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Hello - I'm new. Teeth cleaning for cats!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm new here, and I wanted to ask a question. I have two furbabies, Missy and Boo, and both are 14 years old and in good health. I just took them to the vet for an annual checkup this week and she suggested it's time for Boo to get his teeth cleaned, so I took him in today. It's much more of an involved procedure than I had thought - anesthesia, IV, the works! Just like surgery, and a price tag to match - some $350! Now, my question is this: I thought I had his teeth "cleaned" at his old vet's, and it certainly wasn't that big of an operation, in fact, they took both cats to the back room and they were both done in a few minutes. I'm assuming that they had received a quick clean of some sort at that time because there was no anasthesia, no huge deal.

Have any of you experienced either/or methods of cleaning? What's the difference? I'm assuming the first cleaning was wiping with gauze (or something cursory like that), and the second will be a true scraping of tartar, kind of like we get when we go to the dentist (ugh). I just didn't know there were two different things that are both called "cleaning" that are so different!
post #2 of 6
First off all what is the condition of your cats
teeth are they healthy and if so is it really needed.

Some cats are more prone to plaque buildup than others. Some never need dental care, others need to have their teeth cleaned at regular intervals. Many vets encourage you to bring your cat in annually for teeth cleaning, using a general anesthetic. The risk of the anesthesia itself is
a good incentive for doing some cat dental care at home.

If you must have the vet clean your cat's teeth, see if your vet is willing to try a mild sedative (rather than putting the cat under entirely) first then cleaning the teeth. If your cat is an older cat (5 years or more) and it must be put under, see if the vet will use a gas anesthesia rather than an injected form.

What you can do:

Brush your cat's teeth once a week. Use little cat toothbrushes, or soft child-size toothbrushes, and edible cat toothpaste (available at most vets or pet stores). Cats often hate to have their teeth brushed, so you may have to use a bathtowel straightjacket and a helper. If you are skilled and have a compliant cat, you can clean its teeth using the same type of tool the human dentist does.

Before I would go ahead and call your old vet and let his discribe his procedure to you and compare to the one suggested by your new VET. Then you have to make a decision. Best to you and your babies.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice! But it's too late - he's already had it done. I just called to check up on him (yes, I'm a nervous cat mom when my babies are in the hospital), and he's fine; no teeth had to be pulled. They do x-rays there and everything - that's one of the reasons it's expensive. It's very complete. He did have quite a lot of tartar built up - he's 14 years old, so if it only got this bad after 14 years, he's probably done pretty well so far, wouldn't you think?
post #4 of 6
Hi I just want to welcome you to the catsite. Glad you are with us. Would love to see pics of your babies.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
IS there a special place to post pictures or can I do it here? I'm no stranger to forums, but this one is huge !
post #6 of 6
Try the cat lounge - pictures are always welcome there!
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