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29 Jul 2007

Cat Dental Problems
Dear Doc
I have 5 cats. Two male, and three female. all 5 of them has been sterilized. (Sorry, don't know all the medical terms).

One female of the youngest 2 of the 5, has been having dental problems in the last two years. First of all I suspect is started right after she has been sterilized, my vet says there is no connection to that. She's been to the vet with infections in her gums, which he says comes from the plaque and hard tartar, which is understandable to me. He gave her Synulox50mg, she had to take one tablet twice daily, that helped and she got better after about 15 days of being on the medication. 10 days later her teeth was cleaner. all went well until now, about a month later it starts just over again. The vet talked about if it happens again we should look into treating her with cortisone.

My question is thus, what do I do? Do I feed my cats the wrong food? As I never had this problem ever before. My vet told me to clean their teeth with pendent dental paste, which I battle to do, some days I can only rub it onto their teeth and gums as they refuse access to their mouth (not because of pain but because of the inconveniences to them), except now this cat that actually screams when I try to rub my finger in her mouth.

I have the same problem with my oldest cat, she's about 12 years old, she has very bad breath and she's drooping all over the place. I have notices her gums are very red, infection? will she live through the anesthesia if I need to go clean her teeth also?

The thing is I have 5 cats and I want to look after them all, I realise I need to prepare for these kinds of things happening, but most of all I know I have to start now doing something as 5 cats can cost a lot.

any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
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Expert
CyberVet
cybervet

01 Jan 0001

Your vet is correct in saying that the ginigval inflammation is as a result of plaque. We find that some cats over react to plaque resulting in differeing degrees of gingival inflammation. As far as we are aware, there is no link between neutering and plaque response so the onset following neutering is incidental. The soft tissure in the mouth (gums, cheeks and tongue etc) have a surface layer of cells that are continuously replaced by cells growing at a deeper level. This help to get rid of some plaque. The teeth however are solid and do not shed cells so the palque becomes attached and then becomes mineralised to calculus. In some cases it is possible to brush the teeth removing the plaque and resulting in healthy gingiva. In others, oral antiseptics are required and used daily (chlorhexidine oral rinses for animal use) and this can reduce the response by reducing the number of bacteria. Antibiotic is used from time-to-time to help reduce the bacterial load, allowing the animals to cope better but as soon as the course ends the conditions flares up again. Steroid use is beneficial from time-to-time but not constantly. In some cases we need to use steroid injections to help reduce pain so the animal can eat. In the long term if there is not sustained good response to the oral rinse (given 0.5ml twice daily by syringe into the mouth) we need to begin extractign some teeth. In about 80% of cats that have all teeth extracted healing c\occurs within about 2 months. A further 13% take up to 2 years to respond and about 7% never heal and require ongoing antibiotic and steriod treatment intermittently. Try giving them Greenies for cats and see if there is any response.
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