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Will my cat be ok if his teeth are removed?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 

I had the vet check stinkie's mouth and she said it's in very bad shape. She said he needs surgery to have all of his teeth extracted. She said he'll be able to eat anything and will be like a different cat afterwards, which sounds great. But it still worries me. How can he chew? He loves dry cat food. Has anyone else had to have all of a cat's teeth removed before? How did the cat deal with it afterwards?

post #2 of 55
Oh, I'm sorry! The good news is, your vet is right! There are a number of toothless kitties on TCS, and I think most of them eat at least some dry food. I'm sure they'll check in, but if his mouth is in such bad shape, he'll thank you and be happier for it! And he can still enjoy his kibble. Most cats don't chew much as it is. hugs.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif
post #3 of 55
One of my mom's cats lost most of her teeth (she has a couple fangs left but no back teeth). She gets mostly canned food, but she still eats her kibble just fine.
post #4 of 55
Two of mine have no teeth, and one of my parent's cats has no teeth.

They all eat canned & dry food w/o any problems at all. All at a good weight, look good, and are happy.
post #5 of 55

I've seen a cat with just canine teeth eat a mouse - whole, head first!  I'm sure if your cat's teeth are that bad she will be a lot better off without them.  It might not be too wonderful immediately afterwards, but the long-term benefits are not only will she lose the discomfort she probably has and be able to eat properly, but bad teeth are associated (in humans at least) with quite a few other health problems.

post #6 of 55
Was your cat diagnosed with LPGS (Lyphocyctic, plasmacyctic gingivitis stomatitis)? That is an auto-immune disease where a cat's body thinks their teeth are foreign invaders. My Stumpy has that disease, and had the last of his teeth pulled about 5 years ago. He eats dry food with no problems at all, in fact, he loves to steal dog kibble, which is much larger than cat kibble. He just sucks it down. Stumpy was eating kibble at the vets after the teeth extraction before the drugs had worn off from the surgery (the vet tech had some food out for another cat and didn't think Stumpy would be interested in food - ha! Shows them). I was talking to a vet last week about the topic, and he claims that most cats don't really chew kibble in the first place.

I wouldn't worry too much, they adapt very well.
post #7 of 55

Hi, I was searching the internet and saw this site and clicked on to read - im sure this is what my pedigree maine coon has and my vet has recommended extracting all his teeth. I feel so horrified by this that I have put it off for a while and just keep taking him for antibiotic injections that are clearly not working. I'm so sad at the thought of the poor soul having to end up with no teeth - he's only a couple of years old! I was pleased to see that your reply (and others) to the first lady asking about toothless cats seemed to be fairly positive on how they would cope. I think it's me who won't! Do you soften the kibble at all? I'm doing that just now as my cats will only eat their special maine coon kibble and its brick hard!

Regards, angela.

post #8 of 55
Again, I expect the others will chime in, but I can say with confidence that they do not soften the kibble. There's no need to. It sounds like your little fella is in a LOT of pain. I hope you'll be able to get comfortable with this. I don't know if you've had a toothache before... but your baby will really thank you for ending that pain! rub.gifhearthrob.gif
post #9 of 55

My RB cat Redman had to have many of his teeth removed.  He had teeth cleanings prior, but needed the extractions anyway.  He actually seemed a happier cat after the teeth were gone; he was in pain and we didn't even realize.  I don't recall him having any problems with eating after he recovered from the surgery. 

post #10 of 55
I don't soften the kibble at all.
post #11 of 55

Yes, absolutely!

There have been several cats through our rescue, the latest one was Cookie, a feral prego who I trapped and had her babies the next day.

She must have suffered terribly as any/all kitties, they are so good at hiding their pain but feel just as much as we do.

 

Within 2 days after the removal of all of her teeth, she was scooping up canned, learning how I'm sure, and as soon as I put dry in her cage she was chowing again, but without the pain!

She is now living her life out at an awesome sanctuary, any cat's idea of pure heaven, since I could not put her back where she came from, and doing great.

 

Food for thought, if you've ever cleaned up a cat's vomit not too long after they ate, notice the dry food still looks whole? They don't chew their food up like it sounds anyway!

Kitty will do fine, no worries   rryumy.gif

post #12 of 55

 I have a foster that has had 7 of his teeth removed and may need more done eventually. (He and his brother have auto-immune issues). He's doing fine eating dry kibble and feeling much better. He was back to eating dried in a couple of days. (We're watching him closely on his remaining teeth.)

post #13 of 55

My grandma's cat needed to have all her teeth removed and she is doing great! Eats dry food..and you wouldn't even know she didn't have teeth unless you inspected her mouth!

 

post #14 of 55

Our kitty has only the two mandibular cuspids left - bottom "canines." Vet is concerned that sometimes, when you extract those cuspids, the mandible (jaw bone) can lost its integrity. He says those teeth help stabilize the bone but is ready to extract them if she continues to be uncomfortable.

Oh, I'm SO glad to see this!! Our VERY favorite kitty - the one that make my sweet husband (a "dog man") fall completely and utterly in LOVE with cats - has the same problem that is cited here. She has had several extractions; the vet was always hopeful to spare a few teeth. But, the poor baby keeps having problems. With each extraction, she did MUCH better... until it would flare up again.

 

Our kitty has only the two mandibular cuspids left - bottom "canines." Vet is concerned that sometimes, when you extract those cuspids, the mandible (jaw bone) can lost its integrity. He says those teeth help stabilize the bone but is ready to extract them if she continues to be uncomfortable.


I have TWO questions:

 

1) Has anyone here seen this happen with full dental extraction? Anyone see the mandible become resorbed and kitty is left with pretty much no jaw? Or the bone becomes fragile and can fracture while romping with the other kitties.

 

2) She has trouble eating and it LOOKS like those monster cuspids are poking her mouth - the junction between the lip and the upper mandible. I don't know the name for that part of the anatomy - but ever since the top two cuspids were extracted, she's looked like she has had a lot of difficulty eating. I'm assuming there is some poking going on - our vet doesn't think so. I'm curious - anyone here see that happen? I love my vet, but I have to ask you guys - you all are so smart and experienced!! This is our first stomatitis kitty. Poor lass.

 

Thank you for your time!! BIG HUG!

post #15 of 55
Hi All

My eight year old indoor Birman female cat has only 4 front teeth remaining. She has eosinophilic granuloma, an autoimmune disease which inflames her gums and rots her teeth. Unfortunately the cortisone injections she has been having no longer seem to be holding the disease and she will soon have to have the remaining teeth removed I fear. I was concerned about how she would be able to eat, as both my babies live on Hills dry food. Also, my vet has told me that her tongue may hang out of her mouth after. Has anyone else experienced this happening? How do they cope? I only care about her comfort and wellbeing, not how she will look.
Sondra
post #16 of 55

I'm pretty sure the 4 front teeth aren't being used right now for chewing kibble.  So, there should be no difference in the mechanism of her eating.   We have one who had all but the 4 front teeth removed and her tongue sticks out a tiny bit at times.  She doesn't seem to notice.

 

Good luck.  Hope your kitty feels better soon.

post #17 of 55

My 14 y/o cat only has her front canines left. She eats everything in sight including kibble. I think she just swallows the kibble but every so often hear some crunching. Apparently their gums harden allowing them to chew. 

post #18 of 55

My 18 yr old cat was recently diagnosed with stomatitis.  She is getting over a URI right now, but will have some teeth extracted after that.............First time in my 58 yrs that I've ever heard of that! Sounds like it's not that uncommon!!

post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by beth1955 View Post

My 18 yr old cat was recently diagnosed with stomatitis.  She is getting over a URI right now, but will have some teeth extracted after that.............First time in my 58 yrs that I've ever heard of that! Sounds like it's not that uncommon!!

I had to have most of Toby's rbheart.gifteeth extracted, and I had never heard about it before then.  I was devastated!  But it turns out he did just fine crunching on the kibbles.  His tongue also sometimes stuck out like mentioned earlier in the thread.

 

Now my 13 year old Cricket has had some extractions and lost 2 adult teeth 'naturally'.  I found them on the floor.  To give you an example of just how well they still can chew, without many teeth....

700

 

Cricket now gets a raw chicken wing almost daily since I've switched to a raw diet.  He takes his time slowly gnawing away.  If he can do this with what little teeth he has left, the proof is in the chicken wing agree.gif

post #20 of 55

IIRC, cats, being carnivores, have sharp, pointed teeth because they use them mostly to hold on to prey and to tear it apart into swallowable chunks while eating it. They don't grind their food when they chew, like we do (humans are omnivorous, so our back teeth are large, with broad tops). At one point when poor Christy threw up a hairball right after she had her breakfast of dry kibble, I noticed that practically all of the kibble was still whole--and Christy's not a particularly hasty eater.

post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post

One of my mom's cats lost most of her teeth (she has a couple fangs left but no back teeth). She gets mostly canned food, but she still eats her kibble just fine.

LOL, I know I said this, but I forgot to mention that she also eats birds. Mostly those she finds already dead because she's getting too old to hunt. One flew into the window last week and all that's left now is feathers. I have no idea how she does it but. . .dontknow.gif
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post


LOL, I know I said this, but I forgot to mention that she also eats birds. Mostly those she finds already dead because she's getting too old to hunt. One flew into the window last week and all that's left now is feathers. I have no idea how she does it but. . .dontknow.gif

Well, obviously she cuts it into perfect bite-size pieces with kitteh laser vision!

post #23 of 55

My cat is currently dealing with Stomatitis- where the teeth are causing an allergic reaction and causing pain.  He has already had 6 teeth removed, and the vet said all of them will probably need to come out.  I am just wondering do you know if your vet wants to pull them all at once?  If that is possible I would go that route because it was 300 for just 6 teeth, then the pain medication and the antibiotic.  I can't find where it's bad to have them pulled at once.  My husband brought this cat from the city garage and it's just cost money money money.  I love animals, but in this economy we just don't have it to spend all on one cat, I have 2 dogs and another cat.  I am willing to go with taking the teeth out, but if that doesn't cure it, I will have to put him to sleep.  He is in so much pain now, it's Sunday and I can't get to the vet, and he fights me tooth and nail to get any medication down him.  I just pray that once all the teeth are out he will be ok.  The facts are that it cures 90percent of the kittys, but I will have that cat in the 10percent range.  I will try changing food too, this has me so upset, I worry myself sick when my babies are ill. 
 

post #24 of 55

Oh sweetie,

 

I am so sorry.  It would actually be better to do it all at once so there is only one anesthesia.

 

I am just  hoping he is a good candidate for the procedure right now.  He probably needs pain meds, fluids and antibiotics first to get in better condition for surgery.  Please either contact and ER clinic on call right away or get there the very first thing in the morning and explain what you have posted here. 

 

You are not at a point right now that you have to make any decisions regarding euthanasia.  This sounds like it could be fixable, you just need to get your cat healthy again. 

 

Welcome to TCS wavey.gif  Please keep us posted.  Let us know how he is doing through out the day.


Edited by TobyTyler - 11/18/12 at 10:45am
post #25 of 55
Quote:
The facts are that it cures 90percent of the kittys, but I will have that cat in the 10percent range.

I'm so sorry you are going through this.  We are too.  The 90 percent is debatable.  I've done a ton of research and read anywhere from 30% - 90%.  If you are hoping extractions will provide a cure it is very important to have a dental specialist or regular vet who is very experienced.  There is no room for sloppy technique because every single trace of dental root needs to come out...that involves taking x-rays before and after to confirm all the root is out.

 

And, it is fine to have a bunch of teeth extracted at once.  Our Lucy had all her teeth behind the canines extracted at once.  Unfortunately, hers was not done by a specialist and, although they told me they were going to use x-rays, they didn't.  She is still having to use steroids to control the pain and inflammation. 

post #26 of 55
I recently had to remove all my cat's teeth due to auto-immune stomatitis. We found our beloved Sheldon only months earlier at a local shelter, and on our first visit to the vet, we found that Sheldon had been underweight and living in pain for a long time, although his temperament never suggested such a thing. After 3 surgeries, he is happy and healthy, having gained weight and energy! The cuspids were the last teeth to be removed, and the trickiest as with those teeth, there is a greater likelihood of an abcess, but our cat did not suffer any loss of jaw integrity. Our vet had warned that his skin or lips might droop or sag more due to the structural support teeth provide, but that wouldn't be much of a concern.
I can tell you that Sheldon keeps his mouth open every once in awhile (when hungry or purring) and drools a little, but he also eats and plays with his sister just fine! If anything, we have seen him become more talkative and playful since his extractions.

I am sure most doubts concerning feeding have been dispelled, and we were skeptical at first, too. Our vet suggested mixing a little water in with our wet food to form a paste, but Sheldon doesn't discriminate between wet or dry, he will happily eat anything.

I am not sure that having all the teeth extracted in one surgery is the best option. Sometimes certain teeth can be saved, but perhaps not. I do know that extracting the teeth requires a very skilled and knowledgeable vet, whose skill and precision may waver if having to complete the entire tedious task in one go. Furthermore, a loss of all the teeth at once can be quite traumatic for the cat, who may have difficulty eating at all while healing. Sheldon was able to favor on side of the mouth through each recovery, which made it bearable for him to feed.

I know my vet has seen cases like this before and that her past extractions have all seen similar success, so I can't really comment on statistics, but I can say that extraction really can work.

This situation was unfortunate, but I am thankful for Sheldon every day, and am happy that I chose to extract his teeth. He has never seemed happier, which leads me to believe that he had been suffering from extreme pain before the extraction alleviated it.
post #27 of 55

I have a 14 yr old Main Coon who just had 8 removed 3 weeks ago. Prior to the surgery he would eat kibble, canned (Pate type), basically anything (loved tomato based foods).

 

Now he won't eat anything but soft-treats.  Maybe a few bits of kibble, but won't touch his favorite canned.  I've tried 5 flavors of canned.  At this point I'm having to give him an appetite enhancer (he absolutely hates the taste and it causes him to tear up) in order to get him him to eat.  I can't keep him on the appetite enhancer so I have to keep trying to find something he'll eat over the next week or so or I'll end up having put him down.

 

 

 

BTW..Health wise he's in top shape. X-Ray, blood work, urinalysis, everything came back normal except he's way underweight.

post #28 of 55

My Moody will also have some teeth removed on March 22nd.  I'm wondering how long after the extractions will his mouth be feeling okay to eat?  Is it common for the vet to send home paid medications and if they don't should I ask for some? 

 

He has also lost some weight over the past few months, is this common for cats with poor dental care to not eat as much because of the pain.  The vet drew blood to check for other health disease he may have that could be contributing to his weight loss.

post #29 of 55

You should definitely ask your vet those post-surgery care questions, along with what to do if he doesn't eat for a while after the extractions as well as how to administer pain meds.

 

I think that mouth pain could contribute to his not eating as much, but you should also ask the vet to check to see if anything else is causing the weight loss.

post #30 of 55

Well I got the news back on Moody's bloodwork.  All his vital organs are in wonderful shape for a cat of 13 years.  So the vet said all is okay to go ahead with his dental work this Friday.  What a relief!clap.gif

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