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Feline gingivitis?

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  • Feline gingivitis?

    We adopted a cat in January. He's mostly a Maine Coon, reported to be about 1 1/2 years old when we got him (though I suspect they all say that, lol).

    We adopted him shortly after losing one of our other cats unexpectedly (she was hypothyroid, we didn't know), and not long after we adopted the Maine Coon, we ended up having to put our other elderly cat down due to renal failure. So he is now our only cat.

    With two unexpected kitty deaths, we have racked up an sizable amount of vet bills this year. New Cat's vaccinations were due to be updated this summer, so we decided to take him to a local shot clinic instead of taking him to our vet. So he's UTD on vaccs, but as of yet, we have not taken him to our regular vet.

    New Cat is, by all appearances, healthy. He's super-playful, has a great coat, is in good weight (actually he's gained quite a bit since we got him). He has a good appetite; we feed him TOTW (not super-premium, but it's not Friskies).

    BUT... His breath is absolutely LETHAL. Like super-ridiculous, rotten-turd-in-a-tuna-can bad. If he's grooming himself, I can smell his breath from 5' away. I have NEVER encountered a cat with breath this bad!! I've looked inside his mouth-- it doesn't look like there are any teeth missing, but his gums are quite red-- I'm no dentist, but I suspect he has a raging case of gingivitis.

    With our previous cats, the vet always checked their mouths but they never needed any dental work done. THIS cat is definitely going to need something, but I don't have the first clue what feline dental care consists of. And, if I can be completely honest, we really CANNOT afford a huge vet bill right now unless it's an absolute emergency.

    Yes, I am dragging my feet in scheduling a vet appointment because I have a feeling our vet is going to say he needs hundreds/thousands of dollars in dental work. Yes, I am "justifying" delaying taking him because he is healthy in every other way-- nothing about his behavior, eating habits, weight, coat, etc. indicate that it's an emergency. And if it IS going to be a massive sum of money, I really don't think we're going to be able to afford it.

    So, give me some ideas of what I can expect when I take him in. What are some dental issues/procedures I could be looking at?
    *friend of bar.ka

    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

  • #2
    One thing, my vet made my cat go on antibiotics for a few days before cleaning her teeth. Smart vet I think that is to keep any infection they release from getting into their system.

    Bad breath could be cause by a lot of things, not teeth related. For example my cat with pancreatitis has the foulest breath. But I believe that is coming from her stomach situation, not her mouth. Sinus infections and wounds can also cause it.
    My cats teeth cleaning was 200/300 many years ago. But she had a weeping eye caused by infected tooth and needed it. Now she has no teeth, so it never came up again as a procedure.


    • #3
      Cats are prone to a condition called Stomatitis, which causes severly inflamed gums, horrible breath, and tooth decay(usually in the form of resorptive lesions on the teeth).

      If his gums are as red as you describe he will probably need some antibiotics before his dentistry. Clindamycin is often used, and can be done in 'pulses' where he is on antibiotics for 7 consecutive days a month until the dental procedure can be done. This is helpful to keep the infection at bay and prevent spread, as well as keep the breath under control. The bad breath is actually caused by the bacteria in the mouth(yeah think about that the next time you have morning breath) so some of the oral mouthwashes etc can be very helpful as well. Personally I prefer Biotene products, they have a water additive that is easy to use and works. DO NOT USE THE HUMAN PRODUCTS FOR ANIMALS! The products are the same, but the human ones are sweetened with xylitol, BAD news for animals.

      Ultimately if it is stomatitis the best long term cure is to have full mouth extractions done. But that is a big IF that you havent gotten to yet.
      You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!