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Abscessed Tooth(cat)

November 2nd, 2004, 01:37 PM
My cat, Dave, has an abscessed tooth and the vet told me that it would have to come out. He is taking medication (penicillin) for the infection at this time. I was wondering if any one else has dealt with this problem. Does the tooth have to come out or will the meds fix it? You see it is dental month at the vet so I don't know if it is a sale they are trying to make or if it is really necessary. Any information would be of help.

Amalfia :confused:

November 2nd, 2004, 01:59 PM
I don't think I've ever come across a Vet who tries to perform un-needed surgury on a pet just because it was "the month" for it.

The medication for the abcess is just to rid the root of the infection. The same goes for a human with an abcessed tooth. Antibiotics first, then the extraction. It works the same for a pet.

Follow the Vet's advice and get the tooth fixed.

November 2nd, 2004, 04:28 PM
It is definitely not to make another buck. An abscessed tooth needs to be taken seriously. Follow what your vet says. Give the meds at the scheduled times and exact dosages and book that appointment as soon as he/she says it is a good time to go. If an abscessed tooth is left it can hinder your relationship with your cat. It causes them much pain and sooner than later your cat will no longer want you to come near him - in fear of touching his face. They quickly learn the pain associated with gentle cat pets in that area. If left in this state they stay in a place of vulnerability for some time until the bad tooth is removed. It will really affect his everyday life if left the way it is - it would only get worse and more painful over time. It is definitely something that will need to come out and be fixed ASAP.

Good luck and many hugs and kisses to Dave! :)

November 2nd, 2004, 07:00 PM
Definitely have the tooth taken care of. Bacteria from a bad tooth can actually harm other organs in your cat's body!

Lucky Rescue
November 2nd, 2004, 07:02 PM
Cats can suffer kidney failure from dental infections. The tooth must come out to get rid of the abcess, or it will continue to fill and drain indefinitely.

And if you have ever had an abcessed tooth, you know how painful that is.

heeler's rock!
November 2nd, 2004, 07:11 PM
My dog had an abcessed tooth. I didn't even know it because she'd eat fine, and play and stuff. I didn't know until her yearly check up and the vet spotted it. Then when she went under to get it out, he took 3 more that had abcessed! (This wasn't all my fault by the way. She probably had them when I got her he said. She was 5 and from a reserve when she was rescued, and these were discovered when she was 6. :))She also lost her right canine after breaking it in half on my hubby's family's malamute's molar. She split it right down past the gumline! Again, she didn't let me know. She didn't whine when it happened or yelp, nothing! I spotted it when she was lounging with me on the couch after diner! She's a tough cookie that Red, and almost toothless!! :)

Sorry to hijack this thread, just wanted to share my tooth stories! :D

November 3rd, 2004, 01:52 PM
Thank you all for your input. I feel I should tell you the whole story. Dave is very special to me...he has been in my life longer than my child and my husband. I was there the day he was born and I will be there for him for the rest of his life. Dave has had a troubled life. About 6 years ago Dave was hit by a car and was in intensive care for a week. And there after has been an inside cat. A few years later he was extreemly ill and blood tests revieled a rare blood parasite which still lives in him, in remission. He is an asmatic and is very sensitive emotionally. I have just recently paid off those expenses and am having difficulties convincing my husband, although he too loves Dave, to put out more money for these extreeme vet bills. When I took him (Dave) into the vet it was because he was not eating or able to have a b.m. He was still active and affectionate and rubbing his face up against us. I was convinced that he was constipated and that all I needed was another tube of tonic-lax for him. Needless to say when the vet showed me the abscessed tooth I was shocked. Shocked that I didn't notice it and shocked that Dave didn't show any signs of pain. My husband was also shocked to find out the bill was going from $50-$75 dollars to $350+. I was desparate to find another way of dealing with this, hoping that the medication may buy me some time. After hearing the other problems the tooth can cause I am panicing even more. Please don't judge me or my husband in this matter we are a struggling family and have to put our child first, as heart breaking as it is, and the furry children second. :( :sad:


November 3rd, 2004, 02:53 PM
I like your cat's name! That's fun! :D

IMHO, $350 is worth it rather then what the outcome could be. Is there a university/ college near by (vet school) that could do the operation at a fraction of the cost?? That's an option. Please, this needs to be addressed or Dave could pay severely. :sad:

Lucky Rescue
November 3rd, 2004, 05:19 PM
I understand. My husband also threw fits at vet bills, but that didn't stop me from getting my pets the care they needed and deserved, since I took them into my home and they never asked to come live with me.

My last cat lived to be nearly 21, and I always said for what he cost me I could have bought a racehorse.:p

What is this 350$ bill? My old guy needed to have one his fangs removed. He needed special anesthetic due to age, and the bill came to 175$ So I'm not understanding the amount you quote?

November 3rd, 2004, 09:42 PM
That is the amount the vet quoted me. Just for him to see him it cost $48.00. That's $12.00 more than last time. I thought that it was pretty high too... but who am I to question the vet? Dave weighs 20 pounds, maybe it's the amount of anesthic he will need to use. I don't know. This is the first dental work I will have done on him.

Another question...don't you usually wait for the infection to go away or at least start getting better before you would extract the tooth? The vet wanted to do it on the same day that I brought him in for the examination. He also said that he wasn't sure if it was an abscess because of the lack of swelling to the rest of his face. But to take the tooth out anyway. The other option was that it was a tumor and we "don't want that". You would think that he would want to know for sure before opperating...right??

I think it is in fact the tooth because the antibiotics are finally working. :)

November 4th, 2004, 08:34 AM
It's not unusual for a tooth to come out before the infection is totally gone. In people it's a different story as we're not put completely to sleep, but rather given a local freezing. Infections in the injection site don't allow the freezing medication (novacaine) to to it's won't freeze.
If the cat's completely out of it, taking the tooth is easy....and yes....a 20 pound cat would require considerably more anesthetic to put under. Once the tooth is out, keep giving the antibiotics as prescribed, and the infection will go away.

I would think it's an abcess as well if the medicine is helping. Unless the Vet took X-rays, I don't think a tumor can be verified. He may have been giving you a worse-case-scenario type of thing.

I've not heard of many cats needing tooth extractions before, so I would think this a very rare thing to have to have happen. This being said, ~$350(ish) to fix a cat? Well worth the money in the long run. That means more purring, more lovings, and a very contented kitty loving you even more for your generosity. Not to mention...if the teeth are healthy the body is healthy. In cats, dogs, humans...anything with teeth.

November 4th, 2004, 03:29 PM
I do not jugde you or your family. You were looking for answers to a subject you knew nothing about and you came to the right place. It is not like you went against what the vet said. You still administered the meds and asked while he was getting the treatment he needed. There are some people who would ignore the vet (even though they were the ones seeking help) because of the cost, or they thought the vet was wrong, and do nothing at all. You have been a very good kitty mummy :D

I would say, if you think the cost may be a little high, to get a second opinion. As well, a lot of Vets will allow you to make payments over a certain period of time if you cannot pay all at once. The reason is because most good vets care more about the well-being of the animals then getting the cash straight away. You may want to inquire about this.

November 4th, 2004, 03:44 PM
One of my cats(Peppi)had an absessed tooth,it can cause all kinds of serious medical problems if left unattended.My vet pulled the tooth when it was discovered and Peppi was treated with antibiotics afterwards.
I realize your family has had huge vet-bills,but I also believe Dave who has been with you forever deserves to live,if you have him put down it will cost you at least $125,just another $200 and he will live happily ever after...
Please try! My husband also gets a little excited over high vet-bills,but he also knows I would beg,steal or borrow to save anyone of my cats..
If your vet is a kind soul he will work out a payment-plan for you,rather than kill a cat just because of a tooth.....Good Luck!!

November 4th, 2004, 06:16 PM
Thank you so much for your kind words. I am going to make the appointment for Dave. The vet has told me I could pay half now and half later (thankfully). I would never get Dave put down unless there was no hope for a comfortable life, especially not for an abscessed tooth. I love him, more than you may realize. The half and half payment should soften the blow for my husband and will make a world of difference for Dave's comfort. Thank you all for your input and support. I will let you know how the surgery/recovery goes.

Amalfia :)

December 17th, 2004, 01:35 PM
My cat, Dave, has an abscessed tooth and the vet told me that it would have to come out. He is taking medication (penicillin) for the infection at this time. I was wondering if any one else has dealt with this problem. Does the tooth have to come out or will the meds fix it? You see it is dental month at the vet so I don't know if it is a sale they are trying to make or if it is really necessary. Any information would be of help.

Amalfia :confused:

Sorry it took me so long to update you all on Dave's condition. It has been a bit of a shock to the family. As it turns out the "abscess" is not an abscess at all...It is a cancerous tumor. Because of the location of the tumor, his upper jaw, it is also inoperable. He will now be having monthly vet visits to keep us updated on the progress of the tumor and I will be treating any and all secondary infections at home. He seems like his normal happy, loving self so I don't think he is in any pain at this time. I will try to keep you updated on his condition.

Amalfia :sad:

December 17th, 2004, 01:37 PM
OMG... I'm so sorry to hear this :sad: . Sending Dave a great big (((HUG)))

December 17th, 2004, 01:39 PM
So sorry to hear that. :sad:

He knows you're doing all you can for him! Such a caring person. Give him a hug for us! (sending healing thoughts)

December 17th, 2004, 02:16 PM
I have not been around as much and this is the first time I've read this thread! Poor Dave and you - my heart goes out to you both! Cancer in cats can be treated thank goodness and I hope your vet will be able to help.

By the way, no reputable never mind certfied vet (or MD for that matter) would charge more for anesthesia baased on weight!! They need to know weight to administer it it but it is unethical to charge extra.

Good luck!!!

December 17th, 2004, 10:27 PM
Thanks for the update! And thanks for all you are doing for Dave! He's lucky to have you!
An interesting thing I read once about cats and cancer was that cats don't react to chemo the way humans do. The article I read said they don't have the nausea. Does anyone know if this is true?

December 18th, 2004, 02:12 PM
Thank you all for your kind thoughts and encouragement. The vet seems to realize how much I love Dave and how important he is to my family. He knows that we don't have much money and he is now giving us discounted prices and even not charging me for some re-check visits and procedures. He now knows that I am in this for the long haul and Dave isn't just a cat to me...he's family. The vet is even taking time out of his schedual to call and check on Dave every couple of days...Dave has that effect on people. He is just a great cat. Even people that tell me they don't like cats fall in love with Dave. He has been through so much in his little life and still goes on in his happy little way...he is a true inspiration.

Thanks again


December 18th, 2004, 02:48 PM
Thanks for the update and I am happy to hear you have such a helpful and thoughtfully kind vet!! I think we can learn so much from cats! You hear so often about cats being so ill and still purring (I know that purring can be restorative and that's part of it but they are very good survivors). I hope Dave will do well with his treatment!! He'll be in my thoughts!!

December 18th, 2004, 03:54 PM
Amalfia,you obviously love your cat very much,as I do best of luck to little Dave and your family.
I applaud your vet for seeing the needs of Dave before big $$$$,I met a vet like that once a long time cat had gotten caught under the hood of a car,my vet knew we had 3 kids and no money,but that I would do anything to save my cat,so he charged me $50 for care that would normally have cost hundreds of $$$$.Unbeknownst to me Dr Smith had cancer and died a few months later,a wonderful man and I'll never forget his compassion.