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What can I do for his awful teeth?

15 replies

SmilingandWaving · 22/07/2014 11:02

I've just come back from the vets for something completely unrelated (cut pad) and am feeling awful about my cats teeth.

The vet did a general check before looking at his paw and when she got to his teeth she said 'those are awful, they must really hurt, but anyway you're not here about that' and threw me a disgusted look.

The thing is I know how bad they are but I just don't know what more I can do. He came to us when he was three & we've had him just over a year now. His previous owners fed him ham, crisps, cheese as well as wet & dry food. When I first took him for a check up I explained all this & she advised I brush them with a cotton bud & give dental treats.

So now he only gets a high quality dry food (he also suffers diarrhoea if he eats anything else) and dental treats once a day. I brush as often as possible but as you can imagine it's not easy. I really don't know what else I can do, he drinks plenty of water & doesn't get any other treats or human food, despite people telling me I'm cruel!

He's a Siamese if that makes any difference at all.

I'm really at a loss as to what more I can do but the vet made me feel like I've been neglecting him!

OP posts:
NatashaBee · 22/07/2014 11:09

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SmilingandWaving · 22/07/2014 11:21

No she just said to use a cotton bud, is there some kind of cat toothpaste I can get? I imagine if I covered it in pate it would be significantly easier but I suspect that would only make the problem worse.

His gums are very red & probably sore but I just don't know what else to do.

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 22/07/2014 11:43

If you can afford the GA, I'd have them cleaned properly and start again. Even youngish cats can have tartar buildup - especially if they're not living right - and your efforts wouldn't necessarily shift that. (The red and sore gums is an indication of trouble ahead (gingivitis) and dodgy teeth can be quite dangerous to any animal.)

I had The Lodger's mouth overhauled when he was only 3 years old and it benefited incredibly. (He had significant tartar buildup but also a couple of malformed teeth which required removal to avoid future problems.)

Why not phone the vet and ask for her advice on the matter? She might also want to screen him and possibly give him ABs to reduce the inflammation directly.

You might like to have a read of \link{\this.}

cozietoesie · 22/07/2014 11:46

Sorry - plaque buildup. I clearly need some coffee.

SmilingandWaving · 22/07/2014 12:12

Thank you Cozie that's really helpful. From what you've said & reading the link I think the way forward is definitely to book him in for cleaning with the vet & crack down on the regularity of cleaning at home.

I'm going to have a look for a brush & paste and get him used to them so once they are cleaned we're already in a good routine & he's used to the proper brush.

Do you remember roughly how much it cost when you had it done? I suspect I'll have to start saving up!

OP posts:
thecatneuterer · 22/07/2014 12:12

I'm surprised the vet didn't advise either removing some teeth or at least doing a scale and polish as cozie suggested. As cozie said I would phone the vet to discuss it specifically.

It's not your fault at all, but it does need sorting out, and I think that really only a vet is in a position to do that.

SmilingandWaving · 22/07/2014 12:37

I'm surprised she didn't as well if they're really as bad as she made out. He had a check up in February as well but she only said to continue with the brushing.

Can anyone recommend a toothpaste? I'm looking around online but most seem geared towards dogs, or would a dog one be ok?

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 22/07/2014 12:59

I can't remember precisely I'm afraid because I had two cats with mouths being overhauled in different ways (The Lodger and Seniorboy) together with a small lump biopsy/urinanalysis for Seniorboy and a chip for The Lodger. (And Seniorboy was 16 at the time so his was a more expensive op anyway because they had a slightly bigger team to attend him and make sure he was breathing OK/hydrated properly etc etc.) Plus it was National Smile Month or something similar so I had some money off: I can advise you that my cc had its bags packed and was threatening to run away from home but teeth are something that I take seriously so I pressed on.

If I had to judge, I'd say that it was about £200-£250 per cat but bear in mind that that was three years ago, neither op was basic cleaning but involved extractions - and, most importantly, vet fees can vary tremendously.

This is one for discussing with your vet. I'd say it's money well spent though. Your boy will be with you for many years to come and you don't need to spend those years worrying about his mouth month in and month out. Safer and more comfortable for him as well.

Good luck with him.

cozietoesie · 22/07/2014 13:05

PS - while The Lodger was living rough on the streets, he was clearly hunting but also seemed to have got into the habit of raiding the local Chinese Restaurant bins for unwanted spare ribs etc. (Judging by the 'presents' he used to bring us.) The state of his teeth are therefore a cautionary tale for those of you that eat Chinese takeaways!

SmilingandWaving · 22/07/2014 14:25

Thanks cosie, at least that gives me some idea so I don't faint when she does tell me. I'm signed up to a monthly payment scheme with them for health checks & vaccinations which gives me 10% of dental treatments so at least that's something.

I'll talk to DP about it tonight & give them a call tomorrow.

Having spoken to his previous owners I don't think anything was off the menu for him, Chinese included. He had terrible diarrhoea when he came to us, to the point of blood! It took ages to sort his diet out & find a food that didn't cause problems. & then the dental treats the vet recommended caused it to flair up so I had to hunt around for an alternative, which was of course far more expensive.

It's a good job I love him!

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 22/07/2014 14:36

Well Seniorboy (also a Siamese) is now over 19. He's got good genes, clearly, but that gives you an idea of the length of time a worthy spend now might just make the difference for. (He was becoming quite ill with his teeth at 16 which is the reason why his vet felt it should be done when his previous vets had demurred because of his age. She also had good confidence in her team to get him through OK.)

It's made all the difference anyway. He still gets the odd touch of gingivitis but ABs usually help with that. No more GA ops nowadays at his age.

Best of luck to your boy.

ThrowAChickenInTheAir · 22/07/2014 14:53

We have two cats, both fed the same, but one has been more susceptible to plaque build up. The vet told me that some cats just are.

We tried tooth cleaning products but nothing works if you have an unco-operative cat. And as for brushing a cats was never going to work Confused.

Ours had his teeth cleaned under a GA and it sorted out the problem really we'll. he seemed much happier afterwards.

timtam23 · 22/07/2014 16:20

It seems a bit unfair of the vet to comment but not suggest a solution

I think a scale & polish would be agod idea now too, while he is young & fit

One of my cats was much more prone to tartar/plaque buildup and he had dental work done when he was about 9 or 10 - a "scale & polish", no extractions needed. It made a massive difference to his awful bad breath. Stupidly I didn't get another session sorted out & by the time I noticed his gingivitis was pretty bad, he was not in good enough physical shape for a GA. He still managed to eat OK but his gums were very inflamed and I could see big wodges of tartar stuck to his teeth at the gum margin. He had always had dry food and hardly ever had any treats so I think he was just one of the unlucky ones prone to problems with his teeth.

There is absolutely no way on this earth that he would ever have let me clean his teeth...I did try with a little brush & also a rubber brush which fitted on my finger - not a chance either time!

Ladyboluna · 24/07/2014 22:15

You can get mouthwash for cats - you add a small amount to their water. My bobby had gum disease and has just has to have all of his teeth removed because of it, so you really shouldn't delay. It was one of the treatments we tried but antibiotics and steroids didn't cure his, but that is different to tooth decay. Still think the mouthwash will help though.

givemushypeasachance · 25/07/2014 13:58

My friends have rescue cats that came with tooth problems and one had to have many of her teeth removed under GA a year or so after they were adopted. They're both on prescription dental biscuits, have dentabites and toothpaste each day. I think the toothpaste is prescribed, but you can get it online cheaper with a private prescription. They wouldn't tolerate actual brushing but the paste has enzymes in apparently so just licking it off a finger does some good for the teeth they have left!

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