. In fact, I would find another Vet for a second opinion.

I do believe this IS a second opinion.
My own cat twiggy has HORRIBLE teeth even though we brush them daily. She came to us this way. And although rare, according to my recent fact gathering, pulling all of a cat's bad teeth is sometimes necessary.

Twiggy's teeth were so bad and abscessed, that the bloodwork suggested that she had feline aids because her immune system was so compromised.
Physiologically I'm not exactly sure why but i believe the rotten teeth were sending toxins into her bloodstream. She used to sleep MUCH more and now we are sure it was because she was in pain.

She only has 4 teeth left and they 'seem to be healthy'. She was NOT able to have them all extracted at once due to aesthetic risks.

I'm only sharing this to suggest that occasionally, like people, some animals have genetically inferior teeth.

In this case though, If a second opinion from a vet I trusted told me that my cat could not survive extractions...

In this case I would not do the surgery.....and the cat would be on pain meds for life.

Thanks for updating us :)

goobygirl
August 26th, 2012, 10:38 AM
Thanks for all the caring and opinions. We have not received the results of the bloodwork yet. This second vet does cats only, nothing else, so that is why I took her there. Gooby is still eating well and I hope she puts on some weight. She normally weighs around 7-8 pounds but is she down to around 5 and 1/2. I think I will try to find a vet that does teeth only because I believe she doesn't need ALL the teeth pulled. Our vet #1 said it was the molars.

goobygirl
August 28th, 2012, 10:33 AM
Finally got the results of Goobys' bloodwork and her numbers are very high suggesting an overactive thyroid. Her numbers are 11 and the vet said she should be around 3. She is eating like a horse in the mornings which is good but now I know why she is small, her metabolism is eating up the food.

sugarcatmom
August 28th, 2012, 01:23 PM
Finally got the results of Goobys' bloodwork and her numbers are very high suggesting an overactive thyroid.

That might also explain the heart issue, since thyroid and heart go hand in hand. Perhaps when the hyperT is under control, Gooby will be in a better position to undergo a dental. Has the vet started her on anti-thyroid meds?

http://www.avmi.net/newfiles/hyperthyroidism/hyperthyroidism.html

Cardiovascular signs including an increased heart rate, arrhythmias and congestive heart failure, are common in cats with hyperthyroidism. Most cats with hyperthyroidism develop a reversible form of heart disease with congestive heart failure developing in 10 to 15% of these cats.

goobygirl
September 23rd, 2012, 09:21 PM
Hi all,

Sorry for the disappearance. Gooby is still with us and zipping through the house. The med that is prescribed for her by our vet is the stuff you rub on her right ear. I have read that is not as effective as they think. Other than that she is eating well. I have an antibiotic for her teeth and I have been feeding her a food called Medley and also once in a while I give her baby food (a recommendation from a friend). Her poo is not solid but not liquidy either, but she does go to bathroom as normal. I am hoping things work out!

Thanks for all the comments and opinions! :)