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Teeth work or not,,,,,

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi, I am having some trouble deciding what to do. Our oldest cat Missy is almost 20 years old now. She is having trouble with her teeth or at least one tooth. It must get infected or something like that because she will not eat dry food when her teeth or mouth hurt. Antibiotics have been helping her feel better but the sore tooth or teeth keeps acting up.

I just talked to the vet about it, she says she is in great shape for her age and if any cat would make it through have teeth worked on it would be Missy but she says it is still real risky at her age. She does eat soft food yet so she is not starving to death or anything like that and when her mouth don't hurt she eats dry food also. The vet says giving her antibiotics when she needs them won't be a problem. If she was showing signs of not living much longer than I would not have a problem with this, but she is doing great for her age yet but I understand she can go downhill fast when her time is up also.

The vet told me she would be surprised if she lives another year, not because of anything wrong right now but just because of her age, in fact she is in great shape and her last blood work was awesome yet.

I am having trouble deciding if we should do nothing and just keep giving her antibiotics for her teeth or guts it and have here teeth worked on. The vet said she would keep her overnight if they did work on her teeth to keep a close eye on her. I want Missy to feel the best she can the time she has left but I also don't want to have her die because of working on her teeth.

I know I am the one to make the decision but I am asking what others think of this deal or maybe have been through this same thing in the past.
post #2 of 11
Has Missy had anesthesia before? If so, how did she do with it? I know of several 18-22 year old cats that have had dentals without a problem. Most vets will keep them over night and have them on fluids for several hours before the procedure to help support their kidneys. You may want to see if there is a dental vet specialist in your area or someone that your vet recommends who may have extra experience in working with dental issues in senior kitties.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi, She was "fixed" many years ago, before I even knew Yvonne. So I assume she did OK back then.

Missy was 10 years old already when I met Yvonne so I don't know all of her history, other than she had two batches of kittens and was hit by a car twice, so she is as tough as nails.

I don't want to jinks Missy but I think she has allot more than just a year left in her yet. But after going through what I did with Tuffy I also now realize how fast they can go downhill when things go wrong.

She don't show signs of being 20 years old, she can still run and jump and fight with the younger cats just fine yet. She might not be as flexible as she was but like I said she still as "attitude" yet. Her only real problem is her tooth or teeth hurting her, also I am learning when her tooth/teeth gets infected it makes her eyes act up also, the bad teeth are on the top row.

She still does fine with using the litter boxes, she don't pee on the floor because she can't hold it in. The only thing I am not sure of is if she gets diarrhea from the antibiotic, one of them does but Cozmo was on a antibiotic for his paws at the same time Missy was on one for her teeth. I think it was Cozmo and his clavamox [sp?] Tuffy would also get diarrhea from it.

Part of me says fix her teeth now while she is still strong and before she gets any older, but I would feel terrible if she died during or shortly after having surgery.

I will do some more searching before I make up my mind on this.
post #4 of 11
When was her last bloodwork? If it's been a few months, you might consider having it done again before the surgery just to make sure it's still awesome. Because I've had good experiences with my cats coming through dentals and because I've heard so many other people having good experiences as well, I would personally lean toward having the teeth cleaned and extractions done. The teeth can be a portal for bacteria getting into the bloodstream, so any broken or infected teeth can cause illness and even organ damage. I would definitely talk to the vet about your concerns and see what precautionary measures they would take (like fluids overnight), as that may help you decide what is best for her.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
I think her last bloodwork was a little over a month ago.
post #6 of 11
I think Missy will feel much better after her bad tooth is out. Taking anti-biotics all the time isn't very good for her. Missy could live a long time yet.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I think Missy will feel much better after her bad tooth is out. Taking anti-biotics all the time isn't very good for her. Missy could live a long time yet.
That is my thinking also. I thought to many antibiotics can mess up their immune system.
post #8 of 11
IMO I'd not take the risk of putting her under to clean or check her teeth. I had Mitten's teeth cleaned at age 13 (just before he died of cancer later that year). He didn't react too well to the anestheia and I told myself that unless it was an emergency, he would not go under again for routine teeth cleaning.

And congrats for taking good care of your kitty to live this long
post #9 of 11
I would be cautious... what did the last blood panel say>>?>>? If EVERYTHING is in the OKAY to Good range ( ie normal to either side of normal) then I would say do it.... I put Kandie under shortly before she "crashed" and will aleays wonder if it aided in her demise
post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
IMO I'd not take the risk of putting her under to clean or check her teeth.
If care is taken in the choice of anesthesia, I think that risk is minimal. If I remember right, propofol (sp?) is often used for induction for elderly and/or ill cats. I discussed this once with my vet some time ago and don't remember all the details.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
The vet didn't go over the whole blood work deal with me, she just said her liver and kidneys are doing great yet and all her blood work was great for her age, So I don't know if everything was in the normal range or not, I am sure I could see the tests if I asked.

I could call the animal hospital that did some tests on Tuffy trying to find out what was wrong with him shortly before he died, they seem to know their stuff but they are also real expensive. I am sure they wouldn't tell me much without seeing Missy for themselves first. I want to do the best I can for Missy but I can't afford to spend tons of money right now also.
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