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British Shorthair Teeth Problems

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Gina Love, Dec 26, 2018.


  1. Gina Love

    Gina Love PetForums Newbie

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    Hello all!

    We took over 2 amazing cats in August, so I think we’ve had them nearly 5 months. They will be 2 in April. I absolutely adore them! They are so kind natured and soppy. They are British short hairs, and one of them has been unlucky with her health. We noticed she was licking her gums a lot and she had to have 12 teeth out as they were not growing properly. This was in October and she was ok for a few weeks but the behaviour started again. The vet said part of the issue is that she just will not eat dry food so bacteria from wet food is just thriving. Tried brushing her teeth, gels, coconut oil, grapefruit extract stuff she is now on painkillers and has started weeing in random places. We inherited the cats so I was wondering whether to let the breeder know as apparently it is something that should have been picked up when she was little. I think the breeder has regular litters.... Her sister is fine. She seems happy most of the time; plays, is friendly, always hungry, but struggles at night with this sucking noise and has weepy eyes. Poor little thing! Love for these 2 cats isn’t an issue, I’m just concerned about her life quality a bit. Anyone’s experience would be helpful!
     
  2. Pepperpots

    Pepperpots PetForums Senior

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    Dry food doesn’t help clean teeth - it makes them worse. Sounds like there is an underlying condition which needs to be sorted. Chlorohexidine gels seem to be the best at killing bacteria, but you wouldn’t expect a 2yr old to have such bad teeth without something like calicivirus going on, especially when combined with weeping eyes.
    I’d make sure the wet food you feed them is sugar and carb free.
     
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  3. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi @Gina Love, 2 of my previous cats (R.I.P) were BSH and they were the most adorable cats, my soulmates! So I understand completely how much you love your two! :)

    Unfortunately one of mine had the same problem as your cat with her teeth. She developed Feline Chronic Gingivostomatitis (FCGS) when she was about 7 or 8 yrs old.

    Eventually my cat had to have most of her adult teeth removed to manage the disease. The vet had said she needed all her teeth removed, but when it came to it she had decided not to remove all her teeth, and as a result the FCGS only got better for a short while and then became as bad as ever. By then my cat was 16 yrs old and had been diagnosed with CKD (chronic kidney disease) as well as Hyperthyroidism and neither my vet or I wanted to put her through another anaesthetic. I maintained her with pain relief and short courses of steroids to reduce inflammation, until she died at the age of 18 yrs old from the CKD.

    It is not yet fully understood what causes some cats to develop FCGS, though viral or bacterial causes as well as periodontal disease and/or resorptive lesions are considered to be part of the problem. It is believed that cats with FCGS have an altered immune status which permits development of the FCGS. Either an inadequate immune response or an overactive immune response have been seen in different cats.

    A over reaction by the immune system to plaque/bacteria seems to play a major part in FCGS, leading to inflammation which, without treatment, may progress to an auto-immune condition in which the body attacks the dental tissue itself.

    Evidence suggests that calicivirus (which can affect a cat’s teeth/gums/mouth) could play a role in the development of FCGS. Other viruses such as feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), although not been proved to directly link to the condition, may possibly play a part.

    Management is aimed at plaque control and reducing the inflammation and immune response. As bacterial infection plays a large part in the development of FCGS antibiotics are often prescribed, but the inflammation may soon return once the antibiotics are stopped.

    Steroids can reduce the inflammation, but steroids lose effectiveness over time for FCGS, and the risk of serious side effects from long term use is a worry. Strong immunosuppressive drugs have been used in the past, but seem not to be at present.

    In some cases FCGS can't be controlled with drugs alone, and a full mouth dental extraction may be needed. In one study 80% of the cats benefited from this surgery but it is not a guaranteed cure. One of the young cats in the Shelter I help to run continued to suffer with inflammation due to FCGS even after having a full mouth dental extraction, and had to to be maintained on drug therapy for the rest of her life.

    If you are able to brush your cat's teeth daily using a chlorhexidine toothpaste such as Pet Dent, a wet food diet should make no difference (over dry) to the level of bacteria in her mouth. And wet food will be so much better for her overall health.

    I found with my cat that she did better on a Sensitive wet food diet, but that was 10 yrs ago, and nowadays I would put a cat with this disease on an elimination diet using a novel protein for 10 weeks to see if any specific food allergens could be identified and then excluded from the diet. I am not suggesting that food allergies are the cause of FCGS, but that because of the state of the cat's immune system, allergies could be playing a role and exacerbating the inflammatory response.

    If you wanted to consider trying your girl on an Elimination Diet I am happy to guide you through the process and give you links to where to buy the novel proteins etc. :)
     
    #3 chillminx, Dec 26, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
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  4. Gina Love

    Gina Love PetForums Newbie

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    T
    Thank you so so so much!!! This is so helpful. I’d really do anything I can to help our little cat. She’s such a kind sweet soppy little thing. Any advice on novel proteins would be amazing. I will start investigating too. It’s interesting you say that about the full extractions not always being successful in helping the gums, it does feel like it may be something else!
     
  5. Gina Love

    Gina Love PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you very much!
     
  6. QOTN

    QOTN PetForums VIP

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    Full mouth extraction is usually only successful in treating stomatitis when carried out sooner rather than later.
     
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  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Gina Love, it is impossible to say if a change of diet will help her, but I think it is worth a try. :

    Stage 1 is to calm the immune response:

    Feed a novel protein diet for 8 - 10 weeks. A "novel protein" is a meat the cat has never eaten before. These will be kangaroo, goat, reindeer, horse or venison. Choose one of these and feed just that and water for the 8 - 10 weeks. (food must also be grain free). Kangaroo tends to be well accepted by most cats.

    Kangaroo can be bought from Zooplus, made by Catz Finefood in their Purrr range:

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/catz_finefood/catz_finefood_cans/525027

    Goat, reindeer and horse can be bought from Vet Concept :

    https://www.vet-concept.com/für-die-katze/nassnahrung


    Stage 2 is to challenge the immune response:

    Each meat is reintroduced one at a time every 3 weeks and a daily log kept of symptoms. I would start with lamb, then turkey, pork, chicken, beef, fish. Foods must be single protein and grain free. I leave beef, chicken and fish to last as statistically they are the most common feline food allergens.

    Single protein lamb can be bought from Zoo-bio.co.uk in the Catz Finefood Purrr range:

    https://www.zoo-bio.co.uk/catz-finefood/14442-purrrr-no-111-lamb-can

    Single protein turkey can be bought from Zooplus in Animonda Vom Feinsten for neutered cats - as Pure Turkey

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/animonda/trays/14008

    Single protein pork can be bought from Zoo-bio.co.uk in the Purrr range:

    https://www.zoo-bio.co.uk/catz-finefood/14441-purrrr-no-109-pork

    Single protein chicken can be bought from Zooplus in the Purrr range

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/catz_finefood/catz_finefood_cans/525027

    or in Granatapet:

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/granatapet/wet/507806

    Single protein beef can be bought from Zooplus as Granatapet as Pure Veal

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/granatapet/wet/507806

    Singe protein fish can be bought from Zoo-bio.co.uk from the Catz Finefood Purrr range as Salmon :

    https://www.zoo-bio.co.uk/catz-finefood/14439-purrrr-no-105-salmon


    Stage 3 is exclusion of the suspect foods.:

    If your cat's symptoms worsen during the times you reintroduce any of the meat proteins this (or these) proteins are excluded permanently from the regular diet. You then formulate a regular diet with the remaining proteins, ensuring that they are rotated, each protein a day at a time, so the cat does not eat the same protein day after day and risk developing a new allergy.

    Please post again if you want to ask any questions. I would be pleased to know if the diet helps to reduce symptoms at all. :)
     
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