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Hi everyone! The last time I took Samantha to the vet (about a month ago), they said a teeth cleaning would need to be in order, as she's got quite a bit of tartar buildup. She's around two years old, and the vet was also talking about gingivitis (keeping fingers crossed for a big negative on that one! :???:). Well, she has an appointment this coming Monday. She's being put-under, and is getting a full dental cleaning and a wellness blood work exam (because I feel it would be good to have it done, and then they only have to knock her out once)...neither of these have been done since we adopted her, and to my knowledge they never have.

I had a few questions about the procedures and things:

1. Samantha starts her fast for the knock-out medication on Sunday night at 8 pm, and then no water after midnight. Once I bring her home on Monday afternoon (probably around 5pm), will she be able to at least drink water? I know next to nothing about cat teeth, but I know you aren't supposed to drink or eat after a human procedure for a while...is it the same with cats?

2. The gingivitis thing has me freaked out. I know it's always a possibility, but to be told that Samantha's mouth might be bad enough to have it, makes me very concerned. I'm assuming gingivitis in cats is similar to that in humans? Even if she doesn't have it, I'd like to start preventative care for it (for all my girls actually). Is there anything I can do other than brushing their teeth to prevent it? Kitty mouthwash (haha!) or special treats or something?

3. As said, Samantha is being put-under for her procedures, and when I pick her up from the vet, I will be home for several days from work (worked out nicely, so I can be home with her). Is there anything I should know about the knock-out meds? How long does a cat normally stay groggy for?

4. I do try to brush my cats teeth at home (usually every other week), but Samantha especially, fights me like mad. I took it easy and slow, over the course of several weeks getting her used to the toothpaste first, then the brush, but she just hates me being in her mouth. She doesn't bite, but will just hold me gently with her teeth when she's displeased...this happens every time we brush. Any tips for brushing a stubborn cat's teeth?

I think thats everything I had for now. I now dread Monday because I have to leave my Sammypants at the vet...I hate doing that. :(
 

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I've always been told no food after midnight, but water is okay. The reason for withholding water and food for a while when they come home is because they're groggy and may choke.

January and February are cat dental months here and everyone gets a 20% discount. I thought it was nationwide, but maybe not. My vet offered free dental health check-ups during December.
 

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I had my boys in for dentals for the first time last February and I was very nervous about the whole thing. (I get really paranoid about anesthesia even though it's normally pretty safe.)

We had the same restrictions on the pre-anesthesia food/water. The boys went in first thing in the morning and were released at around 4pm. The vet gave us a page of recommendations for follow up care, the main points of which were:

- we recommend you wait 2 hours before feeding, and at that point offer a small quantity of food and water. The day of the procedure, they may refuse to eat, do not worry, this is frequently observed.

- following anesthesia, your pet may lack enthusiasm and be slightly groggy for 24 - 36 hours.

- anesthesia can produce constipation in some animals. This is only a concern if it lasts more than 48 hours.

- antibiotics at home for 7 days as prescribed (I don't believe this is necessary in all cases, but it was for us).

Things may be done differently by your vet, so best to ask for individual recommendations, but at least that gives you an idea. My boys were a little groggy the night they came home, but they were back to their rambunctious selves by the next morning.


For maintenance, tooth brushing can be very helpful. There's an overview of the process listed here: Burshing Your Cat's Teeth And here is a video: Play Entire Video | Partners in Animal Health

I have also heard of a treatment that can be applied to the teeth to reduce tartar buildup but I don't know much about it myself. I believe it was called Leba III. Perhaps someone else can offer more information about this.

Treats like greenies say that they are supposed to be helpful for teeth cleaning, but I don't believe that it works that way for cats (scroll down a little bit here to the diagram of the teeth for an explanation) but I understand that raw foods like gizzards are very chewy and can help.

Best wishes for a smooth procedure for Samantha!
 

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in most cases they will be eating just fine 12 hour after, small amounts and softer food for the first day might be in order.. for the last few years I have been mixing in some oral care dry food with the other food, not a straight diet of it.. it has seemed to help and the required cleanings are much further apart..
 

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I have also heard of a treatment that can be applied to the teeth to reduce tartar buildup but I don't know much about it myself. I believe it was called Leba III. Perhaps someone else can offer more information about this.
Leba III is something that is sprayed in the mouth (or put in with a dropper), although it needn't be applied directly to the teeth. It mixes with the cat's saliva to prevent tartar build-up. Here is a link to another post where I described Leba III in more detail:

http://www.catforum.com/forum/38-health-nutrition/138668-dental-chews-any-recommendations.html#post718589

Good luck to Sammy on Monday!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the information guys. :) It came in handy, as Samantha was a little groggy coming home on Monday. Everything went great with the dental, only very mild gingivitis, and they were able to remove all of it with little problem. The blood work and stool checks they did also came back negative for any nasties. Yay! I felt bad when I got her home and let her out of the carrier, because she was stumbling and tripping over herself from the anesthesia. She tried jumping on the couch and missed completely too. So I lifted her up on the couch with me and we had a night of snuggling and movies. She did eat the little food she got that night...two small meals of watered down canned. Today she's feeling her normal self again, and is jumping around and playing with the other girls.

I don't think Sammy much cared for being left at the vet...maybe she thought I was leaving her for good or something, because she's been stuck to me like glue since she's been home (and I thought she was before, but this is a whole new level, lol). She's also never been a lap cat, but the past two days every time I sit down, she's right there ready to crawl into my lap for cuddles. I'm sure it won't last, but I'm enjoying it for now. :p
 

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I saw some liquid stuff called Dental Fresh for Cats at one of the pet supply stores. You add it to their water It is supposed to help with tartar build-up. I have been meaning to get some to try.
 

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My 2 Devon Rex cats at 5-1/2 and 6 y.o. had built up quite a lot of tartar on their back molars, so recently had their teeth done. They went in for pre-op bloodwork and also an EKG for my girl who has a grade 2 heart murmur. I had put off dental cleaning as I was nervous for her undergoing anaesthetic, but at the same time concerned if she got bad gingivitis or periodontal disease as it might affect her heart. She was monitored during the cleaning, everything went very well, and the vet even said he could find no heart murmur at all under anesthetic, so he said it's transient--sometimes there, sometimes not.

I used Nature's Dentist sprinkled on their food the last few years and I think it helped somewhat as they didn't have any sign of gingivitis at all and it does eliminate bad breath. The vet said the amount of tartar was "moderate". My cats won't eat raw food which is good to keep the teeth cleaner, but have been fed in proportion of 3/4 canned (Wellness) and 1/4 dry kibble (Evo or Nature's Variety).

Nature's Dentist | McIntosh Pro Line | Natural Supplements | Tri-Natural Products
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I've never heard of the Nature's Dentist or the Dental Fresh stuff. I think I'll look into those a little more. Thanks ami and Nan. :)

Last night, I brought out the kitty toothpaste and brush, and just put some on for Samantha to lick off. I really want to make sure her teeth stay clean-ish, so I'm going to try re-training brushing at home. morea, thanks for the links...they will be coming in handy. :)

I also just noticed last night that Samantha has a little shaved spot on her leg from the IV...I had to kiss it. She's been so super cuddly since she's been home...my boyfriend joked that we should leave her at the vet more often, haha!
 
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