Stomatitis and transition an indoor-outdoor kitty to indoors! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Stomatitis and transition an indoor-outdoor kitty to indoors!

Hey everyone! I've been a member for a while, but as I'm back in school, I haven't been very active.

My sweet girl Mia has been having issues with her teeth for a while now. We've had a few extracted, but after this last extraction, her vet ran some tests and determined she has stomatitis. We're reviewing our options, but as it seems to be a fairly aggressive case, we are seriously looking into having her teeth extracted.

Any experiences with this? I've heard it can be difficult, but that the cats tend to do very well once they adjust.

Also, my girl adopted us several years ago. At that time, she was a full time, outside cat. I worked to bring her inside and she is now mostly indoors (always inside at night) and only outside for a few bursts during the day. But during that time, she likes to hunt. I've always had inside cats so this was new for me. But each time I tried to keep her inside, she was very distressed and cried until I would give in and let her out.

Considering her current situation, I think keeping her inside is the best thing. Aside from the fact that having no teeth might make hunting difficult, it would also leave her vulnerable. Besides...I just really want her inside. The longest stretch we've ever made was 10 days. And it was a LONG 10 days. Has anyone else tried successfully to transition a part-time outdoor cat to a full time indoor cat?

I love my girl and I want her to be healthy and happy. And while removing her teeth is concerning, I worry more about her reaction to being kept inside. HELP!!!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 02:52 PM
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Hi Max, so sorry to hear about Mia's issue with Stomatitus...
I hate this disease!
Yes, I am familiar with it...
I lost two cats several years ago to it, it is a heartbreaking disease, if not nipped in the bud quickly...
After I lost the two cats, I swore to their spirits, I would find out anything I could about this disease, so another cat wouldn't have to share the same fate they did....

Fast forward, my little Sweet Charlie, was showing signs of Stomatitus...

My vet and I had already figured out, this could show up on him, at some point, he does have a compromised immune system, not felv/fiv, just a weak system.
Charlie had already beat Pillow Paw, and I knew it was time to take him in, when his appetite started to fade...
Sure enough, it was Stomatitus showing up...

I choose to have the Full Mouth Extraction done on him, rather than separate trips for a few teeth at a time...
Stomatitus left uncontrolled, will cause lesions in the back of the mouth, and the throat, it causes so much pain for the cat, they can't eat, even if they're starving for food...

I have a Great vet here, X-rays before, and after, as it's terribly important they get ALL teeth pieces out!
Also full on, anesthesiologist there to moniter everything...

Once Charlie went through this, his appetite came roaring back, he gained weight again, and within two weeks he was even eating dry food, snuck from the other cats dishes!

Financial wise, it was cheaper in the long run to have it done, in one swoop...
Health, and stress wise, better for Charlie, not trip after trip for him...

A good vet, sounds like you have one! Will do blood work, and go from there.

First two weeks following a FME, soft food only! I fed Charlie canned food, blended in a small blender (check Amazon).
They will send you home with pain meds, and directions to follow, and what to do for follow up care.

The MOST Important thing I can stress, DO this before Mia loses to much weight, or gets older...

I think you and Mia have a really good chance of full recovery, and a long, happy life together, if you don't hesitate, to do this for her
now...
Please keep us posted!
If you have further questions, you can either post here, or PM me!
Sharon

"A Cat must have three different names:
An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 03:30 PM
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Hi Max! Part 2...
YES Mia will definitely have to be indoor only!!
Cats that have been indoor/outdoor can definitely complain for awhile!
Most important thing, don't fall for it, and cave in!
Next thing...PLAY, PLAY and more PLAY!
Right before you go to bed, play with Mia, with an interactive toy, like Da Bird, wand toy, that you can flick around like a real bird, really flick it around! Make it dance in the air, where she's having to leap for it! 15 to 20 minutes of this, than FEED her!
You can also find treat dispensing toys, that could come in handy, for late night snack attacks!
A cat tree, by a window, with a bird feeder outside, is Cat TV...
Play with her, every chance you get, show her inside, is better than outside!
Special treats-Do some research on what is appropriate for cats, will help you both bond even more!
Hopefully, more will chime in with whats worked for them!
Sharon

"A Cat must have three different names:
An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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I really should change my user name. Max was another cat, and Mia's brother, that I had for a while. Sadly, after trying to keep him inside with us, he eventually escaped and went to his previous home, only 2 doors away! They love him and just wanted him to have a more active home (I had 2 kids and they are empty nesters who work a lot). But he made it clear that he was happier with them and is still happy there! We see him quite often. But, I only have Mia now.

Thank you for your support! I do plan on doing the full teeth extraction soon. My only hold back is the timing. Our vet is great, but they prefer patients to go to a veterinary dentist. They'll do it, but made it clear that they only have so many options for pain management there. She would be asleep, of course, but a real dentist could do the procedure with less discomfort to Mia.

The nearest one to me is 2 hours away and will cost about $2000. I'm fine with paying the cost and the drive, but as I'm in grad school...and finals are rapidly approaching...now would be a bad time. The vet gave her a shot of antibiotics and steroids which appear to be keeping the disease at bay. Mia is eating well and seems to be her cheerful self. She's a very small cat, only about 6-7lbs on average, so keeping her eating is important.

So my plan, for now, is to spend the next month or so getting her used to being inside rather than do the surgery and keep her inside all at once. And I'm checking with the vet every few days to make sure her mouth is clear of any lesions in the meantime. If any appear, she'll get more of the shots. Then, late spring to early summer, when my classes are out and I can be here for her full time, I will take her to have the surgery. The vet said the recovery could last anywhere from 2-4 weeks so I want to be here for her as much as possible. Plus my kids will be out for the summer and can keep her comfortable as well.

I'm so sorry for the loss of you precious babies. I think we do what we can for them, but it's very difficult to know what they are feeling/thinking/wanting. My girl Mia is very chill. She rarely fusses about anything. In fact, the vet was shocked when she saw her mouth. She was sitting comfortably on the table, watching her favorite bird video on my phone, and letting everyone pet her and just purring away. But her mouth looked terrible! She must have been in a lot of pain and I really didn't know. I brought her in because I noticed she was hiding a lot, something she normally doesn't do. She'd much rather fall asleep in the middle of the kitchen floor and be the center of attention.

Thank you for sharing your experience!

Jeannie
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 12:38 PM
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Hi Jeannie!
It sounds like you've got a pretty good plan in place for Mia, till you can get the FME done...
Steroids, and antibiotics can help control, to a certain point, but as time goes on, they start to lose effectiveness...
Overuse of antibiotics can cause it's own set of problems, so I personally, would only use the antibiotics, in the case of a bad flare up...
I don't know what your vet is prescribing right now for protocol...
Also try and keep her weight up, every ounce lost, is hard to get back!
As you get her used to being inside, get her used to some really good canned cat food, this will be a good time to find out what really rings her chimes for favorite flavors, as she will need to eat canned only, for at least two weeks, after the FME is done.
Charlie recovered so fast, and he doesn't even seem to know he's toothless!
I still check his mouth, and it's so healthy looking!

Mia will thank you, because she won't have that painful mouth any longer!

Wishing you the best with your Finals, and getting the FME done for Mia!
Please keep me in the loop on how everything is going for you both!
Sharon

"A Cat must have three different names:
An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 09:33 AM
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My middle aged cat has had all but 2 or 3 teeth removed in two separate trips. Last extractions a few months ago. He was an indoor cat anyway so that wasn't an issue but I can see why he should stay in. He eats both wet and dry food now as we feed about 1/3 of a can morning and evening and he eats at will on the kibble which he loves. He appears comfortable and satisfied.
You might try training him to a leash and taking him for "walks." I did this with an older indoor- outdoor cat years ago. Be sure to get a good quality cat harness as dog harnesses are cut differently and cats slip out of them easily.
1. Let the cat wear the harness around the house, keeping an eye on him, for short times until he seems unconcerned about it. He will prob roll around and/ or crouch down and look pitiful and paw at it at first.
2. Add the leash and let him drag it around until he's ok with that keeping a close eye on him.
3. Start holding the leash.
4. Venture out. He may run. Keep a tight hold on the leash but let him have some control. Remember it will never be like walking a dog. You can stay in your yard area or close by.
Also remember if he gets too frisky you can always pick him up and carry him home. Leash doesn't work with every cat but be patient. Mine would jump up on the washing machine every time I headed into the laundry room because that's where I put on his harness and leash. He loved his walks but was still a door dasher if I wasn't careful.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! So far, Mia's doing pretty well. She's clearly not thrilled about being inside, but I'm trying to make it more pleasant for her. I bought her a couple of new toys...a feather attachment for one of our wands and a little bug-like thing that moves around on it's own. She never really enjoyed toys before and NEVER feathers, but she's been playing a lot and enjoys watching the bug move around. I've also been giving her treats before I open a door (away from the door) so she doesn't try to run between my legs. She's a bit more play aggressive, even biting from time to time. But if we keep her occupied and playing more throughout the day, it helps.

It's going to be a while before she adjusts to being inside all of the time, but I know it's the best thing for her under the circumstances. And now that spring is starting to warm things up, I'm going to clean up the screen porch and add lots of cat things for her like a new tree to perch on and maybe a cat grass planter. That way, she can enjoy some of the outside while being safely inside.

As for her teeth, time will tell when that happens. She seems good for the moment and I don't want to have her teeth removed until she needs it. At her last checkup, the shots seemed to be helping a lot. Her sores were nearly gone and, for the moment, she looks pretty normal. I know it won't last and I'm watching her closely. Until then...she's on special food, getting tons of extra love and lots of playtime.

Thanks!!!
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