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Old April 5th, 2011, 02:48 AM
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When Drooling and Weight Loss Becomes Serious - Jasmine's Story

Hello

This is my very first time posting on here. I'm a member of other forums and I'm happy to become part of this community. My cat is having a rough time right now.

I thought I'd share Jasmine's story:
I thought my cat had a tooth infection as she was drooling from the mouth and would not let me open it up to see what was the nature of her illness was. Actually, to do this you definitely need two people to hold her feet and body while opening the mouth. The veternarian, upon opening her mouth, saw that her right canines (upper and lower) were hurting her. Here is what's happening: her lower right canine is broken, and her upper right canine is stabbing into her lower right gum. The solution, remove both canine teeth as soon as possible.

Upon palpation, the vet noticed that her thyroid gland was enlarged which was a red flag to him. The possibility of having an uncontrolled, overactive thyroid before the dental work could potential lead to serious heart problems. His solution was to gather blood work, which was done today, and to see how high the thyroid levels actually are. He called me earlier - her thyroid levels were too high to measure. So, I was able to pick up thyroid medication today which is to be given to her every day. See, the problem the vet faces is: how long will it take before her thyroid is under control when there isn't a number to assess how hyperactive her thyroid actually is. Ideally, he'd like to put her on the thyroid medication 4 weeks to get is well under control. However, with the oral problems he needs to compromise the time limit as postponing a major extraction would also lead to problems. So... the solution is to put her on it for a couple of weeks, do blood work to see where she's at, and then if all goes well to go ahead with the dental extraction.


And if anyone has gone through a similar situation, please let me know. This is the first time she's ever gotten sick. I'm trying not to freak out, but I'm a university student (biochemistry) and I'm sort of panicked. She's my best friend, and I know there are other cat lovers here, so if anyone can give any sort of comfort, I'd really appreciate it <3

Also, if anyone has had their cat go through dental or any other surgery, tips on how I should best help her recovery would be more than welcome.

Here's my lil gal:

Last edited by Cerena; April 5th, 2011 at 03:37 AM.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 07:33 AM
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Hi Cerena, welcome to pets.ca! Sorry that you're girl is having all these issues right now. How old is Jasmine?

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Originally Posted by Cerena View Post
So... the solution is to put her on it for a couple of weeks, do blood work to see where she's at, and then if all goes well to go ahead with the dental extraction.
In the meantime, is she at least on some pain meds? (and not Metacam!)

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Originally Posted by Cerena View Post
Also, if anyone has had their cat go through dental or any other surgery, tips on how I should best help her recovery would be more than welcome.
My old guy had a broken canine removed a few years ago and he recovered awesomely. One thing I would highly recommend is a Fentanyl pain patch post-surgery. Having teeth removed can be extremely painful and with the patch, you don't have to try opening the cat's mouth a couple times a day. Also, be wary of using Antirobe drops. This is a liquid antibiotic frequently prescribed after dental surgery and it's absolutely positively the most foul tasting stuff I've ever put in my mouth. Plus, it's prone to causing diarrhea. I'll never use it on any other cat in my care, ever. I think vets that still prescribe it haven't ever tasted it. There are other options, like Clavamox tablets ground up and mixed into wet food.

All the best to you and Jasmine.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 08:04 AM
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What a sweetie pie your kitty is

My Sweet Pea recently had dental work done on her, poor girl, had broken teeth right down to the pulp. . She has recovered very nicely.

I 150% agree with SCM, a pain patch after surgery is a must. My vet would not give Sweet Pea one, stating that the cat feels instant pain relief afterwards, but that was not my experience at all.

I have given my vet instructions that Convenia antibiotic shot was NOT to be given to Sweet Pea after surgery so he prescribed liquid clavamox instead. I had to be very gentle getting the liquid into her mouth so as to not irritate her gums.

I didn't read what type of food you are feeding your kitty, but Sweet Pea is on a canned/raw diet. After surgery, I did water down her food more than usual so she didn't have to chew anything.

Good luck and please, keep us posted.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 12:41 PM
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First and foremast, thank you all so much for caring!! It means so much to me right now. Jasmine is 7 years old, however this is debatable. I got her from petcetera 4 years ago. They told me she was taken in from uncaring owners. You both look like very experienced pet owners and I'm sure you understand that there are some who are not meant to be have pets, but even then I can't understand why people can be abusive to their animals. Jasmine definitely picked me I was looking for a cat, and she saw me come in. None of the other cats really cared about me, but there was one kitten who I thought was adorable, not Jasmine, that I was about to buy. And right before I signed the paperwork, I noticed this cat who when I entered was hiding in the corner of her cage. She meowed and meowed and caressed the cage, the whole time looking at me! Like she was saying, "Hi! Nice to meet you! But you know, I'm better than that other cat" It was love haha and I said to myself, okay this kitten is definitely going to find an owner. But a 3 year old cat? I'm not sure. She's so lovable, and she actually LIKES me!! Let me take her. And I did And we're best friends.

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Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
In the meantime, is she at least on some pain meds? (and not Metacam!)
She is not on pain meds right now but I have a very caring vet and will talk to him about this soon. I was sort of like a deer caught in head lights yesterday, everything was going so fast that I didn't have time to think But I will talk to him soon about this, thanks! I didn't even know how I should give Jasmine the thyroid tablets (tapazole) until I asked the vet assistant to help me out. I gave half a tablet to her yesterday, cut the tablet in half on a sanitary surface, and then ground it up and put it just below the top of her food. Oh, and you wanted to know what type of food she is eating? I didn't realize the problem until two days ago and was giving her crunchy food! I can't even tell you how bad I felt about that. I thought she was just being finicky by eating less of it. After I realized the problem, I bought her a whole package of her favourite soft food (she loves fancy feast chicken and gravy).

Still, Jasmine also has not been eating very much, I was told I may have to force feed her and as I've never had to this, this part scares me. I'm struggling to know how much she should be eating versus how much she is eating and I don't want to resort to something like this, but the vet assured me I may well have to. I shrugged it off when I saw him because it was too much for me to handle (I've never gone through something like this) but I'm going to do what it takes to make her better. I will observe her eating patterns over the next few days and go from there.


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Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
My old guy had a broken canine removed a few years ago and he recovered awesomely. One thing I would highly recommend is a Fentanyl pain patch post-surgery. Having teeth removed can be extremely painful and with the patch, you don't have to try opening the cat's mouth a couple times a day. Also, be wary of using Antirobe drops. This is a liquid antibiotic frequently prescribed after dental surgery and it's absolutely positively the most foul tasting stuff I've ever put in my mouth. Plus, it's prone to causing diarrhea. I'll never use it on any other cat in my care, ever. I think vets that still prescribe it haven't ever tasted it. There are other options, like Clavamox tablets ground up and mixed into wet food.

All the best to you and Jasmine.
Thanks for the advice!

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Originally Posted by Love4himies View Post
I have given my vet instructions that Convenia antibiotic shot was NOT to be given to Sweet Pea after surgery so he prescribed liquid clavamox instead. I had to be very gentle getting the liquid into her mouth so as to not irritate her gums.

I didn't read what type of food you are feeding your kitty, but Sweet Pea is on a canned/raw diet. After surgery, I did water down her food more than usual so she didn't have to chew anything.

Good luck and please, keep us posted.
Thanks so much for everything! How recently did your guy have his surgery done?
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Old April 5th, 2011, 01:03 PM
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Welcome to the forum Cerena ~ I'm a cat-know-nothing but you'll find some of the most knowledgable cat-people on the planet here!
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Old April 5th, 2011, 01:05 PM
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Welcome to the forum Cerena ~ I'm a cat-know-nothing but you'll find some of the most knowledgable cat-people on the planet here!
Happy to meet you! Thanks so much And yes, you're right. So many experienced members :O I'm a dog lover as well, and I'm guessing from your avatar you are too
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Old April 5th, 2011, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerena View Post
She's so lovable, and she actually LIKES me!! Let me take her. And I did And we're best friends.
Awesome story, thanks for sharing Jasmine's history.

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Originally Posted by Cerena View Post
After I realized the problem, I bought her a whole package of her favourite soft food (she loves fancy feast chicken and gravy).
Okay good. Wet food is better for cats anyway, whether they have dental issues or not, so hopefully you can keep feeding her that. Although eventually you may want to switch to a higher quality food. FF isn't the worst, but it does often contain less than ideal ingredients like wheat gluten, by-products and fish.

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Originally Posted by Cerena View Post
Still, Jasmine also has not been eating very much, I was told I may have to force feed her and as I've never had to this, this part scares me.
Honestly, I don't think force-feeding is going to be a good idea. She's in pain, and messing with her mouth trying to force a syringe in there is likely to be extremely traumatic for both of you. But she really must eat! So I would get some pain meds as soon as you can, and possibly even an appetite stimulant (but start with pain meds first to see if that does the trick). She may also need antibiotics if there is infection present.


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Originally Posted by Cerena View Post
I'm struggling to know how much she should be eating versus how much she is eating
Do you know how much she weighs? How much is she eating right now (like 1 can a day? 2?)? Do you leave the wet food out so she can nibble on it periodically? If not, that might be a good idea. It doesn't go bad as fast as you'd think (just make sure to replace any uneaten portions with fresh by about 12 hrs).
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Old April 5th, 2011, 01:25 PM
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OH I LOVE it when the kitty picks the owners

Oh, yes, I totally agree, some people should have pets or shouldn't even procreate, lol.

Sweet Pea had her surgery last November, so she is fully recovered now . I did have to force feed her while she was waiting for her surgery as she wouldn't eat at all. Cats should NOT go more than 24 hours without eating as they can get fatty liver disease and the more your cat is overweight, the riskier it is. It was not a pleasant task, as her teeth hurt so much, but it was a necessary evil to get something into her. I did it with a syringe and watered down Wellness food.

Thyroid meds can be purchased as a gel that you can place inside the ear or if the underarm is shaved, there. A lot of people find that much easier than pilling.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 01:26 PM
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Sorry to hear that your little beauty is having problems, Cerena
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Old April 5th, 2011, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
FF isn't the worst, but it does often contain less than ideal ingredients like wheat gluten, by-products and fish.
Could you suggest a healthier alternative? She needs all the help she can get right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
Honestly, I don't think force-feeding is going to be a good idea. She's in pain, and messing with her mouth trying to force a syringe in there is likely to be extremely traumatic for both of you. But she really must eat! So I would get some pain meds as soon as you can, and possibly even an appetite stimulant (but start with pain meds first to see if that does the trick). She may also need antibiotics if there is infection present.
Great advice, thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
Do you know how much she weighs? How much is she eating right now (like 1 can a day? 2?)? Do you leave the wet food out so she can nibble on it periodically? If not, that might be a good idea. It doesn't go bad as fast as you'd think (just make sure to replace any uneaten portions with fresh by about 12 hrs).
She is a little less than 7 lbs right now. Normally, she weighs between 8-9 lbs. Yesterday she ate about half of a can Today she is nibbling bits and pieces. Luckily, I can stay home today and help her out. But I will most definitely leave the food out for her.

Also... this may sound a bit strange, but Jasmine's face looks differently. That's how I knew something was wrong. Her jaw seems to droop a bit more downwards. And I hope this doesn't sound like a selfish concern, but do you think that the surgery will correct this? Hard to explain, but she doesn't look like her normal self.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love4himies View Post
OH I LOVE it when the kitty picks the owners

Oh, yes, I totally agree, some people should have pets or shouldn't even procreate, lol.

Sweet Pea had her surgery last November, so she is fully recovered now . I did have to force feed her while she was waiting for her surgery as she wouldn't eat at all. Cats should NOT go more than 24 hours without eating as they can get fatty liver disease and the more your cat is overweight, the riskier it is. It was not a pleasant task, as her teeth hurt so much, but it was a necessary evil to get something into her. I did it with a syringe and watered down Wellness food.

Thyroid meds can be purchased as a gel that you can place inside the ear or if the underarm is shaved, there. A lot of people find that much easier than pilling.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
Sorry to hear that your little beauty is having problems, Cerena
Thank you both so much! And Love4himmies, thank you so much for the advice about force feeding. I'm going to monitor her eating habits, hopefully I won't have to but I'll do anything to keep her healthy. Looks like I don't have to at the moment, but thank you for explaining it to me.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerena View Post
Also... this may sound a bit strange, but Jasmine's face looks differently. That's how I knew something was wrong. Her jaw seems to droop a bit more downwards.
I would guess she is just trying to keep her gums away from the canine that's stabbing into them, so I really don't think it's permanent.

Best of luck to you both!
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Old April 5th, 2011, 03:31 PM
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I would guess she is just trying to keep her gums away from the canine that's stabbing into them, so I really don't think it's permanent.

Best of luck to you both!
Thanks! And just a quick update, she's just fast asleep on my lap. I requested pain medication for her, just waiting for it to be approved by a vet.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
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Could you suggest a healthier alternative? She needs all the help she can get right now.
Wellness is one to look for, and most flavours are grain-free. They are also higher in calories than FF. If she'll eat pate style food, go for the cans, but if she prefers chunks in gravy, they also make some pouches which might appeal to her more.

You might also want to go to the grocery store and pick up some jars of plain meat baby food (like Heinz Chicken in Broth). Most cats find it irresistable, and it should be easy for her to lap it up, especially if you add a tsp or 2 of warm water. This is just temporary until she's feeling better as it isn't a balanced diet.

Quote:
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is a little less than 7 lbs right now. Normally, she weighs between 8-9 lbs. Yesterday she ate about half of a can
Ya, she needs to get more calories into her. A 3 oz can of FF is around 90 calories and cats need about 20-30 calories per lb per day, which means she should be eating closer to 2 cans a day. I hope whatever meds the vet gives her help get her back on track.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
Wellness is one to look for, and most flavours are grain-free. They are also higher in calories than FF. If she'll eat pate style food, go for the cans, but if she prefers chunks in gravy, they also make some pouches which might appeal to her more.

You might also want to go to the grocery store and pick up some jars of plain meat baby food (like Heinz Chicken in Broth). Most cats find it irresistable, and it should be easy for her to lap it up, especially if you add a tsp or 2 of warm water. This is just temporary until she's feeling better as it isn't a balanced diet.



Ya, she needs to get more calories into her. A 3 oz can of FF is around 90 calories and cats need about 20-30 calories per lb per day, which means she should be eating closer to 2 cans a day. I hope whatever meds the vet gives her help get her back on track.
Good news Jasmine seems to have her appetite today! She ate about 1.5 cans of FF chicken and gravy. Thanks you so much for the suggestion for her. She's not feeling the pate, but I'll try to get chunky Wellness cat food. I can try it out and see what she thinks tomorrow. Can you just buy this brand at a grocery store? She seems to be devouring the fancy feast chicken and gravy (she might still be hungry! Yay!) so she seems to be doing well with the chunky type, but I'm hoping this isn't a fluke and it's best to take it one day at a time.

No word back today about the pain medication (they might have called and not left a message), but fingers crossed for tomorrow!
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Old April 7th, 2011, 09:01 AM
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You won't find Wellness in grocery stores, but will need to go to a pet store to get it. I know both Global and Pet Valu carry it in Ontario. It sounds like Jasmine's starting to make a good recovery. All the best!
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Old April 7th, 2011, 01:25 PM
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I'm glad she was getting her appetite back, Cerena! How is she doing today? Did you ever hear back about the pain meds?
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Old April 7th, 2011, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerena View Post
Good news Jasmine seems to have her appetite today! She ate about 1.5 cans of FF chicken and gravy. Thanks you so much for the suggestion for her. She's not feeling the pate, but I'll try to get chunky Wellness cat food. I can try it out and see what she thinks tomorrow. Can you just buy this brand at a grocery store? She seems to be devouring the fancy feast chicken and gravy (she might still be hungry! Yay!) so she seems to be doing well with the chunky type, but I'm hoping this isn't a fluke and it's best to take it one day at a time.

No word back today about the pain medication (they might have called and not left a message), but fingers crossed for tomorrow!
Yay
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Old April 7th, 2011, 01:39 PM
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You won't find Wellness in grocery stores, but will need to go to a pet store to get it. I know both Global and Pet Valu carry it in Ontario. It sounds like Jasmine's starting to make a good recovery. All the best!
Thanks! I am going to have to check it out

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Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
I'm glad she was getting her appetite back, Cerena! How is she doing today? Did you ever hear back about the pain meds?
She's totally got her appetite back! Up to two cans a day (smaller cans, but still! A lot better than half a can she was eating all last week). I started her on pain meds yesterday (I know some might not agree, but she is on metacam. Her blood work indicated no prior existing kidney problems, her kidney by-product levels are well within the normal range, and we are going to do a second blood test pre-surgery to make sure her thyroid, kidney, and other organs are functioning normally).

She is responding very well to pain medication! She loved the taste of it. And, she seems to be a lot happier. Her meow isn't as harsh, and she's starting to be more like her normal self. She is also eating her food at a normal pace. She was eating extremely slowly a few days ago and she seems to enjoy eating more now. It's only been one day that's she's been on the pain meds, but already she's looking much better. Amazing.

Also, another update. Her thyroid medication (tapazole) has been increased from 5 mg a day to 10 mg day in hopes that her thyroid levels well be manageable in two weeks time for surgery. again, that seems to be working just fine.

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Yay
Thanks!
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Old April 7th, 2011, 01:43 PM
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Wonderful update!!!
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Old April 7th, 2011, 04:49 PM
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She's totally got her appetite back! Up to two cans a day
Much better! Glad to hear that.

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I started her on pain meds yesterday (I know some might not agree, but she is on metacam.
Hey, it's the lesser of 2 evils. I'll take Metacam over no pain meds at all. There really aren't a lot of decent analgesic options for felines, and while I prefer something like Buprenex, Metacam is much cheaper and easier to come by. You do what you gotta do.

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Her meow isn't as harsh, and she's starting to be more like her normal self. She is also eating her food at a normal pace.


Let us know how the surgery goes.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 01:09 AM
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I just wanted to give a quick update on Jasmine. It has been difficult to mix in Jasmine's medication with her food so I'm now giving it to her via oral syringe. Her coat doesn't look so dull anymore! It looks a lot shinier and vibrant. She has also stopped being interested in her soft food completely and will only eat dry food. Poor thing, though. She can only chew on one side of her mouth.

Her surgery should be sometime next week. Getting excited for her to get it done but so she can recover asap.

I'll definitely give an update following next week's events. Everyone has been so supportive!
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Old April 17th, 2011, 07:54 PM
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Hi Cerena, happy to hear that Jasmine has been improving! The coat changes would be from getting her thyroid more under control, and also if you changed her food that would make a huge difference too.

I feel your pain as a university student-I am in nursing and we are in school for more than 10 months a year, and it is an extremely expensive program. However, kudos to you for making sure Jasmine is looked after! I know it is hard, but somehow you just make it work! It helps to have a good relationship with your vet-that way you can occasionally owe him/her money if you need something but dont' have the money for it at the time.

Feeding quality food is a little more expensive, but it is worth it (it just means more ramen, noodles, and potatoes for us university students, but we're already used to that anyway!). You can do a lot with a vegetable (or not, if none are on sale LOL), some hot sauce, and rice/pasta/potato and a few herbs!!

My older dog, Whistler, broke one of his canine teeth about...4 years ago now? He busted it in half on a rock. Because he is a large (92lbs), active dog, the vet said pulling it was not an option. He basically had a root canal instead (depulped the tooth part way down, capped it, then the cap fell off a couple years later so it had to be replaced). Dental surgery is not cheap, but he recovered quickly, none the worse for wear now! Hope Jasmine's surgery goes well too.

Best of luck to you!
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Old April 20th, 2011, 03:42 PM
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Cerena Cerena is offline
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Originally Posted by reanne View Post
Hi Cerena, happy to hear that Jasmine has been improving! The coat changes would be from getting her thyroid more under control, and also if you changed her food that would make a huge difference too.

I feel your pain as a university student-I am in nursing and we are in school for more than 10 months a year, and it is an extremely expensive program. However, kudos to you for making sure Jasmine is looked after! I know it is hard, but somehow you just make it work! It helps to have a good relationship with your vet-that way you can occasionally owe him/her money if you need something but dont' have the money for it at the time.

Feeding quality food is a little more expensive, but it is worth it (it just means more ramen, noodles, and potatoes for us university students, but we're already used to that anyway!). You can do a lot with a vegetable (or not, if none are on sale LOL), some hot sauce, and rice/pasta/potato and a few herbs!!

My older dog, Whistler, broke one of his canine teeth about...4 years ago now? He busted it in half on a rock. Because he is a large (92lbs), active dog, the vet said pulling it was not an option. He basically had a root canal instead (depulped the tooth part way down, capped it, then the cap fell off a couple years later so it had to be replaced). Dental surgery is not cheap, but he recovered quickly, none the worse for wear now! Hope Jasmine's surgery goes well too.

Best of luck to you!

Thanks reanne! I'm actually a vegetarian, and food is relatively cheap and nutritious for me. I cook all the time, so that's not a problem. And yes, I'm lucky to have a really awesome vet who's so caring. Glad to hear that your dog recovered well from the surgery. I'm curious, could you tell me about how much the surgery was for your dog? For my cat, the extraction itself is around $300 but with everything included it's prob around $700.
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  #25  
Old April 20th, 2011, 10:35 PM
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Shaykeija Shaykeija is offline
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Yep that sounds about right for vet costs. Cute cat
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  #26  
Old April 26th, 2011, 01:58 AM
reanne reanne is offline
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It was quite a few years ago so I can't quite remember...I think it was around $1500, possibly as much as $1800. That surgery is more expensive than a plain extraction, plus there would be a significant increase due to size, for anaesthesia and antibiotics and such.

Keep us posted on how she is doing!

So glad to hear you have an awesome vet too!
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  #27  
Old April 26th, 2011, 08:52 AM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Do you know when the surgery is going to be, yet, Cerena?
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  #28  
Old April 28th, 2011, 04:47 PM
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Cerena Cerena is offline
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Do you know when the surgery is going to be, yet, Cerena?
Not yet. They told me the surgery would be in two weeks, but it's been more than that. I thought they would give me a call

I'm calling them right now to see what's up.


EDIT - she is officially booked for May 2nd.
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  #29  
Old April 28th, 2011, 10:32 PM
reanne reanne is offline
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Good luck to her!
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Old April 28th, 2011, 10:48 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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I'm glad they could book you quickly once you called! Less time for Mom to worry for a successful surgery and easy recovery!
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