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Having my 10 year old cats teeth cleaned
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kathykatt posted:
My boycat will be 11 this year. he has never had his teeth professional cleaned at the Vet. he doesn't "allow" me to do it at home. when i ask my Vet about it she hasn't seemed to think it necessary. he does not like visiting the Vet and is very vocal there...puts up a real stink, lol. she says he is scared, i think he just doesn't like what they are doing to him and wants to be left alone. should i insist his teeth be cleaned and can it be done without any anesthesia but maybe with a sedative to make him very sleepy and not so upset? my girl cat is 6-1/2 and hasn't had hers cleaned either. she does better at the vet but i know for her it would be more of a trauma situation. please advise. thank you.
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kathykatt responded:
p.s. - one reason i am so concerned is that the cat upstairs never had this done and he has had several tooth infections, resulting in having teeth pulled twice. i don't want this to happen to my kitties. he is a bit older than my boy but not by too much.
 
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Violets_are_Blue responded:
General anesthesia is needed to scale the teeth. It is not a mere brushing or what happens at the dentist where they scrape a little bit with a hand scaler. As our vets put it, the dog or cat, even given a little bit of a tranquilizer, will not sit still for it. I have personally felt the automatic scaler and it is not a comfortable feeling against my fingers (vibrates at high speeds to dislodge calcified plague). I highly doubt the best pet in the world would sit still for it even a little woozy.

In general, you want to weigh your options. Is it worth it to get them done now? Some pets just don't have bad teeth and many go years without having it done. I only did my dog, a Labrador, once in her life (although she does need it again but her age makes the risk too great). My older cat had only had it done once now (she's 7.5 years and it wasn't terrible) and my younger cat was done just to nip it in the bud (she's 3.5 years). If she does have some tartar and plague built up, it may be best to go ahead and knock it out now before it gets worse and she becomes too old to safely be able to put her under for it. You can check them yourself if she will let you, the majority of the plague will be on the back molars. You can speak with your vet about it and weigh the pros and cons of getting it done.
 
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kathykatt replied to Violets_are_Blue's response:
violets, i have spoken to the vet and basically gotten nowhere. your cats have had it done so they are good to go so to speak but mine aren't. if it is necessary for my kitties health, given their age...at least my older boy, i want to be a good mom and have it done. i don't want him in pain due to an infection later on when he may need 4-5 teeth pulled. thats what happened to the cat upstairs. i appreciate your input.
 
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Home2strays replied to kathykatt's response:
I think it may be in your cats best interest and for your peace of mind to talk with another vet. If your vet is not taking your concerns for your pets health seriously then it doesnt sound like a good match. Its a simple looksee to see if your cat has tartar on his teeth or has gingivitis (although you do say hes persnickety at the office). Most cats around 12 or so are ready for a cleaning- some younger cats do to but in my experience def. by 12, and an animal does have to be completely asleep in order to scale its teeth- not only does its vibrate, we are also getting all the junk out from under the gumline, probing with sharp tools and moving their heads around to get all the way in the back, they also need to be intubated so they dont aspirate during all this movement and if youve ever had a tube down your throat- its no fun. make sure before doing a dental or using any sedative to have his bloodwork done, that way you know he can metabolize the anesthesia.
 
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Bonnie Beaver, BS, DVM, MS responded:
Tooth care in cats can be an issue as you have described. While daily brushing is ideal, many cats will not tolerate home care. Many cats also do not like to leave their homes (cats are territorial) and so are frightened in new places like veterinary clinics. As cats get older, tartar will build up, especially on the back teeth and it can only be removed when the cat (any cat) is under anesthesia. That is the safest for the cat and the veterinarian. Your veterinarian can usually get an idea of how significant the tartar buildup is during the yearly physical exam and when that buildup starts to affect the gums, then a dental is appropriate. It is not possible to do a good job at cleaning tartar off teeth with just sedation. Brushing is to prevent the tartar buildup in the first place, once tartar has formed, it takes a lot of work to get it off. When in doubt, ask your veterinarian because s/he knows you kitty best.


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