13 year old cat not recovering well post dental surgery

fullofconcern

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Princess - 13 years old, female, domestic shorthair - had surgery on 2/24 (Wednesday), where the vet removed 5 teeth because of tooth resorption.

She got a shot of Convenia, and was sent home with 2 tablets of Onsior and .15ml syringes of Buprenex.

On the Thursday and Friday following the procedure, she seemed to have "bounced back", eating her food - she eats raw pate-like food normally, and I have been watering it down to a soupy state - generally being active, not hiding. From Saturday until now, there's been a decline - she's eating less food, and what she does eat, I have to coax her into, by spoon feeding or handholding. I've tried all the tricks: baby food, warming, etc: no go. She has also been withdrawn, and less responsive (she usually comes when called, but seems to have forgotten how to do this?). This is on and off - for example, two days ago she ate more or less normally, yesterday, she barely ate a thing. The lethargy seems to be a constant.

Pee and poop are normal, and she's also drinking water. She is cleaning herself, but not as much as pre-surgery.

After the first week post-surgery, I have tried to use the Bupe sparingly. Out of concern that she was not eating because of pain, I gave her a shot today - she seems more "engaged" although she's still in her bed - but she still turns away from the food.

She will be at the vet for a follow up on Wednesday.

It's hard for me to understand what's happening, because there doesn't seem to be a pattern. I'm concerned about the lethargy, and the lack of eating, for a cat who used to LOVE food. I keep reading about people whose cats seemed better a week after their surgery, but mine seems to be getting worse. Am I missing something?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
 

di and bob

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I would be concerned because any change usually means somethings wrong. Write everything down she is doing and bring it up to the vet. It could be the pain med making her act like that, and some older cats DO take longer to recover from something like this. But if she was better at the beginning and now changing, something is wrong.....
 
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fullofconcern

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Thank you! I'm doing exactly that: keeping notes to relay everything to the vet.

I did speak with him over the phone in the time between surgery to now. He seemed to think that it could be that the food is getting caught in her stitches, or her getting used to not having her canines, and seemed to really feel that keeping her on the Bupe was a bad idea - that this was causing her lack of appetite and lethargy. But the pain would do the same thing, too, right?

I'm also wondering if the surgery might have affected her sense of smell? Again, it's the lack of pattern that is throwing any analysis off for me.
 

maggie101

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My cat had dental surgery,not as severere. It took a week+ to get over it. Also, she will not eat her food if it is mushed down. She is not a licker like my cat peaches.
 

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If she is grooming less, it's likely her gums are hurting - putting the tongue out is actually painful for cats with dental issues. Ask the vet if there is any ointment you can put on the gums to help relieve pain or speed up the healing process, as well as if it's safe to brush the rest of the teeth, to keep it as clean as possible.

My cat had 2 teeth extracted and it took maybe 3-4 days for him to get used to it and eat fine. He actually seemed to eat dry food more easily than the wet, first few tries with dry food was painful, I felt guilty for even offering, but once he understood some areas were painful he managed eat the kibble without any issue, the wet food instead seemed to get in places and cause more discomfort throughout the day.
 

jefferd18

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When they pull away from food is when to get your vet engaged. He/she ought to be kept in the loop anyway. I think she is still in pain and that is why she is not in the mood to eat. But I am not a vet.
 
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fullofconcern

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jefferd18 jefferd18 Tagrendy Tagrendy Thank you for your advice.

I think agree with you both that she is still in pain, and this is why she's not eating. This is backed up by the fact that after giving her the Bupe this morning, she was relatively back to normal, eating, engaging with us, cleaning herself, etc. She actually ate all of her meals without hand feeding (I also added bonito flakes to them, which she loves).

I understand that it has only been 10 days since surgery, but am I wrong to expect that she would be relatively pain free at this moment?
 

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If I were you, until Wednesday I would at least give Fortiflora with pate wet food daily - Fortiflora both to get her eat more food, and to support her immune system a bit.

If she eats a bit with handfeeding, maybe she needs a raised bowl (or handfeeding) for a while. Maybe it's bowing her head that makes her stitches hurt.
 

gilmargl

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I wish I could remember the exact details, but Katy certainly took a long time to recover from dental surgery, particularly the second time. She was young, a stray who had been living with ferals and, when in pain, was impossible to find or catch even when, post spaying, she'd been living indoors.
Maybe had I gone to a different vet in the first place, one who listened, when I said she wasn't eating and there was no way I would manage to give her antibiotics in tablet form twice a day, it wouldn't have taken so long to get her treated. So, by the time another vet had agreed to treat her with not quite so efficient antibiotic injections which lasted a few days, her teeth and gums were in a much worse condition. After surgery I was given antibiotics and painkillers but she refused to accept anything from me. I was causing her pain and she hated me.

I prepared Katy's food with painkiller and antibiotics and placed it next to my partner, while he was reading the daily paper. She would seek refuge near him and he did his best to get her to eat. We had no success until I went back to tuna fish (the bait which was used to trap her originally). She started eating again - still not accepting anything from me and only tuna from him. At least some of the antibiotics and painkillers went into Katy and not into the other cats hoping for some tuna and evidently painkillers taste quite nice!

It took months to wean her off tuna - first mixing it with tuna-flavored cat food (mousse), then slowly reducing the pure tuna and eventually she accepted chicken mousse. I still keep Golden Feast Tuna Mousse on my shelves, just in case she starts having problems with her few remaining teeth. If she had been a more compliant cat I would certainly have taken her back to the vet. But things were improving if rather slowly and she is now even eating (and crunching) dry food.
(Sorry a short diversion from the topic:
After a road accident 21 months ago we were back at the vet on many occasions as Katy's injuries were severe. She lost another tooth (and the use of an eye) in the accident, had difficulties swallowing, so I had to force feed her. About a year later, we discovered cysts which had to be removed! But thankfully our relationship is still good, I'm her favorite person She's a very unlucky but happy cat, now kept indoors.)

Back to the point

jefferd18 jefferd18 Tagrendy Tagrendy Thank you for your advice.
I understand that it has only been 10 days since surgery, but am I wrong to expect that she would be relatively pain free at this moment?
No you're not wrong to expect things to be better after 10 days. Emily (estimated age 9 - 13 years old) had teeth (classified as complicated extractions) removed less than a week ago. Afterwards she spent one day on my bed, then hid from me for another day, but since then she's been begging for food and is friendly towards me. She needed no painkillers nor antibiotics. She can't keep her tongue in her mouth anymore so she looks rather stupid. But she's back to normal. She only eats wet food anyway and doesn't seem to have problems with it now. Today she actually chewed some boiled chicken (Sunday lunchtime treat). Keep in touch with your vet, and don't let Princess suffer more than is necessary.

Good luck to both of you!
 
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fullofconcern

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Thank you for the advice and reassurance!

MissClouseau MissClouseau I was thinking along those lines, earlier and in fact the raised bowl and Fortiflora from Chewy came today! gilmargl gilmargl I am happy to hear that both Katy and Emily are doing well, their histories have helped me put P's experience into context.

An update: She had a good day yesterday - she ate her bonito-spiked food enthusiastically. We suspect that her old feeding spot has become associated with pain, so we moved everything closer to her bed, and this seems to have helped a lot. We gave her Bupe 9 in the morning, and again 12 hrs later.

This morning, she didn't show any signs of pain, so we didn't give her a Bupe, and she ate all of her bonito/food again. She's been relatively active, cleaned herself a little, followed me around, etc. We are watching closely to see if she goes off her food or hides again. And if the new bowl/Fortiflora combo helps as well. I don't think there would still be any Bupe in her system, so I'm hoping that something good is happening and that we're on an upwards swing.
 
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fullofconcern

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An update and close to this saga:

P had her follow up, the vet said that her mouth looked fine.

She has been eating steadily - with the exception of one day, where a wad of her dissolvable stitches came loose - and is pretty much back to her old self. I suspect that as the rest of the stitches disintegrate, there might be bouts of going off her food, but at least I can expect this! I am continuing to use Fortiflora to keep up her interest in her food, but plan on weaning her off of it in coming weeks.

Thank you, all that chimed in, for your advice!
 

sharonwitch

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Princess - 13 years old, female, domestic shorthair - had surgery on 2/24 (Wednesday), where the vet removed 5 teeth because of tooth resorption.

She got a shot of Convenia, and was sent home with 2 tablets of Onsior and .15ml syringes of Buprenex.

On the Thursday and Friday following the procedure, she seemed to have "bounced back", eating her food - she eats raw pate-like food normally, and I have been watering it down to a soupy state - generally being active, not hiding. From Saturday until now, there's been a decline - she's eating less food, and what she does eat, I have to coax her into, by spoon feeding or handholding. I've tried all the tricks: baby food, warming, etc: no go. She has also been withdrawn, and less responsive (she usually comes when called, but seems to have forgotten how to do this?). This is on and off - for example, two days ago she ate more or less normally, yesterday, she barely ate a thing. The lethargy seems to be a constant.

Pee and poop are normal, and she's also drinking water. She is cleaning herself, but not as much as pre-surgery.

After the first week post-surgery, I have tried to use the Bupe sparingly. Out of concern that she was not eating because of pain, I gave her a shot today - she seems more "engaged" although she's still in her bed - but she still turns away from the food.

She will be at the vet for a follow up on Wednesday.

It's hard for me to understand what's happening, because there doesn't seem to be a pattern. I'm concerned about the lethargy, and the lack of eating, for a cat who used to LOVE food. I keep reading about people whose cats seemed better a week after their surgery, but mine seems to be getting worse. Am I missing something?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
Princess - 13 years old, female, domestic shorthair - had surgery on 2/24 (Wednesday), where the vet removed 5 teeth because of tooth resorption.

She got a shot of Convenia, and was sent home with 2 tablets of Onsior and .15ml syringes of Buprenex.

On the Thursday and Friday following the procedure, she seemed to have "bounced back", eating her food - she eats raw pate-like food normally, and I have been watering it down to a soupy state - generally being active, not hiding. From Saturday until now, there's been a decline - she's eating less food, and what she does eat, I have to coax her into, by spoon feeding or handholding. I've tried all the tricks: baby food, warming, etc: no go. She has also been withdrawn, and less responsive (she usually comes when called, but seems to have forgotten how to do this?). This is on and off - for example, two days ago she ate more or less normally, yesterday, she barely ate a thing. The lethargy seems to be a constant.

Pee and poop are normal, and she's also drinking water. She is cleaning herself, but not as much as pre-surgery.

After the first week post-surgery, I have tried to use the Bupe sparingly. Out of concern that she was not eating because of pain, I gave her a shot today - she seems more "engaged" although she's still in her bed - but she still turns away from the food.

She will be at the vet for a follow up on Wednesday.

It's hard for me to understand what's happening, because there doesn't seem to be a pattern. I'm concerned about the lethargy, and the lack of eating, for a cat who used to LOVE food. I keep reading about people whose cats seemed better a week after their surgery, but mine seems to be getting worse. Am I missing something?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
Your story sounds very much like what I’m dealing with. My 12 yo cat Sylvester had 11 teeth extracted on Tuesday due to resorption. I was sent home with the Buprenex syringes. When he first came home I was surprised how well he was doing-he wanted to eat & was maybe a little out of it from the anesthesia. Yesterday he ate wet food well for me & slept comfortably in his bed in the morning. But by the afternoon he started to spend a lot of time upstairs & wasn’t being very sociable. I had the same issue where he was kind of lethargic & not responding to being called, which is unusual. This morning he ate a little around 5 am, but by 7:30 he was already back upstairs. When I coaxed him to come down, he seemed agitated & was groaning when he walked around. Only licked his plate of food. He’s normally a fantastic eater. I took him back to the vet & she gave him shots of Convenia and Onsior. By the time I got him home after a half hour drive, he was ravenous & completely himself. The vet told me the patte food was getting stuck so she recommended wetting his dry food, which he happily ate. He greeted me after work at 5:00 but didn’t want the same watered down dry food so I gave him a senior dry food which has small pieces & he ate well. He was engaging & even playing with a toy for a bit. He hung out with me for awhile but then went upstairs. When I checked on him about 2 hours later, he seemed to be a little more out if it & was doing that crying/groaning thing again. I tried to keep him downstairs with me, but he was getting annoyed so I let him go back. I just checked on him at 11:30 & he’s sleeping relatively comfortably, but I’m already worrying about how he’s going to be when he wakes up. It’s like I have to physically go up there because he won’t come down on his own. Obviously the Onsior shot helped, but only for maybe 10 hours. And I don’t know if it’s a good idea to try the buprenex until the 24 hours are up. The vet told me she could give me a few Onsior pills to get him through so I may do that. Although I worry about giving him all this pain medicine. She also said I could try Gabapentin too. I’m just so worried about him. I lost 2 cats last year & I even put off Sylvester’s dental surgery because I was so nervous about it. I’m hoping his pain lessens in the next few days & he eats well. I’m glad to hear that your kitty has improved.
Any advice would be appreciated - I’m trying not to freak out.
Thanks!
 
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