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First dental cleaning?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
We have two cats: Sassy La Rue, a CRF'er and Lola Rocket - healthy, way too energetic one year-old.

Since the vet doesn't recommend cleaning her teeth, we've never had a kitty cat dental cleaning (and her mom has a true fear of the dentist so she has no problem helping her feline avoid it) but Lola is a new beast who will need cleanings.

So, bottom line, when is the first cleaning done?
post #2 of 12
I guess that is something depending on the cat and the vet ... I know vets who recommend yrly at age 3 and others that wait till 7 or 10 depending on cats tarter amount

Kandie had her first at age 10

Zoey is 5 and has NO need yet

my Yorkie ( I know not a cat ) had hers at age 12 yrs 11 months
post #3 of 12
It definitley depends on the cat. When you go in for a yearly exam they should check on the teeth and tell you how bad they are.

One of my cats who was to turn 3 this year [may he rest in peace] had quite a bit of tartar on his teeth but his gums weren't angry yet. He never had his teeth cleaned. I imagine doing a dental every 2-3 years is pretty fair depending on your cats mouth. You want to look for nasty brown stuff stuck to the teeth and red/irritated looking gums.

My cat Napolean has severe food allergies, he had a prophy[teeth clean] two years ago, we pulled some loose inscisors as well, now two years later his gums were angry and we pulled a couple of his back molars. It could be related to his overactive immune system, but that is our situation, he'd probably do well with a prophy every two years with dental check ups in between.
post #4 of 12
My girl will have her first cleaning (that I know about - got her at age 4 as a stray) this year - at about 7 - vet saw tartar during the exam.

My boy had a cleaning last year, at 6 - due to tartar - and didn't need a cleaning this year,but probably next year.

Basically, vet should be doing an exam yearly and letting you know what she thinks. If you can start brushing the teeth, that's terrific, and some cats do take to it - even my vet gives me a pass on my two, although I have tried.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys so much!

I didn't know if it was something to be done yearly or when. I know that the vet does check Sassy's teeth at the yearly appointment but Lola is a stray and just turned a year and I didn't want to be lax in her care.
post #6 of 12
Well, it would seem that the concensus here is that dental cleanings ARE necessary. I grew up on acreage and in all the years I've had cats they never needed dental work! I had a cat once who needed a tooth pulled when he was 12, but that was it!

I now have a 5 year old Maine Coon aka "Money Pit" who I've been told needs a cleaning and a couple of extractions. I do agree she has a fair amount of tartar build up and I can see the absess that requires the extraction so I am not doubting my vet's wisdom.

My concern is the cost I've been quoted. Everything I've read via the search button on this forum would indicate a cost of approx. $500 on average. I've been quoted a minimum of $850 and upwards! I am going to consult with another vet in my area (I live in British Columbia) this week, but does that not sound rather high? My vet does have state of the art everything - from what I can tell. But I do suspect that he knows I will pay what is necessary because our kitty had an injury a few years back that we spent thousands on fixing, rather than euthanize her. I think he may be taking advantage of us. I don't understand why he can't give me a more concrete quote than $850 to $1500!!! Does that sound strange to anyone else?
post #7 of 12
Well, that's a lot more than I paid for Dharma's cleaning. Her simple cleaning (she didn't need extractions, and thus, no x-rays) was about $150 including anesthetic. I'd had her bloodwork done during her check-up, and that was about $90 (I'm in the Chicago suburbs). I guess I'd want to know what all was included for that price (does that include after-care, pain meds, etc.?) - I know extractions, etc., will necessarily run up the costs, and the surgery itself will be longer than a simple tartar cleaning like Dharma had.
post #8 of 12
I am not totally sure what that includes - but I know it isn't her pre-surgery bloodwork because we just paid $60 for a mini-panel. Probably doesn't include the anti-biotics that he says she needs to take before and after the surgery either, because they asked me at her check up if I wanted to pay for those ahead of time. Good question though. I will ask for a complete breakdown. I really do feel as though I'm being gouged - and it's always best to get a second opinion. I'm going to call the "other" vet in town right now and see if I can't get her examined today.
post #9 of 12
My daughter's holistic vet just took his fingernail and scraped off the tarter on her cat's teeth. He said that was all you needed to do, and didn't need to be charged an "arm and a leg" for the service. Her cat had a UTI - which the vet said was caused by the build up of the tooth tarter resulting in bacteria and then the UTI. (I believe I am relating the story correctly.)

Where I live the pet store - PetLuv - has a sign where they have a service of teeth cleaning - with no anesthesia, maybe they're doing about the same thing that my daughter's vet told her to do?

The one reason I never wanted to get teeth cleaning done was because the practice was to put the animal under anesthesia to clean the teeth - guess that practice is no longer the norm .
post #10 of 12
<The one reason I never wanted to get teeth cleaning done was because the practice was to put the animal under anesthesia to clean the teeth - guess that practice is no longer the norm .>

I don't think you could do a thorough cleaning on either a cat or a dog without anesthetic - or being willing to lose a hand!!!! Regular tooth-brushing can be done at home (with either those tiny little brushes or a finger), but a good cleaning, including under the gums, of even moderate tartar probably does require a bit more involvement, and an extraordinarily cooperative pet, if you're not using something to let them sleep through it. I"m just trying to imagine x-raying a cat's teeth while he's wide awake - not a pretty picture in my mind!

I'd be worried about that pet store's services - bet they don't have even a licensed tech on hand, let alone a vet. They may just be brushing the animals' teeth, which is probably ok if nothing goes wrong - but anything more involved really, IMO, should involve trained & licensed pro's.
post #11 of 12
Hmmm ... altho I am all for anything holistic, I do think that cats need to be sedated in order to properly scale their teeth. Especially MY cat!! She's a scrapper!!

I don't think the cats I had in the past ever had issues with their teeth because they were good 'ol outdoor cats who caught mice and ate birds and chewed on bones to keep their teeth naturally clean. Today's house cat - mine included - don't have the proper diet to clean their teeth. Although her diet is about 80% dry kibble, it just isn't the same, IMO.

I have an appointment to get a "second opinion" later this week. I will let all know what I find out.
post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by monyd View Post
I don't think the cats I had in the past ever had issues with their teeth because they were good 'ol outdoor cats who caught mice and ate birds and chewed on bones to keep their teeth naturally clean.
I think genetics may also play a role. My friend has an older cat (11-12 years), and her vets (she's been to several) have never recommended a cleaning. My two young Siamese, however, will no doubt need them before they get even near that age; I know that a tendency to develop gingivitis is common in this breed.

As for cost...I believe it's quite costly at my vet's, so I try to brush regularly!
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