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Bad teeth- how desperate?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I'm new here, and I wanted my first post to be a little more upbeat, but now one of my babies is worrying me, so I guess I won't have that oppertunity til later.

Toby is a seven year old neutered male. He started out life in bad shape healthwise, but aside from his size, he has shown no sign of that difficulty, with perhaps one exception. He has a tendancy towards dental problems. Since he was a six week old kitten this has been an issue, and I have grown used to it. He's had his teeth cleaned 3 times, the last being only a couple of months ago. He did have a tooth pulled at that time.

So, what am I concerned about now? Well, 2 days ago I got up in the morning and went into the bathroom and noticed what I thought was a small dot of dried blood in the sink. I didn't think much of it at the time, but yesterday when I got home from work their was a little bit more. Now, of my three cats, Toby is the only one who can jump up and get to the sink, and, yes, he prefers to drink from a dripping faucet over the water in his bowl. So, it is quite likely that the blood came from him.

Also, I tried to give him his favorite canned food today, and he wouldn't take it. Over the last couple of days I've noticed that there's been a more dry food left when I go to refill the bowl, though I thought that might be because I'm trying to switch the cats to Innova from Eukanuba. And so far, since getting home from work today he has been acting a bit lathargic.

I have tried to look at his teeth, but he won't cooperate, and honestly, I am loathe to add to his discomfort. I am hoping to get him an appointment to see the vet tomorrow, but there is a good chance I won't be able to do that without skipping work, which could possibly risk my job. I'd be willing to do it, if the situation is desperate enough for that, but this cat's actions just aren't telling me enough. Any ideas, or advise?

(Jamie Riemersma)
Kitties Lexi, Toby, and Zac
post #2 of 14
First off welcome to the board, sorry you had to enter under such circumstances. I would stop feeding him dry food and switch to chicken or turkey baby food, or pureed cat food to see if that helps him eat. Mouth and teeth problems are a major issue for cats. I feed mine raw chicken wings once a month as scraping their teeth on the bones, helps to clean them. I have only had one cat that had to have dental work and he broke his tooth in a fight with another feral. If the vet visit could cost you your job, and you can get your cat to eat softer food, then try that first. I would also call your vet and talk to them about this and ask their advice. Good luck...
post #3 of 14
Welcome!! Also sorry you had to start off this way, but what else is this board for????

Do you know if it is teeth or gum problems, and is he drinking fluids? Some cats get chronic stomatitus which may cause bleeding in the gums and mouth pain therefore lack of appetite. Their mouths hurt and they typically won't let you open it up to examine them (I've had 2 with this problem). If left untreated, it can be life threatening. I suggest you get your kitty to the vet soon, but don't loose your job over it. Switch them over to wet food until you can get him in to the vets. If he isn't drinking fluids and becomes dehydrated, then get to the vet right away.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to thank you both for your replies.

I did get ahold of the vet, and I was able to schedule a time for after my normal work hours to bring Toby in, so that looks good. I also went out and bought some baby food, and he ate about a tablespoon of that. I'll try and give him some more in an hour or so.

As far as whether he is drinking or not goes, that is hard to answer. He doesn't like drinking from bowls, and in the 7 years I've had him, I have never seen him do so. He will drink from a dripping faucet, and also sometimes from a shallow dish with a little bit of water in it. I've left a shallow dish out for him, and that has needed refilling a couple times today, but I haven't seen him do the drinking, and there are 2 other cats here. I haven't seen him up by the sink since early this morning, though he hasn't shown much inclination for jumping up to the higher surfaces so far today, and the sink definately counts as one of those.

I will keep my fingers crossed for the vet visit tommorrow.

Again, thank you! I am so glad I found this board, it can hard sometimes to find people around here who understand the bond I have with my cats. I think this is going to be a good place to hang around.

post #5 of 14
Hi, and welcome!

Do you have a room where you can isolate Toby? That's what I did when I wasn't sure if one of my cats was eating or drinking. If you can put him in a room by himself with some water and you notice some of it is gone, then you know he is drinking something!
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Okay, the vet visit went well today. Two things showed up. First off, his gums were very inflamed, though his teeth were still nice and clean from the last cleaning. The vet gave him a shot to combat the inflamation, and said that should last him at least 4 weeks. I'll have to keep an eye on him, and bring him in again if things start looking like they're going downhill. The vet said the shot wouldn't take full effect until sunday morning, but I've already noticed a difference in his behavior, plus, the first thing he did when we got home was head for his food bowl! So, things seem to be making a rapid improvement.

Secondly, the vet found lots of fleas. I could kick myself over this, it's such an obvious thing to watch for, and I wasn't. My cat's have never had fleas before, but cat #3, who just joined the household a couple of months ago came from the city pound. I'm thinking he brought them in. Anyway, all three are on Advantage now, so hopefully I can get the fleas cleared out in a couple of months.

Well, that sums up Toby's problems. I want to thank everyone again. This is a great community, and I'm glad to have found it.
post #7 of 14
Sounds like the vet gave a shot of cortisone. It will make them hungry and it will only last about a month. If this is persistent, they can do something similar to a root canal for humans to clean out the gum tissue. They put them under and clean it out. Had that done on my Sammie-cat a few times and it really helped her.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
I don't like thinking about having more work done on Toby's teeth. ( My own bias here... he always acts so 'drunken' after his teeth get cleaned) He's doing much better now, but you are right. The vet did say the shot would wear off in about a month or so. I've got an appointment for one of my other cat's next week. I'll ask the vet then about other options for Toby. I do hate seeing him miserable. He's my little Angel.
post #9 of 14
OMG!!! Your little Kitty's problem is the same problem AND behavior patterns, that my little Missy has been having!! She did have 2 teeth pulled, and then got a terrible infection. She is still not herself, after antibiotics, a change in Vets, and a change in foods.(Although, I definitely see quite a bit of improvement, since I changed to this new Vet!) I have an extended length appointment for her tomorrow, with the new Vet, to make SURE her teeth that are still there, are not rotting under the gumline, and to find out whatever it is, I need to do, to help her feel like her old self again... I do hope your kitty keeps up with the improvements!
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
I think Toby just wants to see my squirm, I don't know. Maybe he's trying to get back at me for bringing Zac into the house?

I'm not sure what to do. My sweet angel kitty went pee on the kitchen table today.

He seems fine otherwise. He's been eating a little less of his canned food over the last couple of days, but he's still active and bright eyed. And I scoop the litter boxes twice a day, so I'll have a hard time believing that that was the issue. I know Zac has been putting him under a lot of stress lately; I'm hoping that has something to do with it... though I'm not sure how to resolve that issue either.

Anyway, I wish Toby would start having his little problems during the week, when the vet is open. Now I have to wait until monday to even ask if I should be bringing him in.

Crazy cat.
post #11 of 14
I just read where your cat had some teeth pulled. I'm having a problem with my cat. She just had two pulled yesterday and won't leave the stitches alone. She clawed at her mouth and I had to take her back to have them restitched. Did you have to do anything to keep your cat from pulling it's stitches out? I'm trying to figure out how to prevent her from doing this again. Thanks! Cathy
post #12 of 14
You might want to try an Elizabethan collar for your cat - it's a big round cone that goes over your cat's neck & makes it so that she can't reach her face to scratch it. Try asking your vet about it, or you might be able to find one at a pet supply store.
post #13 of 14
Aw, poor baby! I'm sorry for all you and your kitty have had to go through.

Cathy - were you able to get Toby to the vet? I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner. But cats that pee outside the box usually do so for a medical reason. But perhaps it was the medicine he's on? I wish you could have asked the vet before taking him in....

How's he doing?

Also, if he likes to drink only from "moving" water, you can consider getting a Drinkwell fountain (probably available through petsmart online). Don't get the Petmate - it runs down a slope, and our kitty that liked running water didn't use it. The Drinkwell pours out of a spout into a pool of water, and it's just like a sink with running water.
post #14 of 14
Thanks! That's probably what we'll have to do. Cathy
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