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

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Alf, I've had cats all my life (a long one) and have only had one cat that I had her teeth cleaned.  She was about 8 and I was told there was a lot of tarter buildup.  For days afterwards she was not the same cat.  As with a human, there are all kinds of possible reactions to anesthesia.  I bring the cat I have now, yearly for a check up and shots, and always am told she should have her teeth cleaned, but I swore never again.  I give her soft food in the morning and kibble for indoor cats at night.

    As an afternote, I actually used to bring my animals to an older vet (now passed on) who would flick with his nail, pieces of tarter off the back teeth.  Didn't seem to hurt the cat a bit, and while it may sound gross, I'd much rather have that done than put her under anesthesia.  Haven't dared mention that procedure to my present young vet!

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Pingo, I would have been offended if my vet called me a "bad parent" for not knowing my cat had a tooth infection.  Unless you can get your fingers in their mouth and take a good look, you don't know.  Any animal that has an owner that feeds them, grooms them, takes them to the vet yearly is never a "bad parent"  Your son sound like a loving cat owner who did take care of the problem. 

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

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    I second robingirl Alf. I adored my tigger but that seems alittle extreme. What would happen if you didn't have it done? I don't know,but my vet never suggested it. Actually, I never heard of it. I think you might be right about them seeing a devoted female pet owner with a wallet a mile away.b.g
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    His teeth and gums are not decayed or infected. He just has tartar build up.  It's a preventative clean.  If it were to address an existing problem, pingo, I'd do it in a heartbeat.  This is just a 'routine' cleaning. 

    I think the cat is unhappy that I've gone back to work out of the house.  He used to follow me around all day and sit in my lap while I worked on the computer.  Now, he's moping and bored. I'm going to switch his food and see what a new vet says. 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Alf,

    I presently have 2 cats, both of which I have been told need their teeth cleaned for a few years now.  One is 10 and the other is 8.  I refuse to have it done.  I had a cat for 14 years that never had her teeth cleaned and she passed from cancer not bad teeth.  I don't want to scare you in case you do decide to do it, but i had a cat Bandit, who was 4 years old and they told me she had to have it done.  Not getting a second opinion was a mistake and i went ahead and did it.  I had a prescreening blood test to make sure she didn't have any underlying issues.  Unfortunately she did not make it.  When I asked what happened and how that could happen, they told me she probably had an underlying health issue they didn't know about.  I said really???  You charged me for the blood test to make sure she didn't.  Miss her still but it was a lesson.  My cats have always been indoor cats, but in the era I grew up in, all animals were outdoors and nobody went to the vet unless really sick and we had them for years.  My cats are fine and you can also buy cat toothpaste, which I do, and rub it on their teeth.  As much as they will let you! 

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from toytrumpet. Show toytrumpet's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Alf, the fact that his nose is warm and that he has diarrhea, I think hints that there may be an underlying problem.  Wouldn't hypothyroidism have shown up in the blood numbers?  I'm not sure. The fact that he's lethargic, I think may in part be due to this horrid humidity we've had.  Good for you for deciding to get a second opinion.  We all know our cats best, and you have picked up on the fact that he's just not himself.  If only our pets could talk.  I've found with my cats that they don't do well switching foods.   Cheerio would eat whatever I put down probably, but when I first got her from the Animal Rescue League, since I was starting out with a new kitty, asked my vet (the same one who would hand-clean the tarter) what was the best food to start her out on.  I was sure he would give me the name of one of these newer "complete balance" mixes.  He said, "You've had cats for years and they've all done well.  Feed her whatever you've been giving the others."  That turns out to be 1/2 of a a little can of Fancy Feast original beef in the morning with a few pieces of Purina Kibble for Indoor Cats, maybe a few more in the middle of the day since she seems to think when she sees me eating it must be time for her to eat (!), and then 1/4 cup of the kibble at supper time.  I never vary other than to give her a little 1% milk after breakfast., and of course tidbits of what she considers treats.  A couple of times I tried to vary the flavor of the F.F., but she would throw up.  My point to this long post, is that I think it's best to find what food they enjoy and do well on, and then stick with it.

    We're all anxious to see what diagnosis you get.  Please keep us up to date.  Good luck to you and your cat.

    9:15 Afterthought:  Could you get a printout of the blood numbers from the test he took - same as we get from our doctors?  Just tell him you want it for your records.  That way she won't have to undergo and you won't have to pay for, another complete blood workup at another vet's.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from dkb6248. Show dkb6248's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Hi Alf –  

    I wanted to chime in to second CT-DC’s advice for checking his T4 levels for hyperthyroid.  The same thing happened to my cat recently and it turns out she has hyperthyroid, which my vet says can be common in older cats. 

    A few years ago a past vet told me the same thing about teeth cleaning, but at the time I didn’t have the money to do it.  I now have a wonderful vet who told me that it is only necessary if the cat has a severe dental problem that could affect the overall health – tartar buildup does not fall under that category.  My cat is now 14 and he says she does have some buildup, but her overall dental health is really good and teeth cleaning is a luxury, not a necessity.

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

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Thanks.  They do all kinds of tests to make sure the cat is okay first.

    I didn't even know he had lost weight till I went to the vet and saw the scale.  He's pretty bony from above, hipswise, but he's got belly hang that flops when he runs [always has].  He's like the skinny middle aged guy who gets a bit of a pot belly.  My mom, however, thought he looked skinny when he visited.  But she has a 140lb overweight Rottweiler, so I didn't pay too much attention to her analysis.  lol.

    Unless his panel comes back showing a problem where he needs his teeth cleaned, I have decided to forgo his teeth. I've read too many stories [on here and in my anaesthesia research] where the kitty didn't recover from the anaesthesia.  I'd rather keep Charlie around than chance it. 

    He's on dry food [Purina One - Healthy Weight maintenace b/c believe it or not, he was a few pounds overweight a few years ago and it was recommended he lose a few; guess we got carried away. lol].  I'm switching back to the Urinary Tract one and adding in some tartar cleaning chews if I can find them. 

    I did try brushing his teeth as a kitten. Yeah, that didn't go so well.  He's a biter to begin w/ so that was a barrel of laughs.  He will eat the toothpaste though. I don't think that's going to cut it.  Kar, I'm not going to use the spray for 2 reasons - 1. I make pssssst noises to scare him away when he's being bad. It sounds like an aerosol can.  Areosol freaks him out - if I use hairspray he takes off. The only aerosol he will stick around for is whipped cream. ;-) 2. He's not going to let me spray anything in his mouth or face w/o a fight.  I'll try some chews or a different brand of food and see how it goes. 

    Thanks for all the help!!!!
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Alf,
    Re weight loss:  test for hyperthyrodism - this is done by getting a blood test for T4.  And if the T4 comes back at all "high or on the higher range of normal" then have them do a 'free T 4 test' to check, because that's the most definitive test for hypothyrodism.

    then, if your cat is healthy from all blood tests and your sense of his health (you know your cat) then I'd consider having his teeth cleaned.  Many cats (esp. indoor cats that don't chew on bird bones et al) end up with serious teeth issues.  Tarter buildup sounds like no big deal, but actually it will encourage the gums to get infected, and infections in the mouth can cause real problems, as the infection can get into the blood stream.  We now know that dental issues cause many health problems in humans, and it would also follow for cats and dogs.

    Now, your cat probably won't be able to get rid of tarter if it's on the back teeth (although if your vet will try to clean it with fingernail or a dental pick that would be great, and maybe it's possible, if so, I'd have that done) it's not going to be easy to get it off with greenies and hard food. 

    And, tarter will increase and eventually perhaps your cat will end up really NEEDING his teeth cleaned and by then he'll be a few years older, and it's harder and harder to put a cat under as they get older as it gets less safe. 

    If you want a great vet in the Maryland area (Laurel, MD) then call North Laurel Animal Hospital.  http://www.nlah.com
    Dr Bob Cohen is fabulous, we're new clients but we've been really unhappy with another vet down here, and now we are very happy. I know you're in VA but perhaps it's worth the trip? 

    I hear you, I totally do, about being worried about anesthesia.  I've had two different cats have dentals done, and been happy with all of those - the cats were probably somewhere between 5 and 9 yrs old - my current 18 yr old cat has had a dental done twice in her life - and even had to have teeth removed because they were so decayed.  At the same time, I was brought up with a gazillion cats and my mother has probably only had about 8 cats need dentals in 20 + years (seriously a gazillion, when I was in 2nd grade we had 12 cats because one female had just had a litter). 

    Some cats have teeth problem tendancies, while others are just fine for 20 years without it! But I did have a cat who was about 10 or so put under for another procedure and he never got better - found out that his kidneys were a problem and he couldn't get rid of the anesthesia properly for a few days and by then the kidneys were in real trouble, so I did have to put him down.  So can you have his kidneys tested to see if they are fine, too?  that would be 1 more test just to be sure.

    I've had that done with my 18 yr old cat to see if her kidneys are healthy - it's an easy urine test.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    What did the vet say about the weight loss?  Has he been tested for parasites?  That's a big percentage of his weight to lose in a year...

    I don't know about the teeth cleaning, sorry!  I know I worry about it with my dog, and am contemplating introducing a daily teeth cleaning ritual.  What we do for our fur babies!

    Can the vet provide you with the vital statistics for cats your age and anesthesia?  I think I'd feel better about it myself if I saw that the incidence was very low.  Everything like that requires a decent risk/benefit analysis for me to feel comfortable with my decision.

    GL!!
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoneToTheDogs39. Show GoneToTheDogs39's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    GET ANOTHER OPINION ASAP !
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Yeah, I don't trust this new vet. I got a message today that his tests all came back fine, but he's been lethargic for the last few days. He didn't touch his food yesterday - well, that is, until I cut up cooked chicken and gave him left over tuna and he ate that like it was the last food on the planet.  then he had diarrhea today. He has never had it before.  It was in the box, but still, I'm concerned. He's acting fine tonight but his nose is warm.  I am planning on trying to get in to see another vet this weekend.  Not going back to the other place again. 

    He may just be bored w/ his food and holding out for better stuff b/c he knows I'm a sucker and will give it to him.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from tomarra. Show tomarra's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Alf,

    I would get a second opinion...plus I would try getting some food, treats and toys that helps with the tartar build up first.

    Good luck!
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Oh, I just got my Only Natural Pet Catalog, and what's the first "recommended product" on the front page?  "Only Natural Pet All Smiles Oral Care Spray."

    I haven't tried this product, but all their others (Lawn Protect, Tic Clip, Multi-vitamins) have been fabulous.  Here's a review from their website:

    5 Stars (Paws)  "I have used for 2 weeks and already see improvement! Definately helps the stinky breath issue. Wish I would have taken a before picture, as I intend to take an "after" picture. I am excited & will update...becasue its way easier than brushing her teeth!"

    The description reads in part, "...herbal dental spray for pets to remove tarter and prevent plaque build up...spring into your pet's mouth between meals.  One treatment a day will go a long way..."

    All Smiles
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    I would of course take care of any infected teeth myself Alf, like you, but tarter is common in cats especially the back teeth.  I can only get the toothpaste in their mouth with my finger and do my best to swish it on their teeth, but very difficult.  If anyone has any suggestions on how you can actually "brush" a cats teeth, I would love to hear it.  I have been bitten more than once and it is not fun.  Cats are very different from dogs.  I can brush Amber's teeth, no problem. 
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Alf- Our former vet said the same thing about our cat about 5 years ago. We chose not to have her teeth cleaned. She has not lost any teeth and she eats just fine. I personally don't think it's worth it unless it's really affectingt he cat's health or if the problem develops while the cat is still young (sign of chronic dental problems). We just stopped giving our cat soft food, bought her food with slightly larger size pieces so that she'd chew more, and give her greenies. She still has some plaque, but she's almost 17 now, so we're not concerned.

    Did he lose the weight rapidly, or did it slowly slip off? is he having more hairballs than usual or did you change his food?
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Too bad about the noise association re the spray.  Sounded like a decent product.  Oh, well! 

    I've been doing research on this, too, for you and Gracie, and I've read things that indicate that the idea that dry food cleans their teeth is a widely held (even by vets) myth.  It might clean the very tips of their teeth, but not up where there is tarter.

    Here's one that made a lot of sense to me on dry vs. wet food and the effect on tartar.  Of course, you can't brush a cat's teeth like you can a dog's, but the info on the effect of crunchy food would be the same I'm assuming.  There are many articles (type in "dry food pet cleaner teeth" in google), but they all say about the same thing as this:

    Dry vs Wet Food effect on pet's teeth

    I mention it so you will feed Charlie whatever he likes and what you feel is nutritious, not considering the effect on his teeth.  I just started wetting Gracie's food, really soaking it, because #1 it prevents bloat, #2, she likes it a ton better, and #3 it will have no negative impact on her teeth like I thought it would this whole year.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Amber, the vet didn't actually called them that - I did. My DIL grew up with several cats in the house as well as at her fathers plant and they have used this vet like for forever. He is very conservative in all his treatments, and if he suggested to have the teeth extracted - it would be necessary.
    My DIL was completely surprised. She had never seen her parents or anyone else in the house hold clean their cats teeth. But now they do it. It is not easy. They showed me how one hold the cat tight, while the other open kitty's mouth and put a stick in btw. the teeth, then smear on some paste, the vet gave them. Even then they are not always successful. But they said it gets easier every time they do it. Maybe the cat just have to get used to it. But it is definitely a two person job.

    In Response to Re: Kitty dentistry:
    [QUOTE]Pingo, I would have been offended if my vet called me a "bad parent" for not knowing my cat had a tooth infection.  Unless you can get your fingers in their mouth and take a good look, you don't know.  Any animal that has an owner that feeds them, grooms them, takes them to the vet yearly is never a "bad parent"  Your son sound like a loving cat owner who did take care of the problem. 
    Posted by ambergirl[/QUOTE]
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Alf,
    I don't want to press the alarm button, but I would NOT do the procedure, and if you do anything, go for the second opinion. 

    It is very typical that an older cat will have this problem, but that does not mean it will shorten his life.  It's a condition, and it's unavoidable.  But that doesn't mean it needs to be treated.   Not when it endangers his life. 

    Do you feed your pet dry food that has a "cleaning" edge to it?  Try adding dry food to his diet, if you're not doing so now.

    And have his blood sugar tested regarding the weight loss.  Has he been tested for feline diabetes?  The stress with the move, his age, and the tartar could all be contributing factors, so please have him tested ASAP.    Please.   If he is eating and losing weight, that is a sign. 

    Your instincts are on target IMHO.  Putting a kitty under is a very, very serious, and you're very wise that your instincts kicked in like that. 

    Take care.  
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Sorry Alf, you are having these problems with your beloved cat.
    All I have to add to all the great advice you have already gotten is - that my son's cat had to have a couple of teeth extracted, b/c there was so much tartar build up, that his gums were infected and he was not able to eat his food properly.  He lost weight as well.
    He was put under, teeth removed. Went through the ordeal fine, and now he is better than ever. My son knew he was suffering, but had no idea why.
    The vet told them, they had been "bad parents" not to take care of kitty's teeth.
    He told him to brush the cats teeth regularly - eating cat food and kibble won't do it. No matter what the bag says.
    Best of luck to you and your kitty - Pingo

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Alf,

    You still should check regarding the weight loss.   There are many factors that could be causing the problem, so rather be safe than sorry.  Weight loss of that magnitude, at his age, is troubling.   Stress could be part of it, moving is very, very stressful on a cat.  I have had experience with that so did a lot of reading at the time, as I was very worried. 

    Hopefully, you'll get the tests and they'll all come back negative.  But if not, you can't afford to not know what's wrong, because he may need treatment and the longer you put it off, the worse the condition will get. 

    Two of the main causes that you want to test and hopefully rule out are feline diabetes and hyperthyroidism, both mentioned above in this thread.   But there are other causes, as well. 

    Here are a couple urls:

    http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=library&act=show&item=doesdryfoodcleantheteeth

    http://www.cat-world.com.au/weight-loss-in-cats

    Glad you've made your decision about the teeth cleaning.   Sounds good. 
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Alf - I'm a little behind on this thread, but we have two 12-year-old cats and have never had their teeth professionally cleaned.  Our vet said recently that we might want to start brushing their teeth (um, yeah... I'm SURE that would go over well!), and when I mentioned something about getting them cleaned at the vet she seemed to think it wasn't necessary.

    So I agree with the others that a second (and even third) opinion might be a good idea.

    BTW - our cats LOVE whipped cream too!
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Pink,

    I had battle scars for real at first.  They DO NOT like it at all.  But they "tolerate" me for a little bit so I can at least smear it on their teeth.  I honestly don't know if it helps since they do have tarter but no infections.  I do believe tarter is normal.  My next door neighbor where I use to live has a 16 year old Siamese cat that has never been to the vet a day in her life.  Go figure... 
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    Any attempts I've veer made to look inside my cat's- or any cat's- mouth have always ended badly: Bitten fingers and scratch marks.

    Sometimes I seriously wonder if all this modern vet medicine really benefits cats or just prolongs their lives in an unnatural way that they don't enjoy.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Kitty dentistry

    I totaly agree with you Pink.  Everytime I bring Amber to the vet they want to run a bunch of senior citizen tests on her to see if she has any underlying issues or issues that may come up in the future.  Why in the world would I want to do that?  I know she is old, she is going to go blind, already has the haze over her eyes and is going deaf.  Oh and the cost for those test?  $500....  I make sure she gets her yearly physical and I am just grateful every day I have her and my cats.  It's funny Pink, I even told my own doctor I was sick of him sending me for tests as I am over a "certain age" because they always find something wrong.  Tough getting old for animals and humans alike, but it is what it is.   There is no right or wrong to me in caring for our pets.  Each is different with different needs, no two are alike. 
     
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