Cat died days after teeth extracted

cookingrvcJanuary 29, 2009

A colleague of mine brought their cat (Benjamin)in for surgery to remove some teeth that were rotted. No problems detected before surgery, but the cat apparently developed an 'infection' and declined sharply in the week after. Because of his outward signs of pain (verbal and behavioral) they put him down.

The vet has said that it was an infection, but there is no way of noing how or why. Of course the family is feeling guilt and wants answers, but there appear to be none they believe.

I know my Sophie cant have her teeth out due to a murmur, but no such diagnosis was made with Benjamin.

Anyone have any ideas or an experience like this?

Sue

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joepyeweed

Its always sad to loose a beloved pet...my condolences to the family.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 3:39PM
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laurief_gw

I am so sorry for your colleague's loss. Several weeks ago I made the frightening decision to have what I thought would be a single tooth extraction on my cat, Billy. This was something I had been trying very hard to avoid because Billy is a high risk patient (19 yrs old, CRF, hyperT). I spoke with the veterinary dental specialist who would be performing the procedure and I researched the safety protocols for cats with Billy's health concerns to make sure all of the protocols would be followed. Fortuntely, Billy came through surgery fine and is still doing fine several weeks afterward. He had four teeth removed, one of which was sitting in a pocket of pus, and the other three of which were rotting from the roots up.

One of the necessary safety protocols was to have Billy on antibiotics for at least a week PRIOR to the dental procedure to help clear the mouth tissues of any active infection that might enter the bloodstream during the extractions. He continued to receive antibiotics for another week AFTER the procedure, as well. Because Billy's tooth infection had been flaring on and off for over a month prior to the extractions, he had been on antibiotics for a couple of weeks before the procedure.

If Benjamin was not on antibiotics both before and after the extractions, he was vulnerable to developing a post-dental infection. The antibiotic would have had to be one with strong activity against anearobic bacteria, as well. I will always insist on a round of antibiotics for any of my animals BEFORE and AFTER any dental work is performed. It's a small but critical step to help prevent post-dental infections.

Laurie

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 5:47PM
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runsnwalken

Was cat on dry?, do ask.

Felinefuture.com has picture of dry fed cats and their dental disease.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 8:44PM
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quasifish

I'm sorry to hear about Benjamin

I have an older cat with the same health issues as Laurie, and a lot of the same reservations as she had regarding dental. Before committing to it, I did a lot of reading online and was surprised how often I saw reports of cats doing badly after dental work. It was often healthy cats that had this issue, perhaps because more precautions are taken with those that are already known to be sick?

I am curious as well as to whether Benjamin was on a course of antibiotics before or after? Since it was known that he had bad teeth, it probably would have been advisable to put him on antibiotics beforehand to reduce his bacteria load.

My boy kitty had to have dental surgery on short notice for a broken fang last summer. Since he couldn't be on antibiotics beforehand, he got a long course afterwards- he had beautiful teeth though, and a very clean mouth so that probably helped. He passed away unexpectedly from cancer a few weeks ago, so sometimes things come up that surprise us.

I hope your friends don't dwell too long on what took Benjamin from them too soon, but remember him for his special place in their lives. At the same time, it is good to do some research and have lots of information from which to ask questions if they ever find themselves in it again. I trust my vet, but not blindly- but this was only learned from dealing with a situation sort of like Benjamin's where a vet didn't err on the side of caution and a cat I had suffered for it.

(((Hugs))) I hope your friends can find peace in this.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 10:41AM
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deb18

My dog had several teeth pulled a few months ago because they were loose. My vet also put him on a round of antibiotics for the previous week in order to prevent bacteria from spreading into his bloodstream.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 12:14PM
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Meghane

Laurie provided very good information about dental infections. A common cause of endocarditis (infection of the heart valves) is dental disease, which can lead to sudden and not-so-sudden death. Dental disease can also lead to kidney infection which can also be fatal.

Cats with heart murmurs are at much greater risk for endocarditis than other cats, and actually need dentals MORE than cats without heart disease. Animals with heart disease should also go on antibiotics prior to a dental procedure to prevent endocarditis. A heart murmur does not preclude safe anesthesia- I anesthetize animals with heart murmurs all the time. The anesthetic protocol must be altered to account for whatever type of heart disease is present (a heart murmur is not a disease, but a clinical manifestation of some type of heart disease). Blood pressure monitoring is extremely important for animals with heart disease, as general anesthesia combined with heart disease can lead to hypotension, which can cause severe kidney injury and may even lead to death.

I am sorry about your colleague's cat.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 3:42PM
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runsnwalken

me too

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 4:47PM
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runsnwalken

The sad thing is if the cat was fed raw or the like, it wouldn't have ever needed dental work in the first place.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 6:55PM
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