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Thread: pulling teeth

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    11

    pulling teeth

    Last time I took my kitty (2 yr old female) to the vet, the vet pointed out to me two little teeth on each side of my cat's lower jaw that had redness at the gumline. The vet told me it'd be a good idea for those teeth to get pulled sometime soon. She (vet) also said that it's common for some cats to have problems with those teeth. It often makes it difficult for them to chew their food because the gums are sore (as far as I know, my cat can crunch her Iams dry with no pain), and that it'd be better to take those problem teeth out.

    Has anyone else heard of this dental situation or experienced this with their cats? Should I take my cat in to have those teeth pulled soon? I don't know yet how anesthetic will affect her, so I'm not too keen on taking her in for the procedure.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Mpls, MN, USA
    Posts
    29
    I've never heard of this before - I think you need a second opinion, preferably from a cat's only vet.

    Generally the redness at the gumline indicates some gingivitis is present and they should have their teeth CLEANED by the vet, not PULLED. Also the vet should then give you instructions on how to clean the teeth yourself and you can try to train them into this habit at home. There are also various drops and such out now to use to neutralize bacteria so vet cleanings aren't required so often.

    I recommend you pick up a copy of 'Think Like a Cat' - these basic cat health issues are good to be informed about before getting into a situation such as what has occurred here. It's hard to determine if a vet is offering competent advice if you don't know the basics yourself.

    If a cat-vet tells you it's standard to pull teeth out as treatment for mild gingivitis I definitely want to hear about it. Frankly if the situation is as you described I'd consider filing a complaint with the vet licensing board over the advice you were given. Anyway, first order of business is a second opinion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    great neck, ny, usa
    Posts
    5
    Yes, my wonderful male Nicky had that problem for many years. I just recently
    lost him at 16 1/2.

    It got to a point where his teeth had to be cleaned at least once a year. Usually at that time they would end up pulling one or two teeth. If you looked at his teeth you
    could see the redness around the gums quite
    easily. At one such visit the Vet removed three of the small teeth between his lower eye teeth as well as two other teeth. It solved a lot of his problems for several years until one by one he would lose his teeth. He still ate his food and didn't seem to have that much difficulty.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    great neck, ny, usa
    Posts
    5
    I might also add that his teeth were so bad that he would have problems every couple of months. The last time it happened the tooth actually fell right out of his mouth when they touched it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    11
    Thanks for your responses and advice. It's difficult to know what's "really" best, but I know it will definitely help to get a second opinion as you suggest, EileenKay. I recently purchased some kitty toothpaste that came with a brush that will fit on my finger. I haven't tried to brush my cat's teeth yet, but I will have her get a professional cleaning and then try to give her regular brushings (if she'll let me!). I don't want her to lose *any* of her precious teeth! I'm so very sorry that your Nicky passed away, Susieoh. I'm sure he was a sweetheart.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Verona, Wi USA
    Posts
    5
    Hi there, It is possible that your vet was referring to retained primary teeth which often do not fall out like they should when the cat's permanent teeth come in. These teeth need to be pulled because they will only cause pain and problems later. If you do a pre-screening blood work-up before the procedure, anesthesia (although not without risk) should be no problem

    ------------------
    Future vet

  7. #7
    ss-
    I have heard of older cats having to have their teeth pulled, but never a two year old. But, you say you are not sure how the anesthesia would affect her - that can only mean she has not been spayed. I hope you discuss that with your vet when you discuss her teeth.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    11
    4-Feline House:
    Actually, my cat has indeed been spayed! She was spayed before I adopted her, though. Are spayed cats less likely to have bad reactions to anesthesia? I was just concerned because I remember hearing about someone's cat who took a long time to come out of anesthesia. That sounded kind of scary. But maybe reactions vary from cat to cat...

    kmwright:
    Thank you! What you wrote rang a bell. I think my cat's vet (who is a strictly kitty-vet, by the way) was talking about exactly what you wrote -- pulling the retained primary teeth. Now I remember. Okay, I feel less hesitant now about taking my cat in to have those teeth removed. No big deal, right?

    Thanks to everyone for all of their feedback and advice!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Salisbury Plain, UK
    Posts
    1,520
    Pulling primary teeth is no big deal and as she has been spayed it shows that she has already come through one anaesthetic.

  10. #10
    ss-That sound you hear is me falling off my high horse! But I'd rather preach to the choir than miss a chance to educate!

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