cat dental cleaning/cat miserable

luvdogsMarch 5, 2011

Had a five year old cats' teeth cleaned - no extractions.

Wow is he in pain or something. It was done 3 days ago and he is miserable.

Thought it was a simple procedure - what could be wrong?

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Thanks for the warning .... I was thinking about it with my cats. I am curious to see what folks say. Also, has anyone had luck just brushing a cats teeth at home ? If so, what do you do ?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 11:17PM
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spedigrees z4VT

I would call your vet and describe the cat's symptoms. A cat may be groggy for a day from the anaesthesia, but should not be in pain or uncomfortable 3 days later. All my pets have had many dental cleanings over the years and I can attest that your kitty's reaction is not normal. Maybe it is a reaction to the anaesthesia. I'd get him in to see the vet ASAP. I hope he will be alright.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 11:33PM
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Yes I agree with spedigrees. You also need to look at what they did/used--types of pain medication, antibiotics (injection of convenia? he could have a bad reaction to it-seen in some cats), monitoring during the procedure? I am sure they did a preliminary bloodwork. Always useful to get a copy. If they did not give you a report of the procedure (our vet does), you can check your bill. Things should be listed.

Did they give you anything to give him afterwards? If your cat needs pain medication, do not take oral metacam. Ask for Buprenex or other alternatives.
And of course.. it is the weekend.. Did you call the vet the next day (his reaction is not normal)? Hope your cat feels better and doesn't have to go for an emergency visit.
Quite a bad stretch with your cats .. at least your newly spayed cat is now fine!
Good luck,

P.S.:I am taking one of my cats for dental cleaning at the end of the month!! Went through 3 dental procedures (with extractions) with different cats in the past and no problems...

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 12:15AM
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If he's not significantly better tomorrow morning, i will be taking him to the vet.

They gave me nothing to take home.

His head is up, his eyes are clear - he's inactive. He's a Devon Rex and they are very active.

I will definitely be speaking to the vet that did this.

Anne - thanks for your specificities. I did not call the vet the next day, which was a Friday, because i just figured he was taking some time to come out of it. Concern really set in on Saturday and by tomorrow i'll be quite upset.

I'll let you know how it goes.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 8:51AM
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Your kitty should not be in pain from a routine dental. It's no more than a good teeth cleaning in people. If they got a little rough they could have given him Antirobe(antibiotic for mouth) to take home. The behavior you're describing is not normal.

He may be having a slow reaction to one of the meds used during the dental.
-Is he weak?
-Is he not interested in food?

1)Check his temp.
2)CHECK HIS GUMS. If pale and not nice and pink, I'd take him to the ER or take him to your vet first thing in the am. Don't wait.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 11:09AM
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If the cat was bad enough that a lot of calculi had to be removed there may be an infection in there somewhere not readily apparent, or perhaps trauma from the procedure. Some of my cats would just not eat, rather than face discomfort.

Cats seem to know when week-ends approach and almost without fail that seemed to be the time when my cats would present their issues. I'm sorry and know you are worried.

If folks are concerned about feline dental procedures, I've been down that road with my cats on numerous occasions. Believe me, cleanings are preferable to having abcesses set in and involving intrusion into bones or even the auditory tissues. I have seen cats so bad, open wounds appeared in their fur on the outside of the body to drain. Teeth are something you have to keep up on.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 1:26PM
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Yes, i figured it was trauma and thus some injury and then i worried about infection. That will take over a cat and make him miserable quickly so i gave him some penicillin.

When i left at 8AM, he was motionless in a corner, now at 2PM, he seems MUCH better - almost at 100% - brought some tuna to keep him hydrated and test his interest in food and he ate for 5 full minutes so i'm very encouraged.

I have a very large cat-safe outdoor enclosure and he was out there when i came home and came running when i called. He's out there a lot so that's his normal behavior.

So i think my second cat crisis has ended.

thanks to all who responded. "taylor" thanks you too. He's a very cool cat even if he is a bit of a bully to the other cats.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 4:16PM
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spedigrees z4VT

I'm so glad to hear Taylor is better.

I think the penicillin is a good idea. I'd give it for at least 10 days. I always request a prescription of antibiotics from the vet for any animal when they have dental work done, just to be safe.

May you have no more cat crises and your kitties stay healthy and happy!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 6:09PM
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I'm very glad your kitty is doing better and I hope he continues to improve.

As a microbiologist though, I have to comment on your use of penicillin. Why did you have penicillin available? Was it left over from another critter? You gave one dose and then stopped? Please, become familiar with the guidelines for antibiotic usage and practice good usage. Using antibiotics prescribed for another (person or animal), not completing an antibiotic course, or using antibiotics sporadically all contribute to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

I truly am glad your kitty is better, but I do feel the need to educate readers on antibiotic usage - it's a huge problem in infectious disease and is becoming worse rapidly.

A couple of links to reliable resources regarding antibiotic use (May Clinic and CDC):

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 10:58PM
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Be sure to let your vet know what happened. They need to record/flag in his chart his reaction to whatever was used during the procedure. If he has an infection they need to know about that also.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 11:07PM
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My cat is five this year and has never had a teeth cleaning. Actually, he hasn't been to the vet since he was neutered as a kitten. He appears to be healthy weight, good bathroom habits and is a spoiled, "king of the house" indoor, only pet.

He also is pretty fearful of strangers, especially men and hates car rides.

So.... do I want to put him through the stress of a vet visit for this purpose??? Or should I wait until he is elderly???

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 10:15AM
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Some cats go their whole lives stir fryi without tartar building up on their teeth and never require a removal but some have on-going problems with it and need repeated cleanings. It has to do somewhat with diet, but probably more with the chemistry of the saliva in a cat's mouth.

Here's the glitch. Not everyone is adept at looking at the teeth and gums and identifying the calculus. If it isn't yellowed, it looks just like part of the tooth. Vets and vet techs can ID it in their sleep and also check the health of the gums. You, or cats, can actually loose teeth with no cavities at all if they get advanced gum disease and it's usually caused by the build-up of tartar. Also, unless your cat is more cooperative than most, doing a really good oral check on teeth is a battle royal.

I don't have issues with people who have healthy low-maintenance cats who only see a vet on an as-needed basis. But if you do that, it's pretty important you have had enough background that you can spot a potential problem before it blooms into a full-blown emergency. There is nothing sorrier than an elderly cat who has had to have most of their teeth extracted because they got bad before the owner noticed. Un-noticed dental problems can literally feed toxins into the bloodstream of an animal and impact any one of their organ systems.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 12:47PM
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spedigrees z4VT

I think it is a good idea to take any pet to the vet every year for a checkup. I'm pretty knowledgable about pet care, having cared for multiple generations of pets from kittens and puppies through old age, but there are things that only a veterinarian can spot. What Calliope said about some pets needing dental cleanings more often than others is very true. Some pets just don't develop tartar until old age while others do at a younger age.

Additionally an annual visit to the vet acquaints the pet with the vet clinic and the pet comes to accept the visit as a normal routine of living, making it less stressed and more amenable to treatment if/when a serious health problem arises.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 4:29PM
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