Cat had dental now chewing air and pawing at mouth

dreamingofdeltas

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Hi fellow cat lovers,

My Bentley had a dental cleaning on Monday (no extractions) and it went well outside of finding out he has a UTI as I requested a urinalysis since I had a feeling he had one.

A day or so later, I noticed him chewing on nothing a few times. Nothing major and he does this every now and again so I didn't think anything of it. Thursday night, he started doing it maybe 20 times throughout the night and then would put his paws it his mouth as if trying to pull something out. I couldn't see anything in his mouth but got the video to the vet and they responded yesterday saying to bring him in (which we did today) to check his mouth. Yesterday he was fine, only did it once (without pawing at the mouth) after grooming. I took him into the vets earlier and they checked his mouth and said it looked good and the vet didn't see anything. The tech who helped with the cleaning also came in and said she didn't see anything weird while doing the cleaning. They told me to monitor him for now since he seems to have stopoed doing it, maybe something was stuck in his teeth.

Well, tonight he just did it again after grooming with the paws to mouth motion.

Does anyone have any idea what could be going on? I'm so worried and our vet is closed until Monday now (it is Saturday.) He seems fine otherwise and is eating without issue. It seems grooming is a "trigger" - I just worry he is in pain or something since he obviously is bothered by whatever is happening.

Having a hard time uploading a video but here is a link I posted of him doing this on my instagram story.

Any advice is appreciated, as I'm pretty worried. The timing is odd, too, after the dental cleaning. He has had them before but never did this.

Watch this story by Tiffany - Lifestyle & Travel on Instagram before it disappears.
 

silent meowlook

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I couldn't see the video. What you are describing is pain. Find out if they used a mouth gag on him while doing the dental. If they did it can damage the nerves if his mouth was to far open for to long. Either way it sounds like he needs some pain relief, but the only thing safe to give him would probably be buprenorphine or gabapentin from your vet. I would try to get ahold of them or an emergency clinic for a visit. Is he eating ok?
 
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dreamingofdeltas

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Thank you for the quick response - I will ask about the mouth gag as I would not have thought about that. He is eating fine, thankfully, and also using the bathroom just fine. I actually have gabapentin on hand and he had 100mg earlier today for his vet visit.
I am worried about it being pain, as well. I can give him some more once it is safe for another dose for sure.
 

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That's a good idea. I've only seen a cat do that is when something was wrong with its mouth, like having something stuck in its teeth. I definitely think it's a reaction to the cleaning.
 
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dreamingofdeltas

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That's a good idea. I've only seen a cat do that is when something was wrong with its mouth, like having something stuck in its teeth. I definitely think it's a reaction to the cleaning.
That was my thought, too, as he looks like he is trying to get something out of his mouth with his paws. And since it didn't start until after the cleaning definitely leads me to think that. Thank you for the insight!
 
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dreamingofdeltas

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Great idea, I just uploaded to youtube and here is the link.
At the end, he paws at his mouth. This mornng, he hasn't done the pawing thing but just the grinding after grooming. I have been on here this morning looking at threads and am worried it could be FOPS, as maybe the stressful event such as the dental caused it. Or maybe nausea since he is on Clavicillin due to the UTI but I wouldn't think he would paw at his mouth if it was nausea...

cat grinding teeth and pawing at mouth
 
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fionasmom

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FOPS might go with what was posted earlier about the use of a mouth gag. The only other thing that I can suggest, although this is not that strong a possibility, is that he has some taste or sensation in his mouth that he is trying to get rid of by continually pawing. Lip licking and restlessness can be signs of nausea in a cat, so I wonder if what he is doing is some variation on that.
 
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dreamingofdeltas

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FOPS might go with what was posted earlier about the use of a mouth gag. The only other thing that I can suggest, although this is not that strong a possibility, is that he has some taste or sensation in his mouth that he is trying to get rid of by continually pawing. Lip licking and restlessness can be signs of nausea in a cat, so I wonder if what he is doing is some variation on that.
Interesting as I didn't even put those two things together but makes sense since the nerves are what seems to cause FOPS. I have that question on my list for the vet tomorrow! I will feel just terrible if he got nerve damage from the procedure since I really was only trying to be proactive to rid him of the tartar since he's needed extractions in the past. 😿

That is also another good thought, thank you! I gave him some catnip in the meantime to see if that helps calm his stomach and maybe the vet can give him some anti-nausea med to try.

Thank you so much for the response. 🥰
 

fionasmom

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Let us know what happens when you see the vet. You tried to what was best for your cat in having his teeth cleaned, so don't beat yourself up. The alternatives with bad teeth are not desirable for mouth/overall health.
 
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dreamingofdeltas

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Let us know what happens when you see the vet. You tried to what was best for your cat in having his teeth cleaned, so don't beat yourself up. The alternatives with bad teeth are not desirable for mouth/overall health.
I sure will! Thank you - yes, that is very true. I appreciate the reassurance as I just wanted to help my boy. ❤
 
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dreamingofdeltas

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I would avoid brupenorphine as it is prone to give severe adverse reaction on cats. There are a few threads on this.
Interesting, thank you. He has had buprenorphine in the past when he had extractions with no issues but good to know, I will do some research on it.
 
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dreamingofdeltas

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I just wanted to post an update that Bentley is still doing the grinding, grooming seems to be a trigger for it.

The vet confirmed that they don't use mouth gags during dental, which is good to hear and I had a feeling they wouldn't have after researching them last night.

They asked me to take a video of him eating and also eating his favorite foods, so I just snapped some videos after work and will be sending them over.

One interesting thing is he isn't going crazy for his dry treats which he normally does...he kind of bites them in two and spits them out. So I'm curious if that is an indication of anything and have a video of that to share, too.

I will keep you posted, as I really appreciate your insight and help...so thank you guys!! I also really love our vets so am hopeful they will be able to help figure out what is going on!

I'm just thankful he is still eating and drinking, peeing and pooping...so that is a good thing.
 

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You say that Bentley isn't eating his dry food like he used to do, and that spits them out. I've watched your video, and I wonder if something is being overlooked here.
If your cat let's you handle and inspect your mouth, you should look at it yourself, inside his cheeks, palate, gums, and under his tongue. Very carefully and thoroughly.

From direct experience, vets tend to miss obvious things.
I don't want to tell you upsetting stuff now, but please do check his mouth thoroughly. A similar thing happened to my cat 6 years ago.
 
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dreamingofdeltas

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You say that Bentley isn't eating his dry food like he used to do, and that spits them out. I've watched your video, and I wonder if something is being overlooked here.
If your cat let's you handle and inspect your mouth, you should look at it yourself, inside his cheeks, palate, gums, and under his tongue. Very carefully and thoroughly.

From direct experience, vets tend to miss obvious things.
I don't want to tell you upsetting stuff now, but please do check his mouth thoroughly. A similar thing happened to my cat 6 years ago.
Thank you so much for the response, so he actually is eating his dry food normally but it was his dry greenies treats he was spitting out. My husband suggested last night it may have been the new flavor we got a few weeks ago that he doesn't like. So I got the chicken ones today that we had before and he scarfed them just like always.

The grinding seems to come on just when he is grooming the more I'm tracking when it happens...strangely never when he eats.

I will absolutely check his mouth again the best I can (he is not fond of me opening his mouth, though.) So thank you for that and I'm sorry your kitty 6 years ago had a similar issue.

My vet wasn't in today but the office said that she will review the videos asap tomorrow - so I'm hoping for some suggestions from her tomorrow.

My husband also is curious if he could be allergic or nauseated by the clavicillin. He started it the evening of the dental for the UTI and finishes on Thursday. But I wouldn't think he would paw if he was nauseated and would think eating food would cause it to happen, too, not only when he grooms.

I want to get to the bottom of this as I feel so bad when he has these episodes.
 
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dreamingofdeltas

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Just wanted to post an update for those who have been offering guidance as Bentley went to the vets today for a UTI recheck and of course we discussed in detail his grinding of teeth/pawing at the mouth.

He still has the UTI unfortunately. Due to the fact that the bacteria are rods, not cones...our vet said it is harder to culture and also since it is not a really bad infection, so she prescribed another (marboquin) for us to try. We've never tried this one, only Orbax and Clavicillin so hope it works. I will have to take him back in 2 weeks for another recheck.

But for the episodes he has been having teeth grinding/pawing at mouth wise, our vet (who we absolutely love) consulted with an internal medicine vet who also watched the videos and thought it looks like oral facial pain - they do not think it is related to the dental and think it is more of a coincidence. However, she thinks it is wise to rule out inflammation that we may not be able to see. Prednisolone will help, if so, so he will be a low dose of that for 10 days. The next thing to do would do x-rays of the head as the dental x-rays they did during his dental only would show so much...to see if something else may be bothering him. We decided to get them today, as opposed to waiting to see if the Prednisolone works...because he is already so stressed everytime he comes to the vet so figured that was the best plan to get it done while there, just in case. So he was sedated for the x-rays and had a really stressful day but is getting much love and treats at home tonight!

A radiologist will review the xrays and we should get the results Wednesday or Thursday. By then, we should also know if the Prednisolone is helping.

If the x-rays don't reveal anything and he still does it, she said the next thing would be a CT or MRI to see if it is something soft tissue (like a nasal polyp or something) that maybe he is feeling move when he grooms and is bothering him. She agreed he definitely seems in discomfort by it when he does it so just hoping we can figure out what's happening.

Since he came home from the vets he started doing it while eating, too (just the teeth grinding but no pawing at the mouth) so that's new. 😿

Crossing our fingers and paws the steroid does the trick...

Thank you all for sending good vibes and purrs to us!! 💕💙
 
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