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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all.

This is about Wanda, one of the 3 cats that live with my mom and I. Shes a 9 year old calico cat. She is of healthy weight, friendly temperament, and an all around loving and cuddly cat.

Back in September 2011 my mom noticed Wanda had a bit of tarter build up on her teeth and bad breath, so we took her to Banfield for a cleaning and signed up her for kitty insurance.

Not too long after her cleaning we noticed she was over grooming more than usual. Shed overgroom her tummy and the inside of her legs. She started this back in Spring 2011 and when she was taken to Banfield, they couldnt pin down what it was. I had moved out and gotten a place near school while I finished up my last two semesters over the spring and the summer. Since the Banfield doctors could not figure out what exactly was making her do it, so we assumed it had to do with stress and my having left the household.

Anyways, after her September teeth cleaning, her overgrooming seem to increase some. Then when scratching under her chin one day, I noticed two hard lines going across the underside of her jaw...one of each side of her jaw bone. The locations were symmetrical to one another. I thought they were enlarged veins at first, but since they didnt pulsate I assumed they were glands, or tonsils maybe?. In addition to this issue, Wanda's gums were red near her first premolars on both sides of her mouth.

So we took her to Banfield in October, and over the next few months, and the doctors there could not peg it down at all. They prescribed antibiotics twice and it did nothing for the underside of her jaw or the gum redness. Then last month, in February, I did a inspection of all the cats. Making sure their paws, mouth, and ears were clean. I noticed Wandas first premolar on the right side was showing red. It looked like it was bleeding.

So I got scared...I knew it was pulp showing. So I checked the other side of her mouth...and the same tooth on the other side was gone. So my mom and I were furious. We felt like Banfield screwed something up with her cleaning because all of this mouth stuff started after her cleaning in September. And she STILL has those hard lump things on the underside of her jaw. Shes been a trooper through all this, and hasnt been crying in pain or anything and cuddles up like she always does. But Ive read cats are good at hiding pain. I figured her increase over grooming was indicative of the pain she must be in.

So we called the local Banfield and lodged a complaint. We go on to find out that the vets there are usually fresh out of vet school. Usually only with a couple years of experience practicing. We than called corporate Banfield last week and had our complaint escalated. Corporate said that the head of our local object had said she talked to us and resolved the issue. PATENTLY FALSE. The local offices leadership team was supposed to call us back Friday but never did...so corporate told me to call them back if that happened.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, Wanda's other first premolar is gone(the one I originally saw with pulp showing) I then went onto google and search for a local doctor, and vet school rankings. One local vet seems really good...two of the doctors are Cornell grads with years and years of experience. One has been practicing since the 80s. Plus Cornell I found ranked number one in vet schools across the country...is this true?

Also, while looking up stuff to see what was wrong with Wanda...I read about Feline Odontoclastic Resorption Lesions (FORL) aka kitty cavities. Apparently two thirds of cats over 5 years of age get this. And from the pictures I saw it seems similar to what happened to Wandas teeth. But im not sure if its this, but it doesnt explain the hard things under her jaw, nor does it explain why this all started after her teeth cleaning.

So Im about to call Banfield back and move forward. I let corporate know on Friday, that I was seeking an amicable resolution to the matter, but that my mom and I did not want to have to come out of pocket and pay for Banfields apparent goof. And that we were prepared to take this to court. My mom and I cannot afford to pay Banfield more money to fix their goof. We already canceled the cats insurance plan with them.

So, what do you think I should do. What if they do offer to bring in someone with more experience to see Wanda and fix this? What if they try and get out of this and shirk their responsibility?

We are leaning towards taking them to the private practice vet with the Cornell doctors but thatll be expensive...So what cat insurance can you recommend? I live in Orange County, NY if that helps. Im not sure how pet insurance works with private practices, but was told it works different than human insurance. So any guidance would be helpful. And should I also seek to receive some form of compensation from Banfield if we end up taking Wanda to the local Cornell vets?
 

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I'm not sure about pet insurance, I just wanted to give my opinion on vets. I used to work for a vet that graduated from cornell and had been practicing for over 10 years. It was a long time ago that I worked for her, and since then I have done a lot of my own research. Everything considered, I would never take my pets to her. She recommended IAMS and Purina dry food, and almost encouraged declawing. I quit after she put down a cat that I felt in my heart should have been given a chance. It was the owners decision, but she didnt really try to talk him out of it.

What I am saying is that the school doesnt necessarily make the vet. Look for reviews online and interview with the vet to get their view on things before you set up an appointment.
 

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I use petplan but just as in humans if the cat has a preexisting condition most insurance companies won't cover it.

Since she's had this problem it's doubtful they will reimburse you for any further issues that result from it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I use petplan but just as in humans if the cat has a preexisting condition most insurance companies won't cover it.

Since she's had this problem it's doubtful they will reimburse you for any further issues that result from it.
So should I just deal with Banfield? I dunno what to do because we cant afford for insurance not to help with this.

Plus Banfield has been a pain, and the more experience doctor for the local location is out on medical leave with a broken ankle. Convenient huh.
 

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It's a preexisting condition, and no matter what pet insurance you get, you for sure will not be reimbused for the money you spent on fixing the issue.

So if money is tight, I'm afraid you are stuck to make a deal with Banfield :(
 

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I read about Feline Odontoclastic Resorption Lesions (FORL) aka kitty cavities. Apparently two thirds of cats over 5 years of age get this. And from the pictures I saw it seems similar to what happened to Wandas teeth. But im not sure if its this, but it doesnt explain the hard things under her jaw, nor does it explain why this all started after her teeth cleaning.
I can't speak about insurance, but I have some experience with FORL. One of my cats had a rather serious bout. She ended up losing 14 teeth. 5 fell out before it was discovered and 9 had to be extracted.

That 5 fell out before it was discovered was not because I'm a non-caring pet owner. She never once displayed a single symptom! There was no sign that there was anything wrong. The issue was discovered during an annual wellness vet visit.

They don't know what causes FORL, so they don;t know how to prevent it. What happens is that for some reason the tooth "attacks" itself, some sort of autoimmune response. The good news is that the episode was 2 years ago. There has been no recurrence and she's just fine :)

Kyle
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I can't speak about insurance, but I have some experience with FORL. One of my cats had a rather serious bout. She ended up losing 14 teeth. 5 fell out before it was discovered and 9 had to be extracted.

That 5 fell out before it was discovered was not because I'm a non-caring pet owner. She never once displayed a single symptom! There was no sign that there was anything wrong. The issue was discovered during an annual wellness vet visit.

They don't know what causes FORL, so they don;t know how to prevent it. What happens is that for some reason the tooth "attacks" itself, some sort of autoimmune response. The good news is that the episode was 2 years ago. There has been no recurrence and she's just fine :)

Kyle
Omg, thats almost all of her teeth. Guess she only gets mushy food now huh? At least she cant nip you with her teeth anymore =/

Ugh, now Im scared that Wanda might need more teeth removed than the roots of the 2 that already fell out. Her other teeth do seem healthy though.
 

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My older cats all have lost teeth to resorption. A couple of them only have a few teeth left, and the others will probably get to that point within the next few years. Tooth resorption, in my experience, is a common occurrence in cats. I even had a 6 mo old kitten resorb one of his adult teeth within a month of it coming in! If that's what's going on with your cat, it's unlikely that Banfield had anything to do with it or that you'll get them to pay you anything for your cat's tooth losses.

Most of my cats' tooth losses happened without my even knowing about it. Occasionally, however, a root will become infected before it's resorbed, which will require veterinary extraction.

My mostly toothless cats can still eat kibble, if it's small enough to swallow whole, and even a raw meat diet, which I cut into bite-sized pieces for them. They certainly don't need to eat mush, though mush (canned food mixed with water) is a much healthier diet option than kibble.

Laurie
 

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I don't think you can blame Banfield for FORL...That they missed it earlier, maybe, but I don't think the outcome would have been any different if they found it then or now. Not that I'm sticking up for Banfield, I consider them the McDonald's of vets...but some issues have no preventative no matter what you do.

And I agree with the others...no new insurance company is going to take this on. Maybe you can get the Banfield insurance reinstated.
 

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I don't think you can blame Banfield for FORL...That they missed it earlier, maybe, but I don't think the outcome would have been any different if they found it then or now. Not that I'm sticking up for Banfield, I consider them the McDonald's of vets...but some issues have no preventative no matter what you do.

And I agree with the others...no new insurance company is going to take this on. Maybe you can get the Banfield insurance reinstated.
Thats the thing...Im not even sure if its FORL.

Wanda has been to Banfield about 5 times in the since September and they didnt know what was going on under her chin. And I just noticed the pulp of her teeth last month. But the gum redness was there since she had cleaning in September. Her teeth were perfectly fine before that...but had just a little tater.

So how in the world did this all start after the teeth cleaning? And how in the world did they miss FORL(if this is what it is) in numerous visits. They just assumed it was some gland issue and gave us useless antibiotics and nothing showed up in the blood work. All this is wasted money.
 

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Turns out Cleo has FORL, too. During her last cleaning two years ago, everything was fine.

She had her annual check-up last June and all that was apparent was gingivitis and tartar. Gigi's teeth were MUCH worse, so I opted to have Gigi's teeth cleaned and let Cleo wait.

This time during Cleo's dental, she had to have 6 teeth pulled due to FORL. I don't think it's anything my vet missed. Unfortunately, I think every year she's going to lose more teeth. I don't know if I should just have them all pulled now or not. She eats wet food.

As much as I don't care for Banfield, I don't think it's malpratice.
 

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I use Go Pet Plan, but they do have a 14 day period where you can't use it. They don't cover pre-existing, like others have mentioned. I love them personally. My cat had to have emergency surgery last month for eating some string that wouldn't pass, it came up to $1400 after everything, not too bad, I have a great vet who doesn't like to charge out the arse. I got all of it back since I reached my deductible already. I do have the Gold plan, and pay $350 a year with a $200 deductible.
 
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