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  1. #1
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    Default Kitty Dental Health

    Besides a vet performing teeth cleaning, what other things can I do to help kitteh's pearly whites healthy?

    Brushing is most likely not a possibility for this cat -- she's an extremely gruff 12yr old who doesn't like getting messed with so things I could feed/add to water would be preferable. Do water additives like Dental Fresh do any good?

    She gets daily tartar control treats (Temptations) -- I have to bribe her and her "brother" to get out the door in the morning -- and a mixture of kibble and wet food. When she was in for her shots in August, the vet said her teeth/gums looked wonderful. Whenever she "talks" or yawns, the gums are a light pink in color and her teeth are white, so I always assumed she was in good shape.

    I'm taking her in to the vets tonight because she's been having some difficulties chewing the kibble and her breath has been horrific. She also won't let me rub the sides of her face like she always used to love. As bad as it may sound, I'm hoping its teeth and not something more serious! Obviously, I'll see what the vet says, but if anyone has suggestions, I'm all ears! Thanks!



  2. #2
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    feed a raw whole-prey diet the cat has to chew?
    avoid feeding dry food or any canned food with carbohydrates in it- it's the carbs in the diet that cause the tooth problems in the first place.



  3. #3
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    Dec. 21, 2008
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    It definitely could be a tooth issue such as an abscess or a problem with her jaw. Kidney disease can cause bad breath but it shouldnt cause any issues with chewing. She may have a loose tooth or a broken one. The vet may not be able to truly evaluate her mouth without sedation.



  4. #4
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    Kitteh got all her teeth probed (she was actually pretty good for the vet and her assistant) and was a bit sensitive with the two lower premolars. The one she started chattering when it was touched so that might be infected.

    So liquid (thank heavens!) antibiotics for a week, then she goes back to see if that cured it or if she'll need 'em pulled.

    Wendy, both cats are getting grain free kibble (Wellness CORE) and grain free canned (also Wellness or similar). The only grain is in the treats and they might get 8 a day if that. The kibble has to stay in the mix for various reasons -- I don't think you can feed raw and kibble at the same time otherwise I would toss them occasional raw chicken wings, venison, etc.



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    feed a raw whole-prey diet the cat has to chew?
    avoid feeding dry food or any canned food with carbohydrates in it- it's the carbs in the diet that cause the tooth problems in the first place.
    That's not true at all. One, anything that gets stuck in/on/around/between teeth can harbor bacteria and provide a nice environment for it to grow. Two, different kinds of bacteria "eat" different things, and many LOVE LOVE LOVE meat! What goes bad first - your lunchmeat or your potatoes? Your steaks or your rice? Three, cats have to chew dried cat food, and it does quite a good job keeping teeth clean!!

    OP, the fact that you even consider trying to brush your cats teeth is great! It sounds to me like your kitty has something that requires vet attention, and it's awesome that you're taking her so soon. I hope it turns out well for you! Those acute stinky breath with pain cases can be something as simple as a tooth root abscess, or something as bad as squamous cell carcinoma. Jingling for your kitty!



  6. #6
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    OP, you can feed raw and kibble at the same time. I don't prefer raw myself, but I do like the idea of a home COOKED diet, so I will cook up some finely ground whole rabbit for my kitties a couple times a week as a supplement to their dry food. They love it and don't suffer any of the common raw food nutritional deficiencies, GI upset or GI perforations commonly seen with the "true" raw food diets.



  7. #7
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    Thanks for the jingles, Lauren12 -- so far no overly traumatic experiences (or blood loss on my part) while giving her the antibiotics. With any luck it'll zap whatever she's got without needing to get teeth pulled -- she might be a bear at home, but she gets so scared she vibrates whenever I take her to the vets.

    I know all cats are different, but if I managed to get this girl through 11 years with a good mouth, I'm hoping I can do the same for the little guy, so I was looking at preventative maintenance. He's a decent candidate for brushing (can do anything with/to him really) assuming he'd like whatever paste or gel being used.

    Did yours take to the rabbit right away or did it take a bit? How fine do you grind it (ETA: did you use a meat grinder for the initial processing then run it through a food processor or something like that)?



  8. #8
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    Mine ate it right away! I order the super-fine ground rabbit meat/bones/organs (no fur) - it comes pre-ground in a 5lb. (or I think you can get 1lb. and 3lb.) bag from here: https://www.hare-today.com/product_i...products_id=32

    I just thaw the 5lb bag, put it in some meatloaf tins and bake it at 350 until it's cooked through (I think it takes about 45 min), then I portion it into fist-sized chunks in plastic baggies, and stick in the freezer. If I want to give the kitties a treat I just pull a bag out and it'll thaw in about 3 hours, or I can pop it in the microwave for a minute or two, then let it cool before feeding. They LOVE it, and scarf it down like hungry dragons.



  9. #9
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    Feb. 20, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren12 View Post
    Mine ate it right away! I order the super-fine ground rabbit meat/bones/organs (no fur) - it comes pre-ground in a 5lb. (or I think you can get 1lb. and 3lb.) bag from here: https://www.hare-today.com/product_i...products_id=32

    I just thaw the 5lb bag, put it in some meatloaf tins and bake it at 350 until it's cooked through (I think it takes about 45 min), then I portion it into fist-sized chunks in plastic baggies, and stick in the freezer. If I want to give the kitties a treat I just pull a bag out and it'll thaw in about 3 hours, or I can pop it in the microwave for a minute or two, then let it cool before feeding. They LOVE it, and scarf it down like hungry dragons.
    Please stop doing that! Cooked bones, even finely ground, can cause problems and have no nutritional value. The rabbit with bones and organs from HT is intended to be fed raw but they do have a boneless version that can be cooked. Stop using the microwave in addition to baking, also. You’re essentially paying top dollar and cooking out any of the benefits. With the added health risk to your cats, a complete waste of time and money.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren12 View Post
    That's not true at all. One, anything that gets stuck in/on/around/between teeth can harbor bacteria and provide a nice environment for it to grow. Two, different kinds of bacteria "eat" different things, and many LOVE LOVE LOVE meat! What goes bad first - your lunchmeat or your potatoes? Your steaks or your rice? Three, cats have to chew dried cat food, and it does quite a good job keeping teeth clean!!

    OP, the fact that you even consider trying to brush your cats teeth is great! It sounds to me like your kitty has something that requires vet attention, and it's awesome that you're taking her so soon. I hope it turns out well for you! Those acute stinky breath with pain cases can be something as simple as a tooth root abscess, or something as bad as squamous cell carcinoma. Jingling for your kitty!
    Most vets now advise being very cautious about feeding cats dry food. Almost all kibble type cat foods are high in carbs which are really quite bad for cats, who are obligate carnivores. (You can find more info at catinfo.org if you want to look into it - great site written by a vet on feline nutrition.)

    That said - there are a few dry foods that are low or zero carb foods. If you are going to feed dry (and sometimes there are cats, like mine, who just don't "do" canned...) then one of those products can be a very good choice. I feed Young Again Zero Carb, and have had good success with it.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyGuineaPigLady View Post
    Please stop doing that! Cooked bones, even finely ground, can cause problems and have no nutritional value. The rabbit with bones and organs from HT is intended to be fed raw but they do have a boneless version that can be cooked. Stop using the microwave in addition to baking, also. You’re essentially paying top dollar and cooking out any of the benefits. With the added health risk to your cats, a complete waste of time and money.
    I have had this thoroughly checked not only with my regular vet, but with a board certified veterinary nutritionist as well - Dr. Remillard at NC State, who is super helpful about both raw and cooked diets if anyone is looking for some help with their pet's diet. The bone particles are too small (I can barely find them when I run the mix through my fingers) to cause any splintering issues. Additionally, the comparative USDA analysis of nutrient profiles between raw and cooked meat are nearly identical.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    Most vets now advise being very cautious about feeding cats dry food. Almost all kibble type cat foods are high in carbs which are really quite bad for cats, who are obligate carnivores. (You can find more info at catinfo.org if you want to look into it - great site written by a vet on feline nutrition.)

    That said - there are a few dry foods that are low or zero carb foods. If you are going to feed dry (and sometimes there are cats, like mine, who just don't "do" canned...) then one of those products can be a very good choice. I feed Young Again Zero Carb, and have had good success with it.
    Actually, MOST vets are totally fine with dry cat food. Dry cat food has extended the life of cats by up to a decade since its introduction. Yes, catinfo.org is a lovely site from ONE veterinarian who feels very strongly about feeding a raw diet, but it's 50,000 or so to 1 for vets that think dry cat food is absolutely acceptable for cats to eat.

    Additionally, you are correct that cats are obligate carnivores. However, they process carbohydrates just fine! Check with your local boarded veterinary nutritionist - even if you want to switch your kitty to a raw or cooked meat diet, they will suggest adding a carb source like peas or sweet potato. Carb sources do not harm kitties and are not bad for them. The most they do is add calories and cause weight gain, a problem that is easily solved by feeding Fatty less food.



  13. #13
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    It’s not about splintering. Cooked bones aren’t easily digestible and can cause blockages. I find it difficult to believe any vet would support feeding that product in that way, but if you say so… I know HT would disagree, and they do offer a boneless version that is safe to cook. Or you could use freeze dried. Not sure why you believe a balanced raw diet is nutritionally lacking and a perforation risk and then think cooking the same thing makes it better somehow.

    Again, you’re wasting money and time doing that and it provides no dental or health benefits. Rabbit is also low in taurine (before cooking) so you should be supplementing if it’s fed more than occasionally.

    Sorry. I’m no stranger to raw feeding or what HT sells and it bothers me when people put their animals at risk just to avoid the “raw” part.


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  14. #14
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    For the OP, my cat has had both upper canines, all but 1 upper incisor, two lower incisors, and 1 lower premolar pulled and does absolutely fine. He continues to eat dry kibble food (he becomes a total PIA on wet food) and has no problems eating it. If the tooth is loose enough that it's moving when you touch it, it's probably best to get it out b/c those can get painful.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmwines01 View Post
    If the tooth is loose enough that it's moving when you touch it, it's probably best to get it out b/c those can get painful.
    Her premolars weren't really moving when they were probed, it was just those two teeth she really didn't like having touched/started chittering when touched. I believe the purpose of the antibiotics I'm giving her now is two fold -- 1) if it's an infection, it'll (hopefully) clear up and her teeth won't have to be pulled or 2) if it's an infection and they do have to be pulled, the antibiotics should clear it up enough that it'll reduce the chance of spreading through her bloodstream when being worked on.

    I'm just hoping its the former and not the latter -- I know they can be pleased as punch with a lot fewer teeth, I just worry about her psychological torment of having to stay at the vet for longer than just a simple checkup visit.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyGuineaPigLady View Post
    It’s not about splintering. Cooked bones aren’t easily digestible and can cause blockages. I find it difficult to believe any vet would support feeding that product in that way, but if you say so… I know HT would disagree, and they do offer a boneless version that is safe to cook. Or you could use freeze dried. Not sure why you believe a balanced raw diet is nutritionally lacking and a perforation risk and then think cooking the same thing makes it better somehow.

    Again, you’re wasting money and time doing that and it provides no dental or health benefits. Rabbit is also low in taurine (before cooking) so you should be supplementing if it’s fed more than occasionally.

    Sorry. I’m no stranger to raw feeding or what HT sells and it bothers me when people put their animals at risk just to avoid the “raw” part.

    Cooking makes it better by decreasing the risk of food-borne illness to both pets and humans by 10,000 fold.

    You have to supplement taurine if you feed all raw. My cats eat dry food, and get a little rabbit "snack" once or twice a week, because they like it. Initially I had started the rabbit to rule out a food allergy in one of my cats presenting with severely pruritic allergic dermatitis. The BalanceIt supplement is great if you want to go that route.

    CrazyGuineaPigLady...the AVMA does NOT support raw feeding, and actively discourages pet owners from doing so. I'm pretty sure that wasn't a random decision!!



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaqueroToro View Post
    Her premolars weren't really moving when they were probed, it was just those two teeth she really didn't like having touched/started chittering when touched.
    As a tech who's done probably hundreds of kitty dental's, the "chattering" of her teeth you are describing sounds to me like she may have some cervical neck lesions on her teeth. We don't really know what causes them, but in a nutshell, it's where the cats own immune system attacks the tooth itself, eating it away until the nerve is exposed. They are very painful. I've have cats chatter then these are touched while under anesthesia. In my experience, the first premolars on both sides of the bottom jaw are the first to go. In order to diagnose a neck lesion, you need quality dental radiographs. This tells you if you need to extract the roots of the tooth, or if the roots have alreacy been resorbed by the body, you can just do what's called a crown amputation. Either way, I would get her in for a dental cleaning, as my tech-dar is going off! Neck lesions will not be touched by antibiotics by the way.


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren12 View Post
    Cooking makes it better by decreasing the risk of food-borne illness to both pets and humans by 10,000 fold.

    You have to supplement taurine if you feed all raw. My cats eat dry food, and get a little rabbit "snack" once or twice a week, because they like it. Initially I had started the rabbit to rule out a food allergy in one of my cats presenting with severely pruritic allergic dermatitis. The BalanceIt supplement is great if you want to go that route.

    CrazyGuineaPigLady...the AVMA does NOT support raw feeding, and actively discourages pet owners from doing so. I'm pretty sure that wasn't a random decision!!
    I get it. Raw = wrong to you and I’m not trying to change your mind. I will, though, try to explain taurine and BalanceIt supplements because you are way off base.

    “All raw” is not taurine deficient, just rabbit (there may be others I haven’t researched because I don’t feed them) and cooking any meat depletes the taurine even more. The harder working muscles (heart and thigh) actually have the most taurine so you can feed those with a rabbit diet or supplement only taurine.

    BalanceIt supplements were formulated specifically for the cooked and carefully measured BalanceIT diets. It’s not something you throw willy nilly on any other food, whether it’s kibble, canned, raw or some home cooked recipe you thought was a good idea. In fact, it would be really bad to add it to the rabbit with bone you are feeding because of the calcium.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyGuineaPigLady View Post

    BalanceIt supplements were formulated specifically for the cooked and carefully measured BalanceIT diets. It’s not something you throw willy nilly on any other food, whether it’s kibble, canned, raw or some home cooked recipe you thought was a good idea. In fact, it would be really bad to add it to the rabbit with bone you are feeding because of the calcium.
    Yep! As stated previously, I had both my vet and a boarded veterinary nutritionist formulating a diet for my kitties. I had exactly the amount of what they needed in their diet. Additionally, adding BalanceIt after cooking is a great way to make sure they are still getting the vitamins and minerals they need!



  20. #20
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    I give up because you are purposely dismissing the fact that the product you are using (rabbit with approximately 10% bone) is not meant to be cooked. With or without added supplements, no matter how you cook it, whether you feed it for breakfast or dinner or with green eggs and ham, that is an unsafe practice. It would be easy to work around but you are clearly not interested.

    Please don’t blame raw or Hare Today if your cats have issues because you haven’t grasped the concept of how a raw or home cooked diet is supposed to be fed.



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