Dental aftercare for feral

yemiya

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I have a semi-feral cat who has never had but needs a dental cleaning and it's unknown if he'll need any extractions. I'm concerned about aftercare, since it's very difficult to get any meds into him (in this case, antibiotics & possibly pain meds); putting in in his food has been the only way--at least some of the time--and there's no guarantee that he'll eat or how much he'll eat. Also, he will not stay in 24/7--in and out at night until he goes to sleep, and then out by about 6am, staying in the yard for the most part until evening. It's very difficult because I have so little control. Any similar experiences or suggestions appreciated!!
 

FriendofFerals

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My feral became a semi-feral and later indoor after I trapped him when he got in a fight and had an abscessed leg. I never let him outside again and he just had to learn to get along with the others and be a domestic cat. It took 3 years of working with him daily to get him to where he is now. He had many health issues I had to address before the teeth but the teeth were BAD and I knew it. Finally got clear bloodwork and he just had 18 teeth out yesterday. I am able to touch him and put him in a carrier (with a struggle). I can sneak meds in a syringe in his mouth now but that took a while. He has had many, MANY meds this year for ear infections, parasites, and allergies, so he's gotten better. Do you have a screened-in patio where you can "soft trap" him and keep him there so he eats and gets the meds in his food? You would at least have better control that way. Are you able to touch him/handle him at all? If so, then all you need to do is ensure he is somewhere close (like the patio). Do you have a room where he could temporarily camp out with a bed, litter box and food so he could have privacy and feel safe until he was better? I rehabbed a barn cat that needed surgery and he stayed in a spare room away from everyone else until he was OK. That worked good. He had his space and no threats from other cats while he was healing.
 
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yemiya

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Thanks so much for your response! First-- I can not keep him inside 24/7---. I do not have a screened in patio, but he does sleep inside at night only. I don't think sneaking meds into syringe will work. Most meds I've tried mixing in food, he could detect and wouldn't eat. When he does eat, no guarantee how much he'll eat so difficult to get proper dosage of meds. Even tried compounding meds at one point to rub on ear, but he wasn't having it. Yes, I am able to touch him but can't pick him up. He loves head and neck rubs but it's taken a long time to get to this point. Couldn't touch him at all when we first met (in my yard). Also, he will not use a litter box, so he goes out when he has to go which isn't during the approximate seven hours he sleeps in at night. There are no other cats to contend with but he is very rigid in terms of where he is inside---either eating or sleeping/cuddling with me. Doesn't connect with being indoors on any other level, although he does make his rounds to check things out---making sure there's no intruder, etc. :) The outdoors is his world--had been for the very approximate 3 years before I met him (3 1/2 years ago).
 

mrsgreenjeens

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My cat just had a dental with extraction yesterday and they sent him home saying he wouldn't need any further antibiotics other than the penicillin they gave him while there, and they gave him a pain med that is new on the market that lasts 4 days. Not sure whether or not I would recommend it because he's basically acting pretty spaced out, but I'm guessing he would be like that if I were to give him pain meds at home too. Last time he got a dental they extracted four teeth and sent me home with pain meds which I never gave him because he never acted like he needed them and ate just fine without them.

I would advise discussing your concerns with your Vet. It's possible your little guy will not need any meds after his dental, particularly if he doesn't need any extractions. If he does, you could ask for an antibiotic that has the least bitter taste and try adding it to just a little bit of the stinkiest wet food you can find (fishy works best). Don't add it to his entire meal, maybe just a small portion to make sure he embibes it all, then give him the rest of his regular food.
 
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yemiya

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Thanks for your response!! Good to know about the long-lasting pain meds but I guess any pain med is a risk with my cat since it can increase vulnerability outside--but, he doesn't travel far. Vet is aware of the difficulty in the past with meds. I don't mix the entire amount into his food but have had difficulty getting the rest in--very picky eater to begin with so it's kind of hit or miss. Sometimes the stinkiest food doesn't attract him--depends on his mood that day. He also has intermittent appetite issues where little appeals to him so I end up throwing out some of the various foods I try until I find one he'll eat at that time. Definitely not an easy situation. I will discuss with vet--again but didn't get many suggestions when I told him about this problem is his history.
 

Melissa Kellison

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Have you considered crating him? When animals are rescued by clinics and organizations, they keep the animal being treated in adaquate cages for the ease of administering ongoing care. He's not going to like it, for certain. But, it guarantees you can get the post-surgery care to him instead of having him being harmed more if he goes into hiding and becomes infected. Medicine is always an unsavory thing, but it heals.
 
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yemiya

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Have you considered crating him? When animals are rescued by clinics and organizations, they keep the animal being treated in adaquate cages for the ease of administering ongoing care. He's not going to like it, for certain. But, it guarantees you can get the post-surgery care to him instead of having him being harmed more if he goes into hiding and becomes infected. Medicine is always an unsavory thing, but it heals.
No, I haven't. There is no way he will adapt and there will be no way for me to administer any care under those circumstances. He has extreme fear of being confined----took many, many months before he would even stay inside for any period of time, so he's come a very long way. Also, I don't want to sabotage our relationship--only to have him regress and be too fearful to get near me. But thanks!
 

mrsgreenjeens

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If he gets that 4 day pain med, he may not want to wander too much. My guy, who hates his carrier, has been staying in it since he got home :oops:. I took the door off of it and set it in our bedroom closet where he has another bed, put some towels and a worn t-shirt in it for comfort and that's where I constantly find him. And he normally only goes into that closer when we have company, that's why he has a bed in there. Your guy may actually be ok in a bedroom inside for a few days if you give him a litter box and perhaps fill it with dirt since he's not used to litter. You might not even need to close any doors.

Or maybe there is nothing to worry about because he may not need any meds afterwards :crossfingers:
 
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yemiya

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Thanks, but he is a true outdoor cat. He will only stay inside to sleep--and only at night, no matter how he feels. He'll even go out in the rain or strong wind--despite HATING both--and then scramble for shelter underneath a bench or table in the yard!! He doesn't wander much. Also, I've tried the litter box with dirt he's accustomed to and it didn't make a difference. I'm going to call a few vets again today and get their take on probable aftercare. Very sweet but stubborn little guy.
 
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