Friday, April 17, 2015

Newman's surgery, Part 3

This is how Newman looked when I left in the morning, and when
I came home in the evening. Looking back I wonder how long he felt bad...
Here is some advice and/or lessons learned from my situation --
  1. Get informed on cat dentistry. I wasn't, and I'm not, but our vet told us that cat's teeth are nothing like human teeth. You can't draw too many parallels. For example, Newman ate JUST FINE with his bad, abscessing teeth. Hard kibble was his preference
  2. Extracting teeth is pretty common -- and not as life-changing as you'd think for a cat.  I'm told by other cat owners (who have been down this road) that many cats with NO teeth eat hard kibble, and even prefer it to soft food. 
  3. Have your vet check your cat's teeth in the annual visit. I don't know why this did not occur in our annual visits, especially given Newman's symptoms. 
  4. As Don Quixote said, "teeth are like diamonds." Our vet has encouraged annual dental care visits for our cats. We're looking into this, but we'll almost certainly do something, whether we do it ourselves or have the vet do it.

Whatever your species, when you're teeth don't feel good, you don't feel good. I guess it should be something we keep in the back of our minds when we have mystery symptoms.

So... I am laying odds that some of you all know a whole lot more about cat dentition than I do! What are your words of wisdom/advice, and what are your experiences?



  1. I don't know much about it but thanks for posting this. My cat does not chew her dry food at all, but she does chew the skulls of mice which is a lovely sound: (

    Your cat is an interesting color and pattern, like gold and white. With a blue and black blanket next to his bed. Now I'm confused. Is your cat gold and white? Sorry, I'm bad. *lol*

  2. I find it very surprising that your (old) vet doesn't really do a dental exam. It's been routine at the office I go to for years. I have a 13 year cat who's had lousy teeth since we got her at 4 months. She had one extracted before she was a year old and has had a few more since then. The extractions never slowed her eating down though. I'm sure Newman will be feeling much better now.

  3. I brush my cat's teeth everyday--and they are lovely at the age of 9. If he allows you to brush them, you might want to give it a try to prevent any more problems.

    My sister has a cat that had horrendous teeth as a kitten. His body was attacking them. She had them all removed, and he is thriving--and eats kibble.

  4. My vets have always done dental exams. The only problem is that the teeth cleaning, even without extractions can be very expensive. I finally found a fairly local vet whose prices are more reasonable. Just had two cats' teeth cleaned in December and need to take two more in soon.

    Supposedly, cats in the wild have less of a problem with tartar and infections because of their diets. Chewing on bones and such does help clean their teeth, but I doubt if it's a 100% solution.

    Dental infections can lead to all kinds of other problems as you've discovered. Glad you caught Newman's issues when you did.

  5. Dental issues are such a concern of mine, after 2 small dogs with really poor teeth (and my own dental issues). My (small) dog gets lots of things to chew on (antlers, hard treats, teeth cleaning treats, etc), I use a dental gel, will be also adding in a water additive that helps the plaque from building up, and I'm constantly looking in his mouth. Any cats I get will also have to get used to me poking at their faces...

    I'm also wondering, like the Anon above, why your old vet didn't do a dental exam. All of my recent vets have, even the old vet that we moved away from using because of distance...

    And, even if he decided he doesn't want to eat kibble anymore, I have good news. A friend had a Siamese who had no more than 4 teeth in his mouth. He ate baby food and drooled when he fell asleep. He lived to the ripe old age of 24, and was only let go then because exploratory surgery found cancer that had metastasized all over his abdominal cavity.

  6. We used to feed or cats a storebought kibble that was mostly corn (I had no idea). The tartar buildup was horrendous and required a cleaning with anesthesia. It was very expensive.

  7. My husbands cat is allergic to his own tarter and ended up having all of his teeth removed. He eats kibble just fine and is SO much healthier and happier since we had it done. He'll be 12 or 13 this year.

  8. We had a similar experience. Our vet didn't give us an update on our cat's teeth until he had real problems. He had to have a number of extractions a few years back, but he's been just fine since then and eats fine. It's MUCH healthier for cats to be be fed wet food, but he can eat kibble fine too.


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