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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Dental Advice

Hey everyone so I'm hoping to get some additional opinions and experience with senior cat dentals. I have 4 cats total ages 13, 4, 5 and soon to be 6. My younger ones can use a dental but are not seriously needing one right at this very moment. However my 13 year old cat Millie could benefit from having another one done. I adopted her when she was 6 1/2 years old and she had already had all but 7 teeth removed from her mouth and a ton of dental work already completed. When I started working at the vets office(I unfortunetly had to quit) she got yearly cleanings as well. However the last time we worked on her teeth was back when she was 11 years old. We discovered that she may need some dental x rays if I ever did another dental and that her gums were kind of peeling off during the cleaning. She went in for her annual exam/blood work last month and my old boss did recommend another dental but my main concern is her age and the need to put her under for not only the dental itself but the x rays as well. Blood work came back great and my former boss isn't concerned however besides her age and the anesthesia parts I have some other concerns about doing this dental. She is almost impossible to give antibiotics too whether its liquid or pills after the cleaning is done and the fact that being in the car alone is enough to give this poor girl an anxiety attack. Does anyone have any experience with any of this so I can decide if doing another dental would be more beneficial or stressful on her end. I appreciate all and any advice. I want to do the right thing for her in the end and my former boss said I could either hold off or do the dental in the end its up to me. Thank you all!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 04:10 PM
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How is her health in general? If she's starting to fail, then I probably wouldn't do it. If her blood work and urinalysis look good and she could live many more years, then do it now. There are protocols for using anesthesia on older some research, talk to your vet. Many cats, much older, have survived with no problem.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Overall she's a healthy kitty we did a UA as well last month and everything came back normal along with her blood work. So really medically speaking she's good to go. I'm unsure if she is actually 13 or if she is younger or older seeing as she was a stray. My former boss doesn't seem to see any risk factors for doing this dental minus the need for x rays this time and the concerns I brought up with it being highly stressful for her and being difficult to get antibiotics into he says we should do it. It does not look like she needs any extractions but he won't know for sure until he is doing her dental and has the x rays. By any chance do you have any good links I can look into for the anesthesia protocols on senior kitties? Unless things have changed we use Ketval on seniors and any at risk patients(underlying medical issues such as seizures). Thank you so much for your advice though I really appreciate it!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-30-2017, 06:39 PM
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My 16-year-old kitty has needed 2 dentals in the past 2 years, with a tooth extracted each time. Her personality is very much like your kitty's. I always have to weigh the benefits of even a regular vet visit against the amount of stress it causes her, and it is impossible to administer any type of medication, even ear drops. She also has early stage CKD and has had adverse reactions to meds in the past. Plus, in addition to the general anesthesia risk, because of the impossibility of giving her antibiotics, the only option is the long-term Convenia injection, and you're probably aware of the problem there, because it takes so long for the drug to exit a kitty's body. So, despite otherwise good health, she's overall a bad candidate for dentals.

However, in her case, not only was she obviously not feeling well, she wasn't eating well and her weight was getting too low, so I felt we needed to go ahead. In her case, it was definitely worth it. She was back to normal after the second dental and has gained weight. I don't know what kind of anesthesia they used - it just says one was by injection and the other inhalable. My vets know my kitty very well, so I just have to trust that they are always going to do their best to keep the risks to a minimum.

I don't know what I'd do in your case, especially as your kitty isn't showing any obvious signs of discomfort. Maybe it isn't necessary right now. On the other hand, the risks aren't going to decrease as she gets older, and her teeth might be in worse shape later.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-30-2017, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by AnimalAnimeLover View Post
...By any chance do you have any good links I can look into for the anesthesia protocols on senior kitties?
Hi AnimalAnimeLover !

Two high quality, reliable links for you - in plain language - with protocols
  1. for anesthesia : Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Anaesthesia
  2. and dental surgery: Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Dental Problems
Hope those help !
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