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Gum issues please help

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Natbecky1, Dec 12, 2018.


  1. Natbecky1

    Natbecky1 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all.

    One of my cats ( who’s 3) I noticed has slightly bad breath and when I look at her gums the top ones are red ... not as red as the pics you see on the internet of cats with gum disease. She’s eating, drinking. And acting normal but when I tried to look in her mouth you could tell it was uncomfortable for her so I took her to the vets this afternoon.
    They said they want to take ALL her teeth out,except the front ones and want to X-ray all her gums this would be around £800!!
    What’s confused and angered me is the fact that about 4 years ago our Maine coon had bad teeth so we took her and they did a scale and polish first. She was then fine for a couple years before they needed to remove 4 teeth. She had stopped eating and was drooling which is why we took her to vets. How come they don’t want to scale and polish this cats teeth and maybe remove one or two. I don’t want her to be left with no teeth unless that’s the last resort surely?
    I explained this was a bit of a dull on treatment when she’d never had any history of gum issues and she was well in herself but they made me feel like I just didn’t care about her and wouldn’t listen.
    Does full tooth removal for a first trip to the vets ( she doesn’t have any abcesses and bottom gums are pale pink) seem extreme?
     
  2. Orla

    Orla PetForums VIP

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    Did they give you a reason for removing them all? My own vets (both at rescue and my personal vet) tried everything they could to preserve my Tommy’s gnashers before removing them. I wouldn’t necessarily say eating and drinking was a sign things weren’t necessarily bad enough to require tooth extraction though. Cats can be very stoic in the face of pain. Also no 2 cats are the same so what worked for your last cat may not be the same for this girl. If you are at all in doubt, I would consider a second opinion. If she does have full (or near full) mouth extraction, Tommy would like to assure her that you can still eat and everything will feel much better, so don’t be scared. Keep us updated.
     
  3. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Run quick to another vet practice. It may be your cat in future may need full mouth extraction if she has stomatitis for example but there are many other treatments to try first, if this even is stomatitis. But to push for this immediately? That's insane.

    The first thing would be a simple cleaning and x rays under anesthesia.

    Please, take your beloved kitty elsewhere.
     
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  4. Ceiling Kitty

    Ceiling Kitty Hides away from much through humour...

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    Veterinary dentists do recommend proceeding early with full mouth extractions in stomatitis cases. It carries the best chance of improving or resolving the inflammation.

    The longer you leave the inflammation unmanaged, the more refractory it becomes and the risk of malignant transformation increases.

    It may seem drastic, but a recommendation of full mouth extractions in a cat with stomatitis is definitely a recognised one. It is no longer considered a 'last resort', as by then it may be too late to make a difference.

    Whether or not it's appropriate in this cat is impossible to say. OP, I suggest you seek another opinion if you are unsure - ideally from a vet well versed in dentistry and/or feline medicine.

    Beware, as some still follow the 'long-term steroids' approach for oral inflammation in the cat - cheap and often effective at first, but usually fails in the end and leaves the mouth in even more of an untreatable mess. Long-term steroid therapy is sometimes appropriate, but it's that which should be the last resort and not full mouth extractions.
     
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  5. Ceiling Kitty

    Ceiling Kitty Hides away from much through humour...

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    PS I agree with full mouth X-rays, regardless. You cannot make informed treatment decisions without them.
     
  6. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    But the OP didn't mention stomatatis, I was the one who brought that up. Granted perhaps we weren't given all the information. But full mouth extraction without even trying anything else in a cat who is still eating is old fashioned and drastic.

    This cat hasn't lost condition or even gone off her food. She may end up needing this, but I think it's crazy to suggest it straight off the bat like that. And you know, in some cases it doesn't even solve the problem.

    A change in diet is often the first step, especially to raw. I wouldn't trust a vet who made such a suggestion for an otherwise healthy cat without offering any other alternatives.

    Blood work, dental and x rays under anesthesia, extract any that appear to be needing it, but for heaven's sake, give the cat a chance. This isn't a cat starving to death from a worst case scenario!

    If the cat were desperately suffering I could see it.
     
    #6 lorilu, Dec 12, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
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  7. Ceiling Kitty

    Ceiling Kitty Hides away from much through humour...

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    We don't have enough information to say either way, so it's all speculation. Was extraction of all teeth the only recommendation made? Were any other possibilities discussed at all? Only the OP is privy to that information and it isn't in their first post, so until they come and clarify for us we're just assuming that was the only option presented.

    This cat may have stomatitis. The fact that the vet brought up full mouth extractions at all implies that it might - or the teeth are all riddled with resorptive lesions, which of course is a separate pathology to gingivitis (making gum colour a red herring).

    Alternatively, the cat may have localised gingivitis and the recommendation is complete overkill.

    We know that many cats (and dogs, for that matter) continue to eat despite quite significant dental disease - which is one reason why it can be difficult to convince some pet owners that yes, their animal's dental disease probably IS painful although they are still eating. This cat's mouth appears painful as the OP stated so.

    It's interesting that full-mouth extractions are considered an old-fashioned treatment, as for stomatitis I see steroids as the old-fashioned approach (whereas the old-fashioned approach to other dental diseases is probably to do not too much at all - or just take out the loose ones and leave the rest).

    As we've both suggested, a second opinion would be a wise move for the OP. Hopefully another pair of eyes will help them decide whether the first vet's recommendation was appropriate or not.
     
  8. Natbecky1

    Natbecky1 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you Orla

    Pretty much said it was a preventative measure and only looked in her mouth for seconds then put her back in her pet carrier and told me how many X-rays they will do and that all the teeth will come out.
    I asked if they couldn’t do the scale and polish and then take out any teeth that needed it when she was under but just not all of them right away and was made to feel like a terrible cat mu

    Her bottom gums and teeth are totally clean and healthy looking.

    I’ve got appointment with another vet for second opinion so we will see.
    We have another cat who’s 18 and only has one tooth left he gets on just fine, I just don’t want hers all out if nothing wrong with some of them.

     
  9. Natbecky1

    Natbecky1 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks all.
    Have seen another vet who took a longer than 2 second look and advised scale and polish, with extraction as needed once she’s under especially as her gums were fine a month ago. They will X-ray if needed too.
    I feel happier with this as I felt they also listened. My main priority is that she’s not in pain but I think the full extraction without having ever seen her for gum issues or signs was extreme.
    She’s booked in on Monday so will see how many teeth she comes home with.
     
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  10. Orla

    Orla PetForums VIP

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    That sounds a much better approach. And more importantly it sounds like you feel more comfortable and more trusting of this vet. It is vital you feel you can communicate freely with the vet as at the end of the day, it is your job as a loving owner to advocate for the Cat and act in her best interests. Let us know how she gets on. Oh, and we love photos on here :)
     
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