Poor Snickers!! Please help -- kitty dental questions - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Poor Snickers!! Please help -- kitty dental questions

Please help!

Snickers has not been eating well and seemed to be licking his mouth frequently. I took him to the vet who checked his mouth and found that the back of his mouth was very red and sore. This could be caused by illness (which we are doing tests to rule out) or more likely dental plaque.

The vet feels strongly that the problem is dental. Even if it isn't, he recommends that we have Snickers teeth cleaned and potentially pull out any bad teeth. As a precaution, Snickers is on antibiotics to combat possible infection. We will get lab results on the blood work tomorrow.

I am unhappy that Snickers is uncomfortable and also about the prospect of a $400 dental cleaning that requires anesthesia!!! I want to do what's right for him but am in unfamiliar territory here.

Has anyone else ever had to do this? Does anyone have advice on at-home dental care? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Owned by Pepper and Pumpkin RIP Snickers 8/22/00 -- 11/28/06

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 12:27 PM
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It's hard to tell from your description of the problem. I can only assume the vet is prescribing the correct treatment. Red and inflamed gums would be due to dental problems. An ulcer on the lining of the mouth would most likely be due to the calici virus.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 02:33 PM
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My older cat has had his teeth cleaned twice. The first time the vet told me his gums looked red and swollen, and we should get his teeth cleaned. A few years later, the vet said it should be done again. I never paid $400. The first time it was $150, and the second time I found a place that only charged $65.

I would look for a place that is a little cheaper, but would get it done as soon as possible.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 03:16 PM
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Poor kitty! I would suggest following your vet's advice and get his teeth cleaned, although I would check around for a vet that will do it for a bit less. The first clinic I worked at (out in the country) did feline dentals for about 80 bucks or so, the one I work at now does them at about 100 or so. The procedure is relatively simple, but the anesthesia part is unavoidable. If you've ever had to hold your cat down to give him a pill, you'll understand why... Also, since teeth are such a vitally important part of a cat's anatomy, no one would want to risk damaging the root of the tooth or the gumline, hence another reason for putting them under. I would point a finger at the Calici virus, but I was told (just a few days ago, and now I'm glad that I asked!) that the virus is usually contracted early in a cat's life and comes from being unvaccinated. If you've had your kitty since kittenhood and he was (and still is) routinely vacc'ed, then you can probably rule out the virus. In any case, the virus causes the ulcerations (like timskitties said) on the gumlines and roof areas of the mouth. Generally, cats with the Calici virus lose their teeth at an earlier age than a cat who does not have the virus. It can also cause watery eyes, discharge from the eyes and nose, and sometimes sneezing or coughing/hacking. I think this virus can also weaken he immune system enough to worry about secondary illnesses, so it is good that you have Snickers on a preventative medication.

As for at home dental care, there is quite a bit that you can do yourself. Many pet supply stores and vet offices carry canine/feline toothscrubbers and specially formulated toothpaste. The vets that I work for say that pets' teeth should ideally be brushed once a day, but once a week is better than not brushing at all. Brushing your kittie's teeth will prevent him from having to undergo a dental again in the near future (say in about 6 months instead of a year or two after the first one). It will also give you the opportunity to monitor Snickers' mouth in case he should have a recurring disease of the mouth. Don't feel silly about brushing his teeth, either. Many of our clients seem to feel goofy just asking us, but it really is a good idea. When you get the test result back, go ahead and discuss at-home dental care with your vet. If you decide to go ahead and start doing the brushings, your vet or a tech should be more than happy to show you how to do so. Good luck and keep us informed!


P.S.- Just for additional info, if you've ever looked at the abbreviations for feline vaccinations, the "C" part of FVRCP is for Calici virus. The letters stand for different diseases, although in FVRCP, the first 3 stand for one virus. They are: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia. The same goes for dogs with DHLPP, the letters stand for canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 04:21 PM
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Also if you get toothpaste for cats make sure its not fluriode because that is bad for cats.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2005, 08:37 PM
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The last dental for my cat, Levi, was $800 Can. The year before it cost me abou $550 Can. I wonder where the rest of you get such cheap deals . I mean, $80 for a dental, Wow! One of the main reasons it cost so much, was because Levi also needed 5 teeth out. Luckily for me, they could do coronal reductions (cutting the tooth off at the bone) rather than full extractions because the teeth had fused to the bone. If it had included extractions, it would have cost me over $1000.

I really think you should get the procedure done. Obviously the teeth are severely affecting your kitty, if he is having trouble eating. Does the $400 estimate include extractions? It would have been approximately $425 Can for Levi with no extractions or X-rays (needed for extractions). Does the estimate include IV fluids and pre-surgical bloodwork (I opted for both)?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 08:55 AM
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I had Zoee's teeth cleaned a few years back. No extractions, just the cleaning. It was $75.00. I had no idea it could be hundreds of dollars for dental care
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 09:10 AM
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I had my cats teeth cleaned two years ago after I adopted her cuz she had such bad breath. The cost was $200 and that was after I shopped around. What made it hight is they put her under.
There is also a person who doesnt use anetheisia and does monthly teeth cleaning for $75. Im in arizona.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 09:22 AM
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L'il had several teeth pulled and his teeth cleaned a long time ago and that one the bill was $600. That was 7 years ago. He hasn't had any problems with his teeth since and no more bad breath. He used to have very horrible stinky breath.

I know how shocking it is to get an estimate of a huge bill. Personally, I have built a good relationship with my vet and trust her, so I would rather entrust my cats to her than find another vet that I haven't dealt with previously. Just something to think about.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2005, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for all the very helpful feedback!! A little background info on Snickers...he has been with me since he was 16 wks. old, came from a home environment, and has had all his shots. He also does not go outside except for a very occasional leash walk. He has no other symptoms besides the inflamation in the back on his mouth.

Those of you who had dental procedures sound like you only had to do it one time. I would love to hear more about the outcomes and any follow-up care you do at home.

Though the cost is steep, I don't plan to shop around. Everything is expensive in the Northeast US!!! I have known my vets for several years, personally and professionally, and I trust them. They are very thorough and professional. The estimate does include extractions (though it is just an estimated cost) as well as fluids, the anesthesia and a fluoride treatment. We have already done bloodwork on him.

I will do the dental treatments on him if that's what is recommended. I will be thrilled if that is all that's causing his problems.

The good news is that Snickers seems to be perking up today. I switched him to a soft food diet a few days ago when he started having problems. He prefers his hard food but he couldn't eat it with his sore mouth. He has begun to eat more and has had a couple of doses of the antibiotics.

Giving him medicine is terrible!!! He keeps swatting the dropper out of my hand! Poor kitty. Still waiting for the vet to call....

Thanks again for all the advice!!!!

Owned by Pepper and Pumpkin RIP Snickers 8/22/00 -- 11/28/06

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