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Thinking about Cow...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I need opinions here. Basically, I've got 3 options with Cow:
1) euthanize him
2) pull all his teeth
3) try to save his teeth

Essentialy #1 isn't an option(duh!). I'm broke, but think I can work out a loan. I'll be getting paid for cat sitting next Mon/Tue....maybe $100? If I go the route of a dental cleaning, antibiotics, etc. It's gonna cost me like $400-500? If I go the route of an extraxtion, we're looking at around $200...at least that's what it cost to have Twitch's teeth removed. Just FYI-Cow & Twitch are littermates-the only two left alive.

Here's my dilemma. Cow is an outdoor cat. I cannot have him in the house. I live at home while going to college. I'm thinking that doing anything for Cow's teeth means I'm going to have to live at home for an extra 6 months. But, if I don't....it's only a matter of time before infection really sets in & he dies.

Either way, no matter what I do, I'm going to be putting myself into my parents debt because I do not personally have the funds for this. Which is OK with me & OK with them. But....Cow with no teeth....can he live outdoors?

Also, if it were you....would you do antibiotics/dental cleaning or the extraction? The impression I got from the vet was that a dental would only give him an extra couple of years with his teeth. And that he would likely need 2 cleanings 6 months apart.

I will have to take him to the vet I want to do the surgery for an exam & get that vet's opinion....but thought I'd ask here. I'm basically leaning towards an extraction because it is cheaper & long run....I'm gonna end up pulling the teeth. His gums are red, there are actually teeth that have rotted out. I feel horrible for not doing something sooner, but the vet refused to consider surgery since he had a blockage fixed & I can't remember it all. The vet wanted me to wait a year before doing anything with his teeth. It will be a year soon, so I'm thinking about those teeth!
post #2 of 13
If he were my boy, I would go for the complete extraction. As long as he has his claws, I think he will still be OK outside. He will need a special diet while his mouth heals. Many cats with no teeth still enjoy eating dry food, they just swallow it whole.
post #3 of 13
I wanted to add, I am so sad for your loss of Sandy Paws. He was a beautiful boy.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumbulu View Post
If he were my boy, I would go for the complete extraction. As long as he has his claws, I think he will still be OK outside. He will need a special diet while his mouth heals. Many cats with no teeth still enjoy eating dry food, they just swallow it whole.
I've already thought through & picked out a special food for him. He already gets his own special wet & dry food 2x a day in a cage in the garage to ensure he's eating. It's basically going to be the same as it was with Twitch, so I have an idea of what's coming. And I appreciate your condolences on Sandy. He's the reason I've been spurred forward to do something....I can't loose another & I can't put this off.
post #5 of 13
why does he have to live outside? I would be doing whatever I had to do to getout of my parents house if they made my cat live outside.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by fosterkitty View Post
why does he have to live outside? I would be doing whatever I had to do to getout of my parents house if they made my cat live outside.
I cant talk for WHite cat lover /// but I do think Cow is at best semi feral so he is a bit wild
post #7 of 13
I had a toothless old gal that did just fine without her teeth. She ate dry food and wet food just fine.
post #8 of 13
Yeah, I'm leaning toward the extraction too. The decision to extract is similar to why I wanted to do the FHO's on Milo...it would essentially totally remove the problem area (teeth in Cow's case, the femoral head and neck in Milo's case) which would mean that there was less chance for problems in the long run. Whereas, with trying to save the teeth, you're right, he would probably still have to have an extraction in the long run, so he'd be put through the process of healing now, and then have to do it again later.

And I just noticed that your Sandy just passed yesterday?? I'm soooo very sorry, I don't know the story, but my heart aches for you. {{{hugs}}}
post #9 of 13
I would do the complete extraction too.

He probably doesn't have the same issue that Leopold has (tooth wise) but Leopold's teeth started going bad/falling out when he was a year old. The option of complete extraction was presented but the vet felt that it could be managed w/o doing that. Ultimately it was up to me. Now, he only has his canines and the teeth between those (incisors?). Anyway, I've been given pretty good hope both from the vet and my reading that those remaining teeth will probably not be affected any time soon (he's 9). I think it's typical in cases like Leopold's. Again, may not be the same as Cow. But if I knew then what I know now, I probably would have looked into having all of his teeth pulled except those front ones. I don't know if that was a practical option or not.
post #10 of 13
If the dental cleaning/antibiotics is not going to be a long-term (ie. good for several years) solution then I would go for extraction. A cat's main defence is its claws, and he still has those. As long as he's getting fed something that he can eat without teeth he will be fine, it would be different if he had to hunt and chew up small animals to eat, but he doesn't.

Long term gum infections can lead to all sorts of health problems such as heart disease and other organ failure (due to toxins from the infection getting into the blood and being carried around the body) so I think on a purely clinical basis extraction is actually better for his long term health, if it will minimise the risk of the infection coming back.
post #11 of 13
I would do the full extraction. It will be better in the long run than having to pull them over time and deal with possibly infected teeth between extractions. However, I would also build/buy/find on craigslist a cat run or something that could become a cat run in the backyard. That way, he is still outside but contained in such a way that he is safe.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fosterkitty View Post
why does he have to live outside? I would be doing whatever I had to do to getout of my parents house if they made my cat live outside.
Long story short, Cow was born outside & has always lived outside. Honestly, he isn't a semi-feral. Was as a kitten & now is far from it. I rescued the ones who absolutely had to be inside cats(deaf, blind, mentally handicapped). Moving out isn't an option for me. And when I do move out....provided I can afford one more, Cow is coming with me. It'll be an ugly transition to him being a housecat, but I think he deserves it.

Cow lives in the garage & goes outside for "walks" several times a day. He is neutered, vaccinated, & receives vet care.

Cow's teeth have been bad for awhile. Whereas Twitch's were rotten when she was 7 months old, his have been good until they started getting bad when he got neutered Feb 2006.
post #13 of 13
Forst, I'm so sorry to hear of Sandy Paws passing. May he play happily at the Rainbow Bridge.

I think I would go for the full extraction for Cow. It will solve the problem immediately with no worries about future infections and extractions. Because he lives in the garage you have a lot of control over his activities and diet. You can be sure he gets the care that will be needed. Positive thoughts and hugs to you and Cow.
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