Full Mouth Extraction

animallover07

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I will post more on my cat below if anyone wants to read the back story on the question but really I just want to know how bad of an experience this will be for my cat? She absolutely needs at least some teeth extracted, possibly her entire mouth. I have an appointment for her to get this done on the 27th of this month. (It was the quickest they could get her in.) Can anyone with experience on this tell me about how long their cat was in pain/about how long they took to heal? And possibly if they returned to hard food (which I read some do, even without teeth) how long it took them to want to do that? Because hard food is her absolute favorite. I feed her both wet and dry but she just prefers her dry food. I am really upset I even have to put her through this and I just want to know what my cat and I are in for as far as healing and what to expect.

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My cat was found as a sickly stray kitten that we kept taking to the vet to get 'patched up'. She is now 4 years old and has been mostly healthy except for seemingly always having mouth issues that have just gotten way worse lately. Mouth ulcers, teeth rotting out, bad breath, etc.

I found out after having to take her for a second vet visit over these mouth ulcers returning that she has dental disease. It seems as though slowly one by one her teeth are just rotting out. Each time one rots, she is in pain.

I asked my vet about just extracting her teeth because while it would be a big trauma, it would save her from having future tooth related pain and at least eliminate one of her many mouth problems. (She is now on antibiotics 5 days a month for the rest of her life. I don't expect even after a tooth extraction that, that will change because she is super prone to these mouth ulcers. The medicine keeps those away but I suspect she'll always have a problem with that even after tooth removal if ever taken off the medicine.)

When I mentioned tooth extraction the vet agreed that it was a good idea and sounded like she was looking into a full mouth extraction for my cat, yet the vet assistant told me that they clean the teeth and only extract those that are needing to come out. My problem with that is, her teeth could be perfectly fine looking one month and the next be rotting out. Slowly one by one she is having problems with her teeth. So if they only extract some now and then the rest of them get bad we have to put her under another surgery and I would rather just get the pain over with one time and not have to have her suffer more/go under for surgery again. I don't think the vet assistant (who wasn't in the room during the actual exam) knows exactly how bad my cats mouth is so maybe she was just talking about what they generally do and maybe my vet is actually more understanding that all the teeth will probably need to come out as she said "full mouth" and the assistant acted like that was unnecessary?

Anyway, they did mentioned at the vet that sometimes cats have mouths that seemingly just attack their teeth and make them go bad (especially if they have an underlying issue like FIV, which could very well be the case for her since she was a sickly stray kitten when I found her) but that after extraction the pain is greatly reduced since they have one less problem in there causing all their pain.

I would love nothing more than for me to not have to pull ANY of her teeth because I just don't want to inflict pain on her but she has already had to have one pulled (that seemingly just fell out at the vet because it had rotted so badly and I didn't even know it) and one another rotted out and I found it in her food bowl. The rest of her month looked fine not even a month and half ago at the vet and now both her upper fang teeth are rotting at the top. So for her to keep being put through them rotting one by one is breaking my heart. I really just want to know what to expect with my cat when after she comes home from this procedure. Preferably from someone who was in the same boat and has experience in it.

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Thanks so much for any replies. <3
 

Mamanyt1953

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I'm sure someone with experience will see this shortly, but I have done a lot of reading on dental issues in cats. You should be given pain medication at the time of the extractions. Recovery time will depend, as it always does, on your cat's age and general health, but is measured in days rather than many weeks. And I've known any number of toothless cats who gnaw kibble quite happily.

This is what we have on the subject:
Can Cats Manage Without Their Teeth?

As I said, just tiding you over till someone with hands-on experience is here!
 

PushPurrCatPaws

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My last cat had about 9 teeth removed when she was a senior kitty. If I remember right, the vet gave approx. 3 days of pain meds, but she felt so much better having those bad teeth out that, by the third day post-extraction, I didn't feel the med was needed. She ate wet, canned food but I think most cats do fine eating dry food, too, as it's my perspective that a lot of cats seem to "inhale" their dry food without too much munching.
:biggrin:
 

denice

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The most one of my cats had done was 5 at one time and she was fine. She even insisted on eating kibble that night. She was sent home with several doses of buprenex which I could start her on the following morning, they had given her a pain shot before they woke her up.

It sounds like the vet suspects stomatitis Treatment For Stomatitis The usual treatment is extractions. Some vets pull all of the teeth behind the canines others do full mouth extractions.

We have had several cats here that have had all their teeth pulled and they do quite well.
 

jcat

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Mowgli had to have all but his front teeth extracted due to FORL. Both vets who examined him recommended that a full mouth extraction be done to avoid several "follow-up OPs". He got pain medication and antibiotics for a week. He was back to eating his canned food the same day and his snack kibble the next. The only problem he's had is with large pieces of cooked meat; that has to be served in bite-sized pieces.

Several shelter cats I've cared for had full mouth extractions due to stomatitis. They also got a week's worth of antibiotics and pain meds and were eating canned and/or kibble the same day or the next.
 

Norachan

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My FIV positive cat Happy has all but her two top fangs removed. She needed the rest taken out because she had such an awful gum infection. Cats with FIV often suffer from teeth and gum problems.

She had it done at the same time as she was spayed. She had pain killers for 3 days, antibiotics for 5 days. I think she must have been in so much pain from the gum infection that having all her teeth removed was actually a relief for her.

She gets very soft canned food, but I have seen her eating some of the other cats dry food too. Having no teeth doesn't seem to have caused her any problems. She recovered very quickly and is obviously much more comfortable now.
 

lalagimp

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Amalie has FORLs. Her first time with a dental was 5 teeth extracted. I heavily recommend a dental xray because they can see problem teeth being eaten away under the gum line before you can. I think she was given maybe a three day shot of buprenex because I never had any meds to give her. She refused to eat wet food and kept right on snarfing down her kibble. I got a discount, but it was still almost $900 for those five. I got her a dental again about 2 years later and we only lost 1 tooth, so after discount I think it was maybe around $400. She's due for it again next year and we'll see. I always insist she gets an xray.
 

frankie the cat

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My Xena recently had dental surgery. I took her to the vet because she had bad breath that just would not go away. Upon examination the vet did see some rotten teeth in her mouth that were loose and told me that she would need to have them removed. So I set up the appointment, took her in, and later in the day I picked her up. First, let me say this.... I only expected a few teeth to be pulled because upon the initial examination that is what he saw. However, Xena had 14 teeth pulled and this left her with no teeth on top and only a few at the bottom. ( I found Xena as a stray and before she became mine she had already lost some teeth. )
Needless to say I was devastated. I cried because MY BABY had no teeth !!!! And I felt horrible at first because I could hear her crying.... ( she was actually really upset to be in the cat carrier ) which in my mind was because she was in pain.
So I get her home, and she was still unsteady on her feet from the anesthesia. This upset me more....
And she just seemed so... off.
I'll fast forward my story. Xena is a brand new cat since having those teeth removed !!!! In the beginning she would not eat much. She lost weight and didn't groom herself. She couldn't eat dry food at all. She would try to eat it but it would drop out of her mouth. She loves her dry food and kept trying to eat it, but just couldn't. And she would sniff wet food and just walk away from it without eating it. I was so worried that I would have to syringe feed her. I ended up cutting ( yes on a cutting board ) up her dry food into really small pieces and she would eat this. I did the same thing with temptations. Just cut them up into really small pieces so she didn't have to crunch them. As time went on she would eat more....
I think it was about a month before she was back to her normal self. She still eats her dry cat food in addition to wet food. She is back to grooming and is actually more affectionate also. Those teeth that were in her mouth were causing her so much discomfort. She just had to heal....
My advice to you is be prepared for your kitty to adjust. She will be fine. Just go the distance for her to meet her needs.
My Xena drooled for at least 2 weeks btw. I thought it was cute.....
If your kitty won't eat wet food, cut up the dry food. Or add water to it. I experimented with pate, shreds., and chunks along with different flavors to see what Xena would eat. She is a picky lil thing.... I even bought her gravys and broths ( fancy feast ) in a pouch to see if she would lick it up. In the end all she needed was time.
If I had to do it over again I would ! Xena is a happier kitty now because she isn't in constant pain.
 

Kitten70

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Our cat had a full mouth extraction when he was 5 years old. He had in fact 3 different extractions. The first one was the removal of all teeth except for the 4 canines. The second time they removed the 2 upper canines. And the third one they removed one of the lower canines. They explained to us (similar to your case) that he had like an allergy (autoimmune defense I guess) and the gums were attacked by his own teeth, so they recommended a full extraction. He recovered from each one extremely fast. He only needed pain medication for 3-4 days after each extraction.
The vet recommended we fed him wet food during the first week, but he was never a wet food eater, so the next day he was eating his regular dry food as if nothing had happened. He lived happily and well for the next 9 years, the mouth was never a problem after that, the bad breath went away and he seemed fine. I did notice that after the upper canines were removed he had trouble drinking from his bowl of water, so I bought him a fountain and that took care of the problem.
My hunch is that your cat will recover fast from the surgery and will be eating normal a few days later.
 

ChaoticEva

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My Oscar had a full mouth extraction earlier this year. It went quite well. It did take him longer to heal and needed to be on pain meds for a longer period of time. Keep in mind that he's almost 16, has hyperthyroidism and he also had a surgery to remove his bladder stones at the same time. So it's to be expected that his recovery time was quite slow. But, he refused to eat any wet, so he ate dry food right off the bat. I don't regret getting all his teeth removed. He feels so much better now.
 

Auzora

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Hopefully I'm not too late to the party here lol. We've had two cats need teeth removed. Our first cat passed away after the surgery while he was still at the vet's :( Neither us nor the vets have any idea what happened. So in that situation, it went terribly. But I don't think there was any way around the surgery, and him passing away at the vet's was hopefully more peaceful than by starvation and in pain from his bad teeth/gums and ulcers. The second cat who needed teeth removed: she would be eating normally, then all of a sudden screech and run away, pawing at her mouth. Took her to the vet to find out she had bad teeth/gums. Can't remember if she had ulcers from the pain or not. The vet removed some teeth, but the pain stuck around, so she (the vet) removed the rest. Her recovery after the full extraction went very well, and her gums are in fantastic shape now. I don't remember how long she took to heal, unfortunately. The sutures took longer than normal to dissolve, but it didn't cause any issues. She eats dry food no problem, but she just can't chew it obviously. Our dry food is a bit smaller than pea size. Any bigger and I doubt a toothless cat would be able to eat it. She's a little vulture (likes to eat anything) and once tried going after a hot dog that dropped, and the poor girl was only able to gum it and wasn't able to get a piece off :lol: She's happy and pain-free after getting a full extraction. According to our vet, there's a slight chance of the cat's gums having chronic irritation even after getting their teeth removed, but the majority of the time they heal up fine. Try not to be too upset or worried (I know, easier said than done), but it's something that just has to be done if their teeth are bad enough; there's no (humane) alternative once it reaches that stage as far as I'm aware. But alas, maybe in the future. Good luck, and I hope the surgery goes well!
 

neely

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Amalie has FORLs. Her first time with a dental was 5 teeth extracted. I heavily recommend a dental xray because they can see problem teeth being eaten away under the gum line before you can.
I agree, dental x-ray is very important. It helped diagnose Neely's cancer of the mandible immensely. Carleton also needed teeth removed. They were in such bad condition when we adopted him but he came through the dental surgery just fine, same protocol, i.e. x-ray, Buprenex and antibiotics.

Best of luck on the 27th, please keep us updated. :alright:
 
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animallover07

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I am really late to the update here but I wanted to thank everyone for their stories and input. I also wanted to update my own story in case anyone else is having this done and is also as worried as I was.

My cat did great through the surgery! She licked her bare gums like crazy after trying to figure out where her teeth were. Haha. They did give me medicine to continue to give her after for the pain and we bought the extra gravy formula wet food to try to coax her back into eating on but she didn't need convincing and was even sneaking bites of her hard food later on that night! She's had no mouth ulcers or mouth problems at all since removing her teeth. The vet said most of the time when the teeth are taken out, the ulcers go with it because the teeth are a cause of most of the mouth ulcer problems. It's honestly the best thing I could have done for her. She still loves her hard food. She does sometimes get a little gagged on the pieces but she just coughs it up and goes right back into eating. She still prefers her hard food over the wet. I cannot explain how much this has changed my cats life for the better. She is no longer in any mouth pain at all from any of the yucky stuff she used to be prone to. So if anyone else has been suggested that they get this done for their cat and are on the fence I hope this reassures you that it is the right thing to do.

Again, thank you everyone for your input and reassurance! <3
 

Norachan

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Thank you for the update. I'm glad everything went so well, sounds like you made the best decision for your cat.

:happycat:
 

jcat

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Yes, thank you for the update! A lot of people are horrified when their vet recommends a full mouth extraction and wonder how their cat will cope. Hearing what a vast difference it can make in quality of life will surely help them.
 

CatherineKim

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I wanted to say thank you everyone for sharing your stories. I came across this site after searching for feline stomatitis full mouth extraction pain management. You have no idea how many blogs I've read, but reading real stories has brought me hope. We recently fostered-to-adopted a TNR rescue cat. We were her 4th foster parents, and we love her so much. The rescue let us know she does not interact well with other cats and shortly after we brought her home, we figured out she was partially blind (she can see light contrast, but does not see laser toys, walks into walls, first time missed the stairs, etc), but she has hid it very well. It makes sense why she wouldn't want to be around other animals if she cannot see. On top of this, she has stomatitis and needs a full mouth extraction. I felt so bad because she's been through so much. She sleeps on my stomach every night and often she has nightmares. I was feeling uneasy if she would be in discomfort. Also, I've read 85% of stomatitis cases where extractions help, but I can't help but think what if she is the 15%? Would I have put her through another traumatic experience for nothing? But, based on what I've read, it seems to have really helped. Thank you again for sharing.
 

sunflowers271

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Oh my Heavens! I am SO happy I came across this upon conducting a Google search of full mouth extractions in vats. My 11 year old black cat is having a rough time and initial exam showed that possibly 5 or 6 teeth will need to be removed due to advanced periodontal disease. She went in today for her procedure and the vet just called and mentioned that after a thorough cleaning and removal of tartar build up, that my poor cat's teeth are so bad and fragile that she will need a full mouth extraction. They are pulling some today and she will have to go back for another extraction procedure in a few weeks or so.

Reading your stories has been a HUGE relief for me. I want my sweet girl to have her best life. I can only pray that she will still eat and be active once all of this is said and done.
 

neely

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Reading your stories has been a HUGE relief for me. I want my sweet girl to have her best life. I can only pray that she will still eat and be active once all of this is said and done.
It has been more than a few years since I last posted in this thread as it was originally started in 2017 but I'm glad you joined the site and the information here has helped you. I wanted to let you know our cat who also had most of his teeth removed is doing fine and you'd never know he was missing any teeth. He had no trouble eating and felt so much better once his mouth healed from the dental surgery. I hope your black cat has the same experience and we'll be keeping our fingers crossed for you. :crossfingers: If you would like you can start your own thread and post updates. Best of luck!:alright:
 

sunflowers271

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It has been more than a few years since I last posted in this thread as it was originally started in 2017 but I'm glad you joined the site and the information here has helped you. I wanted to let you know our cat who also had most of his teeth removed is doing fine and you'd never know he was missing any teeth. He had no trouble eating and felt so much better once his mouth healed from the dental surgery. I hope your black cat has the same experience and we'll be keeping our fingers crossed for you. :crossfingers: If you would like you can start your own thread and post updates. Best of luck!:alright:
Thank you! Last night, my Sassy cat ate some chicken cat food, but would not touch any Pate or normal cat food that my other 3 were eating. The vet said to expect that. However, this morning, I got up for my run and walked in the kitchen. Sassy came to me and demanded food. I tried again with Pate and she ate that. Opened a can of Reveal chicken shreds and she ate that too. I just fed her again and she ate even more. I am SO HAPPY! So, I am adding my success story here! That girl is clearly a different cat - she is happy. She is out and about more and just seems to be better. But, most importantly, she is eating!

Oh, and when it was all said and done, they did extract almost all of her teeth yesterday. She also had resorptive lesions. Exposed nerves and bad teeth. I was told that her teeth were almost falling out - which made it easier to do the entire procedure yesterday.
 
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