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Senoir Kitty needs dental cleaning

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Has any one had a dental cleaning done on a senior kitty? It is looking like my 18 year old kitty is going to be in need of some dental work and I would like to hear from others who have their senior teeth worked on. We have an appointment next week with the vet, for an exam and bloodwork to determine if the dental work is necessary and if his teeth are what is causing his discomfort and vomitting. The clinic lead me to believe that with the newer technology available today, senior kitties can respond well to treatment. So, has any one had any experience with their seniors getting dental work done? Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 10
My young senior was 8.5 yrs old at teeth cleaning and did well - and he has other health problems besides being a little older.
He responded fine to the dental and anesthesia; he didn't want to eat for a while after it was done and he was kind of groggy, but otherwise, was just fine. Granted, he's not nearly as old as your cat, but since he did well with being a little old and having other problems, I figured I'd respond.
post #3 of 10
Depending on the severity of the dental problems, I've heard of some vets performing awake dental cleanings (depends on the cat too, haha) instead of drill and all, they'll usually just take a scraper to the cat's teeth, often right during the visit... I'm not sure all vets do it either, but it's something you could ask.... anesthesia is tricky and no matter the procedure, I always worry a little (plus it hikes your bill up quite a bit!)... I thought Oliver was gonna need dental cleaning, but Dr. Kathy says he doesnt need it yet (he is only 4) and started him on CoQ10 pills, which help with gum and heart health
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
We have been keeping an eye Sammi's teeth for awhile now, the vet has stated previously that he does have dental disease, but did not believe it was at the point that it needed intervention. But, he has started to swallow his kibble whole and not chew it. I think this is why he is vommiting, as the kibble swells up and then can't be passed, so it comes out the other way. Right now, until we can get to the vet, I will increase the amount of wet food I offer him. Thanks for the replies.
post #5 of 10
He should be on a wet food diet at this age ... Make sure to get a full senior panel in blood work and discuss the results in depth ... My 18 year old with CRF just had a dental with no issues but extra precautions were taken...
post #6 of 10
I agree w/ what Sharky said.

With the exam and complete blood work, they should be able to determine what kind of anesthesia your cat will need, and because of his age, they will do the cleaning as quickly as possible so that he doesn't have to be under anesthesia for longer than necessary.

That isn't to say something couldn't happen, but with technology the odds are slim. You run the risk of him passing away if you do the prophy, but also run the same risk if his teeth are bad enough. A nasty mouth is not something an 18 year old cat needs, and can cause further issue. It sounds like your vet is doing all they can to ensure that the teeth cleaning will be safe and effective, keeping your precious baby fat and sassy for several more years to come
post #7 of 10
My newest cat, Squirt, who is 15 years old just had a dental done a couple weeks ago. The vet ran a full blood panel and determined that he was healthy enough to have surgery and then proceeded as quickly as possible once under - they did x-rays as well to let them know what needed attention first.

He is a completely different cat now - before his breath could knock you out and he had developed ulcers on his gums and had started losing weight from not eating enough, even with wet food being provided. Within a week or two of him being here, he had the surgery and wow - NO smell to his breath (at least nothing foul) and he can eat dry food again (we still offer him wet as well) and within a few days of surgery he was drinking again - this had been a major issue prior to surgery, his teeth just hurt too much.

Talk to your vet about your concerns and make sure they are on the same page as you - I had to see two vets before I felt okay about the surgery.

Good luck!
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank goodness some of you with older kitties have had experiences with this. I have dreaded having to make a decision on a treatment in which his age would be a determining factor on the treatment's success. He goes to vet almost everytime something out of the ordinary presents itself. I feel reassured that there are others who's senior kitties have successfully been treated. Sammi does have kidney disease also, he has been on wet food, supplemented with additional water for a year now, and his numbers have remained stable. He still likes to munch on kibble throughout the day, I don't know why, but, at his age he pretty much gets what he wants, when he wants its. His last bloodwork was done in May, and the levels had not changed in 6 months. I am sure any vet would be reluctant to do any invasive procedure on such an older animal, too. I know whenever they see his file in the office, they take a deep breath before walking into the exam room, becasue they never know if they will have to tell me something bad. They had said that they would have to do the senior panel again to see where his levels were at, and possible x-rays depending on what his mouth looked liked. Thanks again for you replies.
post #9 of 10
I'm probably pretty bad when it comes to that, but I don't do dental work on my cats. I had my 10 yr old cat done (first cat) and he didn't react good at all when he came home. Kinda scared me into NOT doing it anymore on older cats.

My 15 yr needs it, but I just won't take them in. I do know others that have done their senior cats with few problems, but IMO its a bit risky unless its really needed for pain or loose tooth.
post #10 of 10
When my RB boy Snoopy was 18, I had to take him in, and have all of his teeth removed. His regular Vet refused to do cleanings and dental work on him, because of his age. By the time he had to have his teeth removed, it was a life or death situation. I took him to a new vet, who told me that they didn't like to put older cats under anesthetic, but that if they didn't do it, he would die, because of the gum infection. He said that he could pass away during the surgery, but he could also survive it, however, he said that if I didn't have the surgery done, he would die. I opted for the surgery. He survived, and lived another 2 years.
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