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Dentistry on older cat.

Species: Cat
Breed: DSH
Age: More than 15 ye
My cat, who is a 19 year old spayed male we have had his entire life is fairly healthy. He moves around ok, jumps up on the counter etc. We feed him on the counter because of the dogs, he gets Fancy Feast twice a day and eats some dry food but not much. His teeth are not in great condition but the vet didnt seem overly concerned, maybe because hes to old to do teeth extractions? Anyway, he will only drink very warm water, another reason he hangs out on the counter, I figure the cold water hurts his teeth. My questions are, is he to old to put him through having his teeth removed? He seems healthy in every other way. Except one other thing. After he drinks the water, he"ll meow real loud for about 20 seconds, like his stomache or his teeth hurt. But he doesnt do it when he eats. Any ideas?



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

First of all, congratulations on having a 19 year old cat. This is definitely older than average!

I have seen a number of cases like this where an older cat has severe dental issues. It's often a tough call on what to do.

The first thing I recommend is always to have some blood tests done. (At this age your vet would not do an anesthetic without having bloodwork done first.) If there are no major problems on the blood tests, then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend dental surgery.

Where we run into concerns are when we have an older animal that also has, for example, a significant kidney or liver problem. However, in most cases, if the animal is acting healthy and eating well, we can still be very safe with our anesthetic. In cases like this the vet would change the anesthetic protocol to use drugs that are not processed by the affected organs.

The main factor, however, when we make this decision is usually a financial one. Having dental work with extractions done is usually a little pricey. You could be looking at anywhere from $400 to $1400 to do this. If we play the odds, a 19 year old cat may not live a whole lot longer. That may be a lot of money to spend if we only have a short time left. With that being said, however, I have seen cats live well into their twenties. If Bobo has pain in his mouth then I would not want him to live any longer with pain!

So, if this were my cat I would definitely recommend having blood tests done, and if all was ok, then going ahead with the dentistry.

If you do so, I hope things go well!

Dr. Marie.



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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.

Customer reply:

Thank you so much for your prompt reply. It was very helpful. At this point his quality of life means more than anything to me and will give up a few indulgences in mine to make him more comfortable if thats what is going on. I will talk to his Vet on Monday, and see what our next step is. Even 1 year pain free is worth any amount to me as he is like a child to us as all our animals are. I'm a firm beleiver that when you take the responsibility of owning a pet, you owe them the best you have. I hadnt done anything about his teeth up till now because the last vet didnt seem concerned. Hmmm. Second opinion time.
Again, Thank yopu very much,
Tin


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Bobo is blessed to have such a great "mom"! Let me know if you have more concerns!

Dr. Marie



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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.