Cats and Dental Care

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Cats and Dental Care

    Let me start out by saying I do not trust my vet and am in the process of getting a new one.

    My vet is pushing a very expensive dental cleaning on me for my 10 yo cat.  The cat is in perfect health, eats like a champ and is playful and happy.  I can see that his gums on side are a bit red [the vet pulled it up for 2 seconds and it was mottled so I can't tell if he has mottled colored gums or if it really was red from inflammation. My cat, like most cats, does not let me do anything in his mouth to investigate the state of his teeth on his own].  She touched him for like 2 second and said his lymph nodes are inflammed possibly due to gingivitis.  She wants me to get $800 worth of dental work, plus $300 worth of pre-surgery blood work. This coming from the woman who could not handle my 10lb cat over the weekend. Let's just say it was a very traumatic vet appt and I cannot believe that 2 grown women w/ veternary training were literally quaking w/ fear b/c my cat was growling and hissing at them but otherwise sitting calmly and not moving. If you had people sticking stuff up your rear and giving you shots, you'd probably growl and hiss too.  He didn't swat at them until they cut one of his nails too short.  We got 4 nails on 1 paw done b/c I thought the cat was going to have a heart attack [they put a muzzle on him and he flipped out].  I don't have as traumatic an experience when I cut the cat's nails myself.  Can you tell I hate these vets? I only went back b/c his rabies shot was due to expire and they are the type that would rat me out to the state if the shot were 1 day late.

    Anyway, I am not putting my cat under anaesthesia unless he is going to die w/o it.  However, I am concerned about his teeth.  Until I can get in with another vet, I want to try some OTC remedies. I've done some reading and there is some kind of additive that you can put in their drinking water that is supposed to help w/ bacteria and help fight and 'treat' plaque and tartar.  I also want to get him some more chew remedies. The Greenies don't seem to be doing much.  Does anyone have suggestions other than major surgery or brushing teeth? I've tried to brush the cats teeth, and while he will gladly lick up the cat toothpaste, I can not get the brush near his mouth. 

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    The dental work is important.

       There are no OTC remedies that will stop systemic infection,  you'll just be wasting money.  

    You could consult with another vet.  Tell the vet you want a routine cleaning and whatever necessary extractions,  the minimum to keep him comfortable.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Let me repeat: I AM NOT putting the cat under anaesthesia. Period.  The only time I would consider it is if his life is in jeopardy. It is not.  Therefore, he will not be getting a 'routine' dental cleaning. 

    There has been no diagnosis of an infection or any other problem. In fact, I had all the presurgery blood work (to the tune of $250-300) they recommended last year before I came to my senses and realized that spending over $1k on treatment that the cat did not need [and that cost way more than the cost of human dental care for a 12 month period even w/o insurance] and was insane and that there was no need to expose him to the dangers of anaesthesia if he did not have any diagnosed problem.  He got a clean bill of health.  He has had no changes in health or weight in the past year. 

    Let me clarify:  I am looking for OTC remedies or remedies that I can purchase in a pet store that will help take care of my cat's teeth.  Has anyone tried anything that worked?  I am just looking for things that will assist w/ oral health. I realize that nothing will 'cure' an underlying problem if one exists.  But the same goes for humans - we don't skip flossing or brushing daily just b/c we still will need a root canal or a cleaning in 6 months. I am looking for the cat equivalent of daily preventative treatments that were not just flushing money away.

    ETA: dog-lady, I am located in VA.  It may be different in MA.  I cannot waive the presurgery blood work. They will not do the cleaning unless you get all the advance blood work done.  I also would never waive doing blood work and other tests to make sure my animal is healthy enough to go through surgery before agreeing to have surgery done on my pet.  That would be incredibly stupid. 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Alf, I wish I had an answer for you.  I however want to tell you I understand completely you not wanting your cat to go under anasthesia. Years ago I had a 4 year old cat that I was told had to have that done. So I followed their advice not thinking something could happen.  I too had to get the presurgery bloodwork or they would not do it.  The day I am suppose to pick her up, I get a call at work that all is fine and she is coming out of anasthesia.  45 minutes later they call me at work and tell me she died.  I almost fell out of my chair. I asked them how that could be possible and they told me she must have had an underlying condition they didn't know about.  I said, what??  Isn't that what I paid for with the presurgery bloodwork??  I still can't get over that happened and I changed vets right away.  Present time: My dog has a bleeding wart on the top of her head.  My old vet told me I have to have it removed and biopsied a little over a year ago which would make her 11 going on 12.  I told him she has had it for years but he still tried to push it to the tune of 1200 dollars to do.  I since moved and  my new vet told me NOT to have it done as she is 13 and the risk of anasthesia outweighs the wart and it is just unsightly but there is no indication it is dangerous to her.  Do what is best for you and your cat but get another vet for sure.  If the cat is having difficulty eating, then you will have to do it.  I know this is long, but putting a 10 year old animal under anasthesia is risky. Good luck and let us know how you make out. 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Oh, amber! That is awful. I am so sorry yuo went through that!

    Thanks, for the support. That is exactly waht I am afraid of happening.  The cat is perfectly happy and healthy and I love him more than almost anything in this world [other than my husband).  I can't see subjecting him to danger where it is not necessary. 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    And let us not forget, this is a business to make money. 20 years ago cleaning a cats teeth by putting it under was unheard of unless there was an infection.  I think it is totally unnecessary and they make people feel guilty for not doing it. Good for you to stick to your guns!  I would watch and see how he is eating. You will know if he is having difficulty and then you will probably have to consider it.  I have 2 cats now, one is 11 and the other is 9.  Neither has ever had their teeth cleaned nor do I brush them.  As that is impossible to do!! 

    p.s. my favorite was when my dog turned 10 and they wanted to run a series of tests on her to see what she may have going on as she is a senior dog.  The cost?  $500.  Told him no, said why would I need to know she may end up with kidney disease or cancer or whatever. I would be staring at her all day!  I adore my animals but I am realistic about cost and quality of life with them.   
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Oh, it was most definitely a guilt trip!  She asked me "don't you love your cat? What if something happened to him?" 
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Pets live longer now,  just like people they require maintenance and upkeep.  If you're not going to believe what the professionals tell you,  I guess I have nothing more to add.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    What???  Sorry you would have been reading about me in the paper... woman goes postal at vet office...  : )  It is pretty sad, but you really have to get more than one opinion today.  Find which one is the least greedy and really does care about your animal and pocketbook.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Really???  Interesting, my neighbor has a siamese cat that is 16 years old and has never been to a vet.  Same thing when I was a kid.  Pets need maintanence and upkeep sounds a little silly.  They are not cars, they are animals and let me add they are not humans.  Of course every animal should get a yearly checkup and shots, but the stuff vets are pushing today is just for the money. 
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    So, are you a professional, dog lady?  What kind of expertise do you have regarding cats and feline dental health?

    The vet has recommended "routine maintenance" for my cat. She has not diagnosed anything. She has not said the cat needs dental care or he will die. She has told me that she recommends that all cats get yearly cleaning. 

    I get my cat yearly appts and his shots are up to date. If he were in pain or had trouble eating, I'd have him checked out.  He is healthy, happy and fine. 

    I was not asking you or anyone for advice about whether to have the dental work done. That was clear in my first post. I was asking about whether anyone could recommend any kind of OTC method of routine dental care for cats.  If anyone has any advice on that point, I am more than happy to listen.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from lukeseri58. Show lukeseri58's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Alf,  i know this is over the top for some but if the cat is eating fine, do some research on raw food - i.e. bones --it helps clean their teeth -- this will give you a lot of info - i know lots of people think its nuts - but . . . rawfed.com/myths/cats.html
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    http://petdoc.com/story/gingivitis-cats        Gingivitis is infection.  It is a diagnosis.      You mentioned your vet said he probably had it.   As far as professional cleanings go,  the cat owners I know tell me once or twice per lifetime is the norm.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Alf, there are people on these pet boards that only push their own agenda.  They work for Petco, Shelters, Peta or all of them.  They don't listen to the questions, just keep pushing their websites.  There was a poster who was distraught over losing her pet and the advice given by one of them was to adopt another one ASAP and gave her a website to a shelter.  Made me ill.  I replied the poster needs to grieve and don't tell her to get another animal ASAP.  I put them on ignore. 
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Too funny the Petdoc link...  she doesn't hear you are not doing surgery, she is not interested in any other option for you, just pushing her links. 
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Hi Alf,
    My sister used the water additive and cat chews from the website below for her cat.  She said they seemed to work and the cat did not need dental work.  The cat passed away 18 months ago, but not because of bad teeth.

    Here is the website.

    ETA:  She didn't order from that site but was able to find it somewhere else.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    I would buy that winter. No way my cats let me get in their mouth.  Don't want to be bitten as a cat bite can be really serious.  Great advice and thanks!
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Thank you, winter!  CET was one of the brands I was looking at. I'll try to find some this weekend. 

    Dog-lady, the dental 'exam' where the vet said the cat may have gingivitis literally lasted 2 seconds.  It was pull up the side of the lip and say "see how it's red" I could barely focus on the gum before she dropped his lip.  I've seen the inside of my cat's mouth before - it's pink and black.  I could not tell b/c she didn't look long enough, whether the gum was in fact red. I don't see how she could either -she was basically afraid to touch the cat b/c he was growling.  It's like a dentist saying you have gum disease after making a 2 second visual inspection. How  would you be able to tell a disease was there w/o taking swabs or doing some kind of lab test ? Just b/c you have one symptom that may indicate X disease does not mean you have the problem.  The exam simply was not long enough for her to be able to tell anything definitive, IMO.  Had she wanted to run some tests to tell if the cat had gingivitis, I could understand that. But you don't tell someone w/ back pain they have a misaligned disc and schedule surgery w/o doing some diagnostic tests first. Why would I schedule dental surgery for a cat and subject him to potentially deadly anaesthesia b/c a vet who was afraid to touch my cat said he MAY have gingivitis after a 2 second exam?

    BTW, seeing as you have not listened to a word I've said in any post, if you think I am going to check out your link, you are smoking something. 
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    I've known many people over the years who had very old cats (16+ years old) a long time ago when this procedure was unheard of (at least in those households).  I'm sure they didn't have perfect teeth and gums, but they didn't seem to suffer any ill effects given that they lived so long and didn't act like they were in pain.

    My vet, contrary to other vets represented here, said that NO food should claim to clean teeth.  She likened it to our eating nothing but crunchy food to clean our teeth and said it's just as ridiculous for pets.  So, it's no surprise that you aren't seeing great results with Greenies as far as I can see.  They're pretty expensive, too.  Since dental wipes aren't an option for a cat (although, funnily enough, a cat is pictured along with a dog on the canister), I think I'd probably just let it go and just keep monitoring him for signs of mouth pain.  I can't think of anything else you can do given his aversion to having anything done to his mouth.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Thanks, Kar.  I'm still going to try out that CET additive and chews.  I don't expect anything to eliminate any tartar or plaque that is on his teeth already, but I would like to prevent or reduce the amount that goes on there in the future. 

    I guess it's worth pointing out that the appt that I had for the cat last weekend was for his annual exam and to get shots updated. It was not an appt b/c I had any concerns about his teeth. They gave him his shots, did a very short exam and started pushing expensive dental care as 'routine maintenance' along w/ some other 'routine maintenance'.  They printed me up an 'estimate' for all the stuff they wanted me to do that day, to the tune of ~$600 -$700, and to schedule dental surgery after scheduling pre-surgery bloodwork and testing.  I spent more time in one of the exam rooms w/ my cat who just wanted to go home waiting for them to put together an estimate than they spent w/ my cat.  I declined most of the 'recommended' treatment, got a guilt trip about 'don't I love my cat?' [yes, I do, which is why I am not subjecting him to unnecessary treatment and sedation], and left w/ a $200 bill for a fecal exam, a rabies shot, a distemper shot, weighing the cat, and a very very short exam.  I only made the appt b/c his rabies shot was due in July, I needed a weekend appt, and it was the last weekend in July. Otherwise, I would have brought him to the new vet I located close to our new house.   
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Totally true what you said Kar.  I do like the water additive and cat chews that Winter recommended, wish I had heard of that sooner. Def going to order some.  My cats do get cat treats and these look like that and the water additive cannot hurt.  I have never had a cat (and I have had many) that would tolerate me putting my fingers in the mouth and like i said, cat bites can be very nasty. Their mouths are full of germs and you can get very sick.  Dogs are much better at letting you go in their mouth.  Amber gets her teeth cleaned by the groomer when she goes, and on top that she gets bone with marrow monthly and daily milk bones. I have been told many times by a vet that she has great teeth for a Shih Tzu.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Another reason I don't think my cat has a diseased mouth is that he has bitten me and drawn blood many, many times.  I have plenty of scars on my arms and legs.  He lies in wait and then pounces. He thinks he's playing. I sometimes have to pry him off me and get the nastiest wounds.  I just slap some bacitracin and a bandaid on it.  I have not gotten sick yet. I think if he had some kind of diseased mouth, I would have. 
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    I have left many a vet for the reason you wrote Alf about the short exam, pushing things the animal doesn't need and the high price.  I am ok with the one I have now, but I am very clear up front and tell them what I am there for and to not try to sell me anything else.  This has become a big business with more and more people having animals.  Kar, I am aware of the wipes and the vets tell you to use them, but I have found in my experience, I can't get my fingers in their mouth long enough for it to do anything and it freaks them out.  Waste of money. When my Maggie was sick, they were giving me pills to give her and I could not get them down her throat for nothing.  I put it in food and she would eat around it and spit it out.  I called and told them I was having difficulty and I was told to come in and they would show me how to do it properly.  I knew I was doing it right as I have given Amber pills but ok.  So I go in and between the vet and the technician, neither one could get the pill in her. I would have laughed if I wasn't so frustrated at the wasted visit.  The vet finally prescribed liquid which was much easier to squirt down her throat.  And yes, they charged me for that visit. 
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Yeah, I'm not sure why the wipes are marketed to cat owners - I don't know any cat that would tolerate that ritual, lol.  And, I can't believe the vet charged you for the pill vs drops visit, ambergirl. 

    I guess I'm super lucky to have a scrupulous, caring vet.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from ruthcatrin. Show ruthcatrin's posts

    Re: Cats and Dental Care

    Ok, first off new vet asap and get a 2nd opinion.  A basic cleaning shouldn't cost anywhere near that much (though it does require putting the cat out).  I find it hard to believe that you cannot opt out of the bloodwork, check with the new vet on it.  It may not be recommended, but it should always be optional.  Try calling around, they should be able to tell you what their "base" price is for a cleaning and what they charge for having to pull teeth etc.  I know you don't want to have it done, but if nothing else it'll give you a ballpark idea of who's in it for the money.

    Definetly try the dental chews and water additive (they may not help, but if the cat will eat them, and it MIGHT help....), I use the water additive with my two and they are completely unbothered by it, just read the labels because some of them can be filtered out if you use a kitty water fountain.  There are "dental care" kibbles out there.  I tried them, but every one I tried cause serious digestive problems with both my cats, so be very carefull if you try them with your kitty.

    Signs that your cat may actually NEED his teeth cleaned by the vet.  Has his eating habits changed at all (eating less over all, eating less kibble and more wet food, that sorta thing)?  Does his breath SMELL, and I don't mean normal kitty breath smell, I mean he breaths on you and you flinch?

    I changed vets a few years ago when the former vet informed me that my cat's nasty breath was normal and not to worry about it.  Sorry, I grew up with cats, their breath may not be pleasent, but it shouldn't smell like that.  New vet took the time to show me the plaque on her teeth and how her gums were showing signs of infection.  So I OKed the cleaning, glad I did cause they ended up pulling 4 teeth, two of which just fell apart when the tech tried to clean them.  Admitedly she's not as old as your kitty, but she came out of the drugs with no side affects and an antibiotic cleared up the infection.

    They pulled 4 teeth and I still paid less than half what your vet is trying to charge you.

    Edited to add: its pretty well known actually, that animals feed a raw diet, who's diet included raw bones, almost always have awesome teeth, and I've talked to folks who started feeding raw later in their pet's life and said their vet couldn't believe the awesome condition the animal's teeth were in only 6 months later.  Raw feeding isn't for everyone, if only because of the germ possiblities not to mention the effort required to make sure the diet is properly balanced, but if you can tolerate the potential cleaning requirements you might look into which raw bones would be good for a cat (size matters) and see if he'll chew on them as a treat or snack on top of his regular food.
     

Share