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Feline Dental Work: info?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Our latest rescue, Tillie, went to the vet today and we found out she has advanced dental problems. She has severe gingivitis as well as a lesion on her gum that the vet said is essentially rotting that tooth from the outside in. The reason she is so little (she weighs 5.1 lbs!) is that it hurts her to eat solid foods. They did a blood panel to see if she could handle the anesthetic, we should know on Monday.

I have never had a cat with dental problems before. Can anyone who has dealt with this give me an idea what to expect, not just cost-wise but just as importantly, what to expect as far as how long it takes to heal, what should we do and not do, etc. We gave her soft cooked chicken tonight and she wolfed it down like a champ. Going to get some canned kitten food for her tomorrow, she needs all the calories she can get, and that is what the vet recommended.
post #2 of 15

The cost will be dependant on your vet really. They have to do dental x-rays, put the cat under for the extractions. If the vet is on the ball, he will extract any tooth that shows this problem, because the disease spreads fast once it takes hold. Cats harbor a lot of bacteria in their mouth, making it even worse for them.

She isn't going to want to eat for a bit, I have had success with the kitty glop recipe warmed up on cats who have had oral surgery. Canned cat food really watered down, flavored broths, nutrical placed on their tongue, all that has helped.

Poor kitty- I wish her well.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, MaryAnn! This poor little girl has been through a lot. We will know on Monday if her system is strong enough to handle anesthesia. She got her rabies shot today and had a vaccine reaction, poor girl, had to get a shot of benadryl and one of steroids. Today's visit was $225!

I am thinking of calling the SPCA in the AM and asking if they know of any vets that offer discounts to people with multi-cat households. Our vet has changed their multicat policy to only apply if you bring in more than one at a time, instead of being for homes with more than one pet who treated with them.
post #4 of 15
About 4 years ago I had a dental problem with my now deceased cat. She didn't show any symptoms of being sic unti all of a sudden. Her poor little tongue was hanging out of her mouth and was drooling massively. I rushed her to the Vet and they removed 3 rotten teeth. I believe it had cost me close to a hundred dollars for that and I'm sure it's higher now. Plus, I live in a small community and our prices seem pretty cheap compared to bigger cities. They didn't tell me to do anything different once she came home. She ate like a pig after that!

I'm sure I'm not much help...hopefully someone will post something more for you. Poor little Tillie...I'm sure her lil mouth is aching something awful!
post #5 of 15
Sue, I have nothing helpful to tell you - just wanted you to know I'm keeping Tillie in my thoughts. Poor little thing, no wonder she's only 5 pounds.

And you would think that a vet that knew you had 13 cats at home and go to him/her for all your veterinary care would give you some sort of deal. If the SPCA doesn't know, you might want to look in the phonebook for other vets in your area and ask them their policies. There's a vet in my area that I want Spike to get to see, but she isn't taking any new patients. Hope you find one that's both good with cats and will give you some sort of discount.

Feel you better soon, Tillie!
post #6 of 15
When my cat, Midnight, (deceased) was 13 years old she had to have her teeth cleaned and several bad ones were removed. The vet clinic did pre-anesthesia blood work, and the vet used a gas anesthesia for safety reasons due to Midnight's age. There were no complications during the procedure, and I was told that Midnight was sitting up in her cage 1/2 hour after the procedure was completed. When I picked her up later that same day, Midnight was fully alert and there was no indication whatsoever that she had been under anesthesia. She was also very willing to eat canned cat food that evening.

I was told to give Midnight an antibiotic(sp?) twice a day for 10 days to prevent infection, and to feed her canned food for several days due to her mouth being sore. I wasn't given any additional instructions.

I use a small, rural general practice veterinary clinic which has reasonable prices. The cost of the blood work was about $30.00, and the cost of the dental work was between $75.00 and $100.00.
post #7 of 15
I haven't had this problem. You may want to start brushing your kitties teeth as a preventitive. Umm... good luck with that!
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yes, we started with the toothbrushing last night. We only had one brush, so it was a matter of who we grabbed first! I had Midnight but he squirmed away, so we grabbed Sasha. He was NOT happy with the whole procedure, but we got them brushed anyways. He has very nice, clean teeth!!

Going to get more brushes this AM. I don't want to use the same one for more than 1 cat, just in case someone's got gingivitis, don't want to risk spreading it. Also, I wouldn't use someone else's toothbrush, would you?

Anyone know a cat toothpaste brand that they'll like? They hate the one that came in the kit that we bought, it's malt flavor.
post #9 of 15
Sue - You've received alot of great informative reponsives. I know you are concerned that she might lose some teeth. Don't forget they also have 32 teeth. Mine have lost teeth and it doesn't slow them down a bit in eating. Mom's Brody lost all four fangs!! He just sucks food to the back teeth! My Himmie had 2 teeth out and she was in alot of pain. I went back and got pain pills right away. They don't send any home with you usually. You have to ask. Other of my cats haven't demonstrate any pain and are eating like champs the next morning. Also, she will be very drunk when you take her home(at least mine were) and you have to hold her until her head clears up or she will fall down. Good luck. Give her a kiss for her Gramma
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Tillie is actually amazingly easy to medicate. We're giving her Clavamox twice daily, and an oral/topical pain med three times a day. She squirms a little, but generally doesn't give us a lot of grief like the others would.

Sunshine got his teeth cleaned tonight, and you would have thought we were taking him before a firing squad. Afterwards, if looks could hurt, we would have been in a lot of pain!

We made up a chart for all of the cats to monitor who gets their teeth done when. If we do one a night, we can get their teeth brished twice a month! Once they're more accustomed to it, we can do it more often. Right now it's a great big dramatic production..
post #11 of 15
Sue, you can probably buy either chicken or fish flavored toothpaste at your veterinary clinic. Also, here's a link with some useful advice on brushing a cat's teeth. http://cats.about.com/cs/dentalhealth/ht/cleanteeth.htm
post #12 of 15
I have 7 cats that need their teeth cleaned at least once a year because of plaque buildup. A vet in one of the forums told me that the FDA said "Science Diet Oral Care" was better at reducing plaque and tarter than brushing their teeth. My cats seem to like it so I've started feeding it to them two months ago.

The clinic I go to charges $100.00 for the cleaning, $60.00 for blood work and $25.00 for the Clavamox. With 7 cats that really adds up. They won't give a discount for teeth cleaning. They only give a 10% discount if you bring in more than 1 cat and that's only for office visits. I have 8 indoor former ferals and 5 outside ferals and they won't even consider giving me a brake with the bill.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
You know, this only fuels my desire to win the lottery, go to vet school, and donate all my veterinary services to helping feral and rescued cats.

Now, I just need to win the lottery. Sigh.
post #14 of 15
I noticed my black kitty isn't eating the solid wood i gave her but she eats canned really good. I'm hoping she just doesn't like the brand of dry and not that she has a teeth problem
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Princess Purr
I noticed my black kitty isn't eating the solid wood i gave her but she eats canned really good.
Well, darn it, Val, give her FOOD, not wood!
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