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Dental Surgery?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
At my cat's last annual checkup, the vet recommended removing a couple of teeth. My cat had dental surgery a few years ago, and it went fine. I'm worried because he's older -- his estimated age (he's a rescue) is about 10 -- and I read elsewhere on the site something along the lines of anesthesia on older cats carrying more risk.

He doesn't show any signs of his teeth bothering him other than periodically shaking his head. And unlike some cats (like my cat who died a year and a half ago), this one's such a curmudgeon that I think he'd let on.

So I'm worried about him not making it out of the anesthesia. Is it worth the risk? Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 9
Yes, IMO. I just did a dental on my 9 y/o farm kitty. She lost most of her teeth. Given how old cats live, he should be fine. Just make sure you do a full/senior blood panel prior to putting your kitty under anesthesia.
post #3 of 9
cat underwent surgery. Everything went fine. Good luck to you.
post #4 of 9
Shaking his head could be a symptom that his teeth are causing him discomfort. While there are always risks to anesthesia, there are also risks to not doing surgery. Broken or infected teeth can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream, which can damage the heart and other organs (they've found this to be true in people too). My previous kitty, Spot, was about 13 years old when I found him. He went through several surgeries, most related to an abscess on his head. He also had a dental done during one of the procedures and an rhinoscopy to investigate a nasal issue. He never had a problem with any of the surgeries, though he was a bit woozy after each one (the vet had used ketamine at that time). He passed due to a congenital heart condition.

My current old boy, Odo, is about 15 or 16 years old (by our estimate). He has had two or three dental procedures done over the past three years. He has not shown any problems with the anesthesia.

The vet should do a blood panel to check that his organs are working properly and that he doesn't have anemia. Ideally, the vet will use a gas anesthetic, like isoflurane or sevoflurane. My vet uses iso for maintenance in conjunction with propofol for induction. Talk to your vet about the anesthetics he/she plans to use.

post #5 of 9
My girl had anesthesia up until age 17 with no problems at all. When she was younger she had terrible after effects from anesthesia, but when she was older, the anesthesia was easier because of progress. My vet told me that they now use the same anesthesia for cats that hospitals use for babies.

Infected teeth are a serious problem for cats, not only causing pain and discomfort but also problems with eating. Please have your cat treated.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for advice!

He's scheduled for surgery mid-June. I would do it beforehand but I like to be home at least the day after they've had surgery, to keep an eye on them.

Meantime, he's having no trouble chomping on my leg! (He goes a little nuts when it's shorts-season. )
post #7 of 9
I think it is worth the risk but make sure they have him on IV fluids during the procedure and that they run blood work, either in house or send out before he goes under to make sure everything looks good.
post #8 of 9
I had a couple older cats that had it, plus an older small dog who ended up almost edentulous before he died. Mine did fine...I can understand your concern, though. However, the way I understand it, dental problems can lead to stomach problems that can lead to death for some pets. Plus there's the pain issue, if their teeth are giving them trouble.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, he had the surgery today - 3 teeth pulled. I feel so bad for him, he's so disoriented (from the anesthesia, I guess) and looks so miserable. He tried to eat a little baby food I got for him and got very frustrated doing it. He must be so hungry, though, since I couldn't feed him after midnight yesterday.

My poor boo. Even though I know he'll be fine and dandy in a day or two, it just makes me want to cry to see him look so uncomfortable. He's pacing like he's trying to get comfortable but can't.
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