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Dental problems in 20 year old cat.

Species: Cat
Breed: non specific
Age: More than 15 ye
My cat Jack, who is 20 yrs old and has a predominant heart murmur and obviously a poor candidate for any surgery, has been diagnosed with a tooth abscess. It has been over a month since they have given him one injectable two week cycle antibiotic. He has reacted to the antibiotic and pain meds extremely well. His entire being seems to have changed back to a state that I have not seen in years. This is a good thing. At this time he shows no signs of pain or swelling and has not required any pain meds for several consecutive weeks. Is it possible to keep the infection at bay indefinitely with antibiotics on a regular basis? If so, should he be given a schedule for the injection, or wait until symptoms begin to resurface? We do not have the money to take the chance of his survival during surgery. We do not want to put him down unless he is in a constant state of pain and unable to continue a life of quality suitable for him.

Your advice would be most helpful and appreciated.

Sincerely,
Anne and Lance Schmidt


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Congratulations on having a 20 year old cat!

These situations are tough. Ideally it is best to do an anesthetic and clean the teeth and pull the infected ones but this is not always possible.

What I usually do in cases like this is do a week of antibiotics once a month. It sounds like your vet is using Convenia which is good for 2 weeks. This is ok as well.

It really is up to you and your vet how often you give these injections.

What I would likely do is give the injection and then see how things look in a month. Then, the next time, see if we can spread it out to 5 weeks and so on.

I hope he continues to do well!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.