Extract teeth or no?

carrie640

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Lucy the kitty cat. She has a tooth (teeth?) issue. We've narrowed it down to not only is she hyperthyroid, but much of her batting is due to her mouth. She was on one antibiotic and then started Azithromyacin (did I even spell that correctly?) every 3rd day for 6 weeks. we believe the infection has since vanished as her mouth no longer has an odor, but she is having a hard time eating. I discovered that this HAS to be what the big issue is when I watched her eat treats one night. She had a horrible time trying to find the correct position to eat them. Some of it dropped out her mouth and then I saw she was not chewing them at all. Same with the dry food. She swallows those pieces whole. She was put on the NSAID for cats (starts with an O...I can't recall it right now). The first 24 hours into it, she seemed ok. She hates taking it and now will cower when my husband comes around (he gives her the med). Anyway..the first 24 hours she ate about a half a can of tuna (ground up and not all at one time..I know it's not good for them, but she needs the nutrition right now), some pureed chicken. A whole pouch of the Friskies gravy things (that was in one sitting), and a TON of treats (i broke them up into small pieces). Today, she hasn't moved from the bedroom. I took in some food and she licked it a bit, but wasn't terribly interested. The previous days she had gotten up, used the litter box, played a bit with her catnip kick toy, etc....but not for long amounts of time. Could this be the med irritating her?? We have to take her in tomorrow for a check. I am sure the idea of extractions will come up tomorrow.

Lucy is about 19. Her bloodwork was immaculate with the exception of her thyroid (and that wasn't terribly high, but still high). Just by talking with the vet on the phone, I don't think he likes the idea of giving her any anesthesia due to her age. He said she would have to have it if he wanted to see if she has a polyp, as well. While he didn't say yes or no, I could just get the vibe he wasn't good with that. So, this is my dilemma. Do I let her keep going on like she is until she stops eating altogether? Do I take the chance with the extraction(s)? I can't sit and watch her miserable like this. At the same time, I would always be wondering, "What if? What if she would've rebounded beautifully after the procedure? Then I would've killed her not giving her a chance".

UGH!!!!! I keep "forgetting" what this is like...what it is like to lose the cat of my life <3 I always end up adopting another and another...and get tortured again.

So. With that history of amazing bloodwork for her age, what do you do?
 

Furballsmom

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I would have the dental issues taken care of.
She is getting more and more uncomfortable so her quality of life is being seriously effected.

Do you have a cat and dog dental surgery specialist in your area? Even if not, a good anesthesiologist should be able to make sure things go the way they need to for her.

Safe Anesthesia in Older Cats - WALTHAMTNAVC2003 - VIN.
 
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maggie101

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It's expensive but so worth it if she is going to feel better. My cat is 11 yrs old, she lost weight from throwing up uneaten wet food or was too nauseous to eat. Since her crown taken out she can only eat Nulo minced. If she did not have the surgery,her symptoms would continue and get worse. She also had excellent blood work. For some reason,she can no longer eat pate,just minced
 
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carrie640

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I would have the dental issues taken care of.
She is getting more and more uncomfortable so her quality of life is being seriously effected.

Do you have a cat and dog dental surgery specialist in your area? Even if not, a good anesthesiologist should be able to make sure things go the way they need to for her.

Safe Anesthesia in Older Cats - WALTHAMTNAVC2003 - VIN.
We do have Michigan State University small animal clinic but they are VERY, VERY expensive. It's not that I wouldn't WANT to pay that kind of price tag, it's that I don't have it to begin with. Would Lu need a specialist for this, do you think? I recall about 20 years ago when I had Ashley the kitty cat. I adopted her and when I took her in one of the first times, her teeth were not good. They extracted 2-3 and it was maybe 200 tops out the door. I just worry that at 19, it may do more harm, but at this point, letting them go would, too. This is absolutely CRUSHING my heart. I was in my craft room last night and I just put my head down on my desk and bawled and bawled and bawled. The cat owes me nothing. She is 19. She's a trooper!

She is being impacted by this pain med, though. Not eating as much...not moving as much. I read lack of appetite is one of the effects as is lethargy. I did take her a can of regular food to see what she would do and she scarfed it up. She was hungry but just wouldn't eat the real chicken or tuna today. That makes me so happy that she ate like that and to watch her THOROUGHLY bathe after <3 That is what Lu does....and she doesn't want you there when she does it....so I had to leave..hahaha.
 

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What a fabulous elderly lady.

Would Lu need a specialist for this, do you think?
I would talk to your vet about the anesthesia, that's why I posted that link above for you. That way you'll know what he thinks and you hopefully will have more confidence.
 

maggie101

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My regular vet did her tooth resorption. He could tell her gums were red then an xray showed a lesion. I hope to remember some day to at least rub paste on her gums.
 
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carrie640

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What a fabulous elderly lady.



I would talk to your vet about the anesthesia, that's why I posted that link above for you. That way you'll know what he thinks and you hopefully will have more confidence.
I did some online checking. It could be a grand or more in costs. I don't have even close to that. Ugh. So, the alternative is to let her suffer until she dies or euthanize her. I read it's called "economic euthanasia". I think I need to go vomit. I feel like a complete failure.
 

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I would see about a different pain medication like buprenex instead of the NSAID.
Anesthesia on an elfderly cat is complicated. Having the teeth addressed is important but needs to be done by a specialist. Before any anesthesia she needs a full work up including chest X-rays. Any way you look at it, it is going to be expensive. Ask about the buprenorphine and see if that might make her more comfortable.
 

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Is there another clinic in driving distance that you could "shop around" at? Or make a payment plan? There might also be funds to help with costs sometimes.

I did spend $1200 on my 14 year old cat's dental. It gave him 3 more years and drastically increased the quality of life. I got a payment plan with my vet. The original estimates high end was $2400 but he only needed two extractions.

I'm so sorry you're in this situation. It sucks. It really does.
 
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carrie640

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I would see about a different pain medication like buprenex instead of the NSAID.
Anesthesia on an elfderly cat is complicated. Having the teeth addressed is important but needs to be done by a specialist. Before any anesthesia she needs a full work up including chest X-rays. Any way you look at it, it is going to be expensive. Ask about the buprenorphine and see if that might make her more comfortable.
I think MSU might be the only option...and they are a teaching clinic...not sure if they would be considered a specialist? They are amazing, though. If something is wrong, that's where you go. Big cash, though. They have something called the Lucky Fund and its financial assistance. Aside from income, they do look at prognosis. I take Lu back this afternoon to our clinic. I should know more then
 
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carrie640

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Is there another clinic in driving distance that you could "shop around" at? Or make a payment plan? There might also be funds to help with costs sometimes.

I did spend $1200 on my 14 year old cat's dental. It gave him 3 more years and drastically increased the quality of life. I got a payment plan with my vet. The original estimates high end was $2400 but he only needed two extractions.

I'm so sorry you're in this situation. It sucks. It really does.
I can call around. Lots of offices around, but I don't know if they have their own plans for payment. I had to use my mother's Care Credit when we had to do bloodwork on her. That was 200...and I can't get one of those! Theyd laugh at me!! LOL
 
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carrie640

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Is there another clinic in driving distance that you could "shop around" at? Or make a payment plan? There might also be funds to help with costs sometimes.

I did spend $1200 on my 14 year old cat's dental. It gave him 3 more years and drastically increased the quality of life. I got a payment plan with my vet. The original estimates high end was $2400 but he only needed two extractions.

I'm so sorry you're in this situation. It sucks. It really does.
And I saved the link on my phone ❤❤❤❤

16 years ago, I came here when I got Lucy. I had recently lost a cat, but found comfort in this cat I saw at the shelter. I took her home. She did well, but I could not bring myself to name her. Maybe I felt I’d betray the cat that had died. Maybe I was so guarded that I wasnt ready to make that personal decision. That’s when I turned the task over to TCS. I dont know if that thread would even still be here, but the name, Lucy, won out and was named after Lucille Ball due to her quirkiness and hysterical tactics. Funny enough, we adopted another. That cat came with a name. Sally. And in December of last year, we took in an amazing trap and release. She was named after a relative of my husband. Patti. Ironically, we realized we had three girls from Peanuts (Charlie Brown). LOL. Sally died in 2021 and she got the name Mandy (we did not realI’ve the big connection at that point) and she was named after the Barry Manilow tune. So, we have Lucy, Patti, and Mandy now. 😂. The next might be Frieda! Is she the one with naturally curly hair!?

Anyway, I owe this website sooooo much for all of the input, encouragement, laughs, etc. *off the sentimental soap box*
 

maggie101

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I think MSU might be the only option...and they are a teaching clinic...not sure if they would be considered a specialist? They are amazing, though. If something is wrong, that's where you go. Big cash, though. They have something called the Lucky Fund and its financial assistance. Aside from income, they do look at prognosis. I take Lu back this afternoon to our clinic. I should know more then
Her dental cost $625.65
At least find out what's wrong
 
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carrie640

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I assume it was level 1 tooth resorption. There is also 2 and 3 which would cost more
They didn't tell me yet. We treated with antibiotics while starting the hyperthyroid med. the infection cleared and it wasn't until this past weekend I realized that her mouth still bothers her. I take her back this afternoon. Hoping I'll know more. (Taking her back to our vet...we haven't been to MSU).
 
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carrie640

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Lucy's is periodontal. He told me that resorption is not her issue. They would completely be willing to do the extractions but he feels age might be the biggest factor. She is hydrated. She is social. He said the nsaid meds wouldn't make her exactly sleepy and believes she was relieved from pain and she could rest. He also said, obviously, being 19 almost 20, there will be a time we will have to make that decision, but he does not believe it's her time right now. We are doing another round of antibiotics and he said to give her the last pain med to see how she does. :). I do feel a LOT better and can BREATHE when thinking about this instead of panicking....and freaking out not completely understanding.
 
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carrie640

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Awesome update! She is a lucky cat:redheartpump::redheartpump::redheartpump:
A suggestion i keep forgetting about, I bought tooth paste to rub on her teeth
Was it easy to do? I think I might get my eyes gouged out!! LOL And, we are all blessed for this....it could've been worse...someone upstairs is looking out for us, for sure.
 

maggie101

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My cat peaches will not let me do it unless I try after she's eaten or just awaking from a nap. My other 2 cats will. Maggie I can easily brush her teeth or give a pill. Your cat looks very happy! peaches is also a calico. Grey,tan, and white. Looks like they're sisters!
P1000035 (1).JPG
 
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