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Discussion in 'Holistic Feline Health and Nutrition' started by goonie, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. goonie

    goonie Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Sep 1, 2007
    riverside, ca
    hello dr. jean,
    we have a 3 year old we rescued when she was 5 weeks. she has gingivitis and has had her teeth cleaned about 5 times so far. it seems to be getting a little better. i worry about her going under anesthesia so much. the vet puts her on clindamycin 25mg every time. she also used to get a dry cough a lot when we first got her but now she just has one quick cough almost every time after she eats. the vet said it's nothing to worry about. is there anything with the exception of brushing her teeth to help her re: the gingivitis?
    thank you, connie

  2. drjean

    drjean TCS Member Veteran

    Apr 9, 2008
    I don't blame you at all for wanting something besides brushing--a lot of folks sort of like having their fingers attached to their hand in the same order God put them there! [​IMG]

    In my experience, dental disease has a huge genetic component that we can't do anything about. Your cat probably also had inadequate nutrition as a kitten before you rescued her; not to mention her mom.

    Since she's already on raw, perhaps she would be willing to try something a little odd. Try leaving the raw meal partially frozen, so she really has to grind on it with her back teeth to eat it. I have a buddy who makes a commercial raw diet, and she's had great success with this.

    I've heard good things about Wysong DentaTreat. Iit smells very cheesy, pretty good actually! It took a little getting used to on the part of the cats but now they eat it without hesitation. I mix it into my cats' homemade food; they still have a little "red line" gingivitis but no periodontal disease. I still do dentals on them every year (3 of them need shaving so I'm sedating them anyway). There's a similar product that I can't remember right now but I'll ask the store who carries it (remind me tomorrow, okay?).

    Purists will sniff, but I have had great luck with CET Chews and, of all things, kitty Greenies. Both of them will actually pull tartar off the teeth, provided the cat actually chews them. I know a few cats that swallow Greenies whole. Geez.

    Recently I attended a lecture by our local (very rich) vet dentist, and he said that of all the supposedly tartar-control Pounce-type treats, Greenies is the only one he recommends for cats. Not for dogs, mind you--and the ingredients in dog Greenies are nasty, but the kitty ones are okay. Cats love them; I have yet to meet the cat who won't (eventually) eat them. He also likes the CET Chews.

    Here's my experience, and honestly, it surprised the heck out of me. My short-haired cat (who hadn't been shaved, of course, so hadn't gotten as much dental care) ultimately developed quite a bit of tartar, and from the look of things he was going to need some extractions. It was going to be a bit before I could bring him in. Meantime I had just discovered Greenies and was using them as bait--cats climb all over the computer, I throw a handful of Greenies across the room, cats leave! [​IMG] And wouldn't you know, when I did the dental 2 weeks later, most of the tartar was gone and he didn't need any extractions at all!

    BTW, don't be too worried about the anesthesia. I'm told (by the anesthesiologists of course) that there's no cumulative effect from "serial" anesthesias; once the animal recovers it's as if it never happened. Well, I probably wouldn't go quite that far, but done correctly anesthesia is very safe. Just make sure your vet is using isoflurane or sevoflurane gas, and has adequate monitoring (the main thing you want is a real live tech or assistant standing there watching to make sure the cat is breathing, little details like that.) In my book, untreated dental disease is a whole lot worse--it's painful, and way more dangerous than even frequent teeth cleanings (say, every 6 months). As long as your pocketbook can stand it, that is!

  3. cc12

    cc12 TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 6, 2007
    Pacific Northwest
    Thank you for that advice. I am no fan of teeth brushing but can manage twice a week. I do the the chews but stopped with the Greenies because of my effort to be a purist. But my cats love them. I am off today to stock up! I have 3 cats.

  4. xocats

    xocats TCS Member Veteran

    Mar 26, 2005
    I bought some Greenies today. [​IMG]
    My cats love them, but....
    it looked like they swallowed them whole. [​IMG]

    Any ideas about how I can get my cats to chew the Greenies?

  5. drjean

    drjean TCS Member Veteran

    Apr 9, 2008
    Plaque forms rapidly and hardens in 24 hours, so unless you do it daily, brushing isn't going to give you the results you want.

  6. rosiemac

    rosiemac TCS Member Veteran

    Allow me to introduce you to Sophie because she won't touch treats of any shape or form, even greenies that one of the other Moderators sent them over at christmas [​IMG]

    Thankfully she'll eat her kibbles ok [​IMG] I also use a dental paste for their teeth that they just lick of their paws, is this ok?.

  7. cata_mint

    cata_mint TCS Member Super Cat

    This is so interesting! Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! [​IMG]

    I've started using something called PlaqueOff which is meant to be added to the cats food and claims to be really good at reducing plaque. I was wondering if you knew anything about it?
    I'll be sure to stock up on greenies too!

  8. drjean

    drjean TCS Member Veteran

    Apr 9, 2008
    A cat who has kibbles available day and night will *never* be interested in trying new things. Consider switching to a much healthier wet diet, or at least feed in meals and don't allow 24-hour grazing.

    I have a friend whose 2 Himalayans wouldn't touch Greenies--at first. Eventually they tried them, and wow--now they can't live without 'em!

    If your cat won't chew Greenies, try CET Chews instead. They're too big to swallow whole.

    A paste that they lick off their paws will never get anywhere near the outside of the rear teeth, which is where the most tartar forms. I'd say that is 100% hype!

  9. xocats

    xocats TCS Member Veteran

    Mar 26, 2005
    My 2 finally started chewing their Greenies however, they have been grazing 24/7, I am going to change that to timed meals.
    You are giving us great advice Dr Jean...
    I signed up for your newsletter.
    Thank you.

  10. coaster

    coaster TCS Member Top Cat

    May 28, 2005
    I wholeheartedly agree....some really great information as well. [​IMG]

  11. drjean

    drjean TCS Member Veteran

    Apr 9, 2008
    Hey, I'm having a *great* time too! [​IMG]

    Forgot to mention, I've heard reports of very good results with PlaqueOff, just haven't tried it myself.

  12. cata_mint

    cata_mint TCS Member Super Cat

    Really? That's good to hear. The science behind it all sounds a bit vague, and I'd been swayed by all the glowing testimonials on their website.
    I didn't like the science diet T/D so I'd been urgently looking for an alternative that wasn't brushing their teeth.
    I think Archie's breath has improved. [​IMG]

    Why not be a permanent member? I promise not to bug you too much! [​IMG]

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