Cat teeth grinding and licking lips

sparkle304

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Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions. I have a 13 year old ragdoll (I've attached a pic) that has recently started to grind his teeth and I've noticed he's also licking his lips more frequently. The teeth grinding is quite loud and usually occurs in the early morning (around 6 am) when his stomach is empty. I give him four small meals during the day (2 feedings in the morning, 1 feeding around 4 pm and 1 feeding in the late evening). His appetite is strong. He eats Whiskas chicken pate or Whiskas whitefish. I know this food is terrible, but it is the only food he'll eat! I've tried everything - Holistic Select, FirstMate, Boreal, TikiCat - and he refuses all of them. I've cooked a few chicken hearts and he spit them out. He consumes water and I always add water to his food. I've noticed no change in his energy levels, and there is no vomiting or bowel movement issues. I want to get him checked out by my vet, but he is a very fractious cat at the vet and requires heavy sedation. The last time he was sedated for a physical exam, when I picked him up from the vet, he was literally dripping, head to toe, in his own saliva from the anxiety of being at the vet. It took him 3 days to recover. I'm concerned that the stress from the vet visit may do more harm....Any wise words to share? Is this a teeth issue? Is a gastrointestinal?
PS - I have a video of his teeth grinding, but I can't seem to upload it. It's in mp4 format...
 

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LTS3

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Lip smacking is typical of nausea. Teeth grinding could indicate discomfort. It would be best to take your vet to the vet for an exam and blood work. There are many health issues that can cause nausea and teeth grinding and only a vet can detrmine why. Ask the vet if he / she could prescribe a sedative for you to give to the cat an hour or so before the appointment. Gabapetin is a common sedative. Give the pill using a Pill Pocket or one of the many pilling techniques.
 
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sparkle304

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Thanks for your advice. I agree. I think he needs to get to the vet. Unfortunately, Gabapetin does nothing for him. It actually seems to increase his anxiety to the point that the vet can't even get near him :(
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. I agree with LTS3 LTS3 about nausea and possible discomfort. I don't know how you get around his issues with being seen by a vet. Sorry the Gabapentin doesn't help. Can you ask the vet about some other form of sedative beside what you already know causes him issues?

Btw, would this information help about uploading your video?

How To Upload And Add Videos To Your Posts – Cat Articles
 

LTS3

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You can also upload the video to YouTube and then link the video here.

Can the vet do a home visit? That might be less stressful.
 

stephanietx

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Both are signs of nausea. Kitty definitely needs to get to the vet for a senior blood panel and a check up on his teeth.
 
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sparkle304

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I posted a video of his teeth grinding in the media section. My vet doesn't do home visits - I wish she did! The vet thinks it may be acid reflux. She has suggested giving him Omeprazole followed by Cerenia Green. Has anyone had experience with these meds?
 

LTS3

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Can you look for a mobile vet who does house calls?

Cerenia works for nausea and vomiting. Omeprazole helps with acid reflux. The vet really needs to do a full exam and blood work. Treating symptoms won't help the underlying cause.
 
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sparkle304

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Yes, I agree. Thank you for your advice. I'll call my vet tomorrow. The vet did mention that blood work and x-rays may provide limited information if this is a GI issue (I'm unsure why...). She suggested that exploratory procedures may be required, and I'm not sure I want to do that.
 

stephanietx

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With your kitty's age, you have to check for kidney problems. These are often symptoms experienced by kitties that have been diagnosed with kidney disease. A senior blood panel will help rule that out or determine if that's the cause. I agree that a good mobile vet might be a good idea.
 

LTS3

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X rays will only show issues with bone or solid blockages. Blood work only shows various blood values. GI issues would have to be determined with an ultrasound of endoscopy. A cat would need to be sedated and anesthetized for an ultrasound or endoscopy.

Ask the vet about the possibility of IBD / IBS. Both are treatable with medicine and diet. GI inflammation can cause nausea and discomfort.
 
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sparkle304

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Just a question - has anyone else had a cat react so strongly to sedation? As I mentioned, he was so anxiety-ridden being sedated and coming out of sedation that he was covered (head to tail) is heavy saliva. He truly looked as if he'd been caught in a downpour; he was literally drenched in his drool which caused him chills. The sedation is very hard on him.
 

kittenmittens84

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Has he ever tried Tramadol for the vet visits? It has a completely different mechanism of action than gabapentin does so it might be worth trying. Gabapentin didn’t do much for my cat but we tried tramadol for a plane ride recently and it worked really well - he was calm but not zonked out.
 

MissClouseau

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The other things must be ruled out but if he's still eating and not vomiting, I would personally see dental problems as the bigger suspect here. With that said, if she has dental problems, she might also be oversalivating because of that and oversalivating seem to trigger digestive issues as well with more liquid in the stomach. So more than one thing might be going on.
 
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kmoulus

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They say gaba is very safe and effective for most cats but I was very uncomfortable with it. My Speedy did not react well, it usually took at least two hours to kick in and then she would be extremely sedated, completely out of it and unable to walk straight etc., for the rest of the day. She would also drink a ton. Sometimes the sedation would last 24 hours, once or twice it had no effect at all. And it got worse as she became elderly. I called the vet more than once to express my concern with the extreme sedation and lethargy but they never suggested anything else.

I guess every cat is different and they don't all react like "most cats."
 
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