Removing teeth in a semi-feral with stomatitis - Photos

Antonio65

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In my yard I have two semi-ferals, a 2-yo boy and a 5 or 6-yo girl, both fixed.
They arrived on their own, they're positively feral, not stray, and are rather friendly.

Last May I noticed that the girl was a little down, she would eat less, she was losing weight and her coat was getting bad. I suspected it could be CKD, so I took the cat to the vet. I would have liked to inspect her mouth at home, but she just does not allow me.
The vet looked into the cat's mouth with no problems (the cat gets paralysed with fear at the vets') and the diagnosis was lymphoplasmacytic stomatitis. It's a condition where, basically, the cat's immune system is rejecting its own teeth.
The first therapy was a shot of Depomedrol with the request to go back with the cat after 3 weeks. Four weeks later I was there again, the situation was slightly improved, so the vet gave the cat another shot of Depomedrol.
At the next visit, because the condition was slowly improving, the vet prescribed to continue the treatment at home with Prednisolone, 1.25 mg a week. We went back 6 weeks later and the situation had worsened, so the prescription was changed to 1.25 mg every other day. Another 7 weeks and the cat's mouth was in a terrible condition. The vet gave her another shot of Depomedrol, and said that this was her last chance, the next step would be the teeth removal, though there's no real guarantee that the stomatitis will heal.

Despite her awful condition, the cat keeps eating regularly and her coat is fine since the first shot. But if the only definitive solution to her disease is revoming all her teeth, I think this is what I should do.
My concern is that I don't know how an outdoor cat can manage her life when she has no teeth in her mouth.
Do you have any exprience or advice?

I'm attaching some photos.


Mouth_2.jpg

May 21, 2019 - The situation at the beginning

Mouth_3.jpg

June 18, 2019 - 4 weeks after the first shot of Depomedrol, a little improvement.

Mouth_4.jpg

July 5, 2019 - 2 weeks after the second shot of Depomedrol, a great improvement.

Mouth_5.jpg

August 22, 2019 - 6 weeks after 1.25 mg Prednisolone a week, it has got worse!

Mouth_6.jpg

October 11, 2019 - 7 weeks after 1.25 mg Prednisolone every other day, the situation is awful!
 

di and bob

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Cats learn to adjust/adapt quickly to what they have left. She would do much better with having her teeth removed to get rid of the pain, etc, she must be experiencing. She may even stick closer around if she feels safer. Cats do well with no teeth, they even eat hard food by swallowing it whole. Most cats swallow food whole anyway at times. She still can defend herself with her claws if need be, but she would most likey be happier indoors. If this is not possible, or if she prefers the outdoors, just make sure she is offered food on a regular basis, because she is no longer able to tear apart prey. Her poor mouth looks like it getting to the point she will hurt badly to swallow.
Antonio, you are doing the best you can, and going through all this is very expensive and depressing. It seems like you are the appointed 'keeper' of all those who need help! My thoughts amd prayers go out to you....I know this must seem like one thing after another, and really it is. You are just more tuned in to cats more then others. Most would not have even noticed this or ignored it, you are an angel among cat lovers and will be blessed!
 

CL56

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Cats learn to adjust/adapt quickly to what they have left. She would do much better with having her teeth removed to get rid of the pain, etc, she must be experiencing. She may even stick closer around if she feels safer. Cats do well with no teeth, they even eat hard food by swallowing it whole. Most cats swallow food whole anyway at times. She still can defend herself with her claws if need be, but she would most likey be happier indoors. If this is not possible, or if she prefers the outdoors, just make sure she is offered food on a regular basis, because she is no longer able to tear apart prey. Her poor mouth looks like it getting to the point she will hurt badly to swallow.
Antonio, you are doing the best you can, and going through all this is very expensive and depressing. It seems like you are the appointed 'keeper' of all those who need help! My thoughts amd prayers go out to you....I know this must seem like one thing after another, and really it is. You are just more tuned in to cats more then others. Most would not have even noticed this or ignored it, you are an angel among cat lovers and will be blessed!

Amen to that ^
 
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Antonio65

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Thanks di and bob di and bob and CL56 CL56 ,
so you think that the poor creature would adjust quickly to her new condition of a teethless cat?
She's always a bit scared by new things or small changes, she's very sensible and I'm afraid that being not able to chew as before might scare her.

She's currently eating wet and dry food fine, she even crunches kibbles with her bad teeth. She's a sweet cat, but always alert.
It took me longer than a year to gain her trust. She would show up at night and bolt away as soon as I stepped out the door. I would leave some food for her at night. Then, after a few months, she would eat with me at a certain distance. The winter came again and she started sleeping in a cat house I have outside, and another year later she was so confident that when she got pregnant she would eat everyday at the dishes I had for her, and wouldn't run away. It was April 2017. She gave birth to 4 kittens, and at the age of 2 months she brought them in my yard so that I could feed them, and she was extremely confident, I could even pet her and her kitties while they were eating.
I rehomed the kittens when they were older than 3 months, and a month later I had her spayed.
And all of this shortly after the death of my sweet Lola and while I had to take Pallina to Belgium for her I-131 therapy.

She comes to me only when she's hungry, and when she's done with the food, she doesn't know me anymore :lol:
Friendly before food

That's why I'm so scared to upset her usual life.
We tried to get her indoors, but she's used to live outside, and the walls of a home frighten her.
 

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Since you're feeding her, she doesn't have to rely on hunting to survive, so I'd say go ahead with the extractions. One of the cats in our shelter's feral colony had all but his fangs extracted. His physical condition improved quite a bit. They're fed by us, but he's still one of the best mousers in the colony. Mowgli also only has his front teeth due to FORLs and he has little to no trouble eating or demolishing cardboard boxes.
 
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Antonio65

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Seems your vet tried to avoid this but obviously it is necessary. Hopefully this cat will stay around your yard from now on.
Here is a similar case as yours :
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1140401/
Yes, the vet tried to avoid or delay as much as possible the intervention. I asked her explicitely to do whatever was possible before doing something irreversible.
The vet also suggested to do a dental cleaning before the extraction, as a last resort, but at this point, I don't know if it is worth it.

I imagine that the cat could need a protected environment on the first days post-surgery. The article you linked talks about the cat being fine after 11 days, as if the cat needed such a long time to recover, also because he had to take antibiotics, pain killers and corticosteroid for the same length of time.

I forgot to say that my cat was tested negative for FIV and FeLV (did the test twice). And she has no vaccine.
But I also forgot to say that the cat seems to suffer from kind of a chronic rhinitis, she kind of snores when she breathe, but not always. I am mentioning this because the article lists some possible underlying causes for the stomatitis discussed in the report.
 

di and bob

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I can't imagine the pain she is going through right now. It LOOKS painful.....I can imagine the pain of extrcation would be almost the same, and the relief it would bring to get rid of that pain bwould be such that it she will be grateful and have a very short healing time. my Casper had had two teeth pulled (one canine and one molar) and never showed ANY signs of pain or difficulty eating. In fact he insisted on going back to his hard kibble the first day.
 

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The cats i've cared for after FMEs got oral antibiotics for 7-10 days or a shot of Convenia if feral. Liquid painkillers were administered for up to a week; all the cats were eating regular wet and/or dry food by the day after surgery. They tend to drool and drop food for about a week, but you don't notice anything by day 8 or 9.

From studies I've read or what I've been told by vets, FME results in a total cure of stomatitis in about 60% of cases; another 20% of cats experience such improvement that medication is no longer necessary. I've only cared for one cat, a senior FIV+ male, that continued to need medication after his teeth were removed.
 
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Antonio65

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Hi all, a bit of update.

The semi-feral cat had two of her back teeth removed and a mouth cleaning early June.
Things went quite well after that, and she was eating fine and was happy. The vet had also given her a shot of Depomedrol (long lasting cortisone shot) that would have helped the cat for a few weeks. We should have had the cat checked by mid July, but things went differently, and she was checked only last week.
The cat had been eating bad in the week before that visit, and the reason was that her mouth was bad again. The vet said that we had used up all the possibilities and that the only thing we could do was to remove all teeth. She gave her another shot of Depomedrol and a shot of Methadone. This helped her again. The vet wanted her to eat before the surgery.

Tomorrow morning I will have to take the cat to the local practice, then they will move her to a clinic on Monday. This is to save some money, because the overnight fee at the practice is much lower that at the clinic.

I'm so sad about this decision, though I know we have no other chance. And I'm sad for the cat that doesn't know what is going to happen, and in these last few days she's so happy to see me.

I'm attaching the photos of the last three months. You can see how bad her mouth was at the end of May, then how it was after the two back teeth removal and cleaning, and finally how it is now.

Mouth_7.jpg

May 30, 2020 - The situation before the cleaning

Mouth_8.jpg

June 06, 2020 - Two back teeth were removed and she had a complete cleaning

Mouth_9.jpg

August 26, 2020 - Her gums were swollen and inflamed. She received a cortisone and painkiller shot.

Any word of support will be very much appreciated and welcome.
Thanks!
 
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Antonio65

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This morning I took her to the vet, she was put into a cage till Monday evening, when she will be moved to the clinic.
She was so sad this morning.
She also lost 200 grams (7 oz) since 10 days ago, and her coat was in bad conditions, due to her not grooming much lately.

I'll be updated soon by the vets, and I will update you.
Thanks for your thoughts.
 

gleason

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One of my daughter's cats had all of his teeth removed for the same reason several years ago. He is doing very well. Eats all the time and is quite chubby. He is in excellent health. It was the best decision they ever made for this cat.
 
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Antonio65

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In a few hours she will be put under anesthesia, and the surgery will be done.
Though I understand this is good for her well-being, I can't help being sad for her... She's too young to start living without teeth, and is the third (semi) feral cat in my care to undergo such a thing in less than a year. And they are not related to each other.
Thanks for your thoughts and support!
 
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Norachan

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They do very well without teeth Antonio65 Antonio65 One of my feral rescues had to have all of her teeth except for two upper canines removed when she was less than a year old. She's in great condition now. She loves her canned food, steals a bit of dry from the others now and then and gobbles down steamed chicken breast if I cut it up for her. She looks so much better than she did when she was struggling to eat with a mouth full of decaying teeth.

Sending vibes for your girl. I hope the surgery goes smoothly.

:vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes:
 
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Antonio65

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Hi all those who are following this adventure.
The cat had her oral surgery yesterday, all went well.
The surgery was performed at a clinic, then the cat was moved back to the practice where I had taken her to, closer to home. It'll be easier for me to visit her after work. She'll stay at the practice a few days to make sure she's alright before returning her to my yard.
 
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