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Dental Cleaning for Cats Help...

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I'm a vet tech. If the gums are red they may be painful, and it can progress to the point they lose teeth, get infections, and don't eat. It probably doesn't have to be done NOW, but it does sound like it needs to be done. PUt some money aside each week and do it. Ask if they do "Oravet" when they do it. It is a clear silicon type wax that they can put on the teeth after the cleaning. It is slick and plaque can't stick to it so you don't get more build up. You do need to reapply it every week at home with the home version, but if your cat won't let you rub their teeth with your finger you can just put a gob of it on a treat and when they eat the treat it will apply itself fairly well. Also, after the cleaning you can get special food or treats that reduce the build up and clean the teeth. Dental care foods exist, and the treats are made by a company called CET. They work well, but ask for a sample because some cats don't like them.

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Dental care is something that many owners do not really think about but it is really important for good health of critters.


If the gums are irritated then there is a good chance your cat might even need an extraction due to neck lesions. Poor conditioning in the mouth could even cause cats to go off food because it gets too painful to eat.


It also makes the kidneys work harder as the bacteria comes off the teeth and gets into the bodies systems.


As for home care once they are cleaned properly then start brushing as often as possible, oravet is a great product to use, they also make a dental diet that helps that you could try. Never use human toothpaste and the most enjoyed flavor of toothpaste is the Poultry flavor. Stinks for us but most critters adore it. Then once they get used to the brushing you can try changing flavors if you want.


Anesthesia needs to be used for the dental exam and cleaning, they will chart the tetth just like when you go to the vet, maybe take a few xrays as well. I recommend bloodwork to check certain organs before using anesthesia but I do not know if they estimated for that or not. Iv fluid therapy is also good when anesthesia is used to help regulate blood pressure and flush everything from the body faster.


Expenses are tough so I would also recommend putting aside money each week to set up a budget for care of your pet. You cannot amount for every emergency but you can amount for basic exam work and really dental care should follow that.


Good luck!

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Give your cat a raw chicken wing/drumette to chew on for the next week or so (it may take a couple of days for the cat to understand they are food). Let them come to room temp, then feed, pick back up and discard if not eaten within an hour. Raw bones clean teeth very well. Many cats do really great on a raw diet and their littler boxes are way less smelly :D When my dogs were on raw they had beautiful teeth. They get them now and again though as I don't have a dedicated fridge/freezer right now to handle as much meat as I'd need to feed as many as I have right now. Their teeth still stay quite nice.


This would be much cheaper to try first before dropping the money on cleaning. I've never had any of my animals teeth cleaned (except the horses, but that's different) and their gums and teeth were/are very healthy. My vet attributes it to their diet as I do it with all of them (dogs and cats).

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My cat got her teeth cleaned last August. Plaque builds up quickly on her teeth, so we usually get her teeth cleaned every year or two. My vet lets me know when it's time.

We live just north of Chicago and paid about $200 for the cleaning and anesthesia. Some of the fancier clinics around here charge more, but ours is very bare bones but wonderful with animals.

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We get our cats' teeth done every year. From January - April, I take a cat a month and then in May the little dog goes. (The big dog doesn't need it!)


Yesterday's bill was $340 and included two extractions. Vader missed it last year because I couldn't catch him and then we forgot. Vader will also be 15 in July so I expected him to start losing a tooth or two. Mini Mew went last month and she was $190 and that included her rabies shot and a couple of other vaxes. She did not need any extractions, just a good polishing.


I've had a toothache and it's miserable. I would never want one of my pets to suffer like that. And if you can go to Disney, you can take care of your pets. :)


We do stuff like this and average it out over the year. Seriously, what cat isn't worth the $20 a month it costs to do this for them?? :)


We do a raw diet but the cats' teeth get dirtier faster than the dogs' teeth do.

Edited by Jennifer3141
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My cat's teeth looks great without vet's help. I feed her Greenies 3 times a week. :) they really do work and my cat loves it.




I'm going to have to look into this. I remember seeing them at my vet's office. We've only had our kitten a couple months (she is 8 months old) but we had to take her to the vet two weeks ago and she said there was a little build-up. She recommended me "brushing" her teeth with gauze and a little kitty toothpaste. I attempted it last night. Oy! I don't think that's going to work out. :tongue_smilie:

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Well, the good news is, I don't think she will need any extractions, and now I'm thinking I may be overreacting a bit.... as I was Googling all this stuff last night/this morning, I saw lots of *yucky* pictures, and her teeth are NOTHING like the stuff I saw, LOL! She still needs them cleaned, but they aren't as bad as I originally thought. She is eating just fine and is still her playful self, so I don't think she is in pain.... if I thought she was, I would just put it on a credit card, ASAP.


I went and checked the paper work.... all the stuff you mentioned, and that I bolded, ARE included in the prices they gave me. On the paperwork from her check-up, in October, the vet wrote "mild to moderate dental calculus" and next to "Dental Index" she put 2/4. I don't know what that means.....


I think I will have to set up a separate account for pet care.... we have only had them since we adopted in Jan. 2010... they were only 1 and 2 yrs. old at that time... I guess it will only get worse, although I hope to take really good care of them so they don't need any major medical care.




the tricky thing with cats is the tartar can hide neck lesions. Neck lesions are like cavities and the tooth can rot away while still in the mouth so once the cat is under anesthesia the technician will do a thorough exam of all of those teeth and they should be able to then tell if any need to be extracted.


The dental index is mainly for the doctor's and techs but is a comparison of 4 being the worst. So def. recommend getting the cleaning done now and then do what you can to keep the teeth in good shape. Some animals no matter how much you do or feed or anything just end up with poor teeth and gums.

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You know, I read about this several times during my research.... but everything I read said give them a chicken neck. I would have never thought of such a thing, but it makes sense, b/c they would be gnawing in bones if they were wild. And I think my snowshoe would like it b/c she's the one who just LOVES people food, she lights up like a firefly when I start cooking, LOL!! I only give her tiny pieces of chicken and salmon though :)


Necks are fine too, more bones to crunch, but softer bones. Those are good to start with. I have some rather large cats and so they get the wingettes and one gets drumettes.

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Yes, they need to be done. It is rare that you do a dental and don't find major problems. It is very likely that there are rotting, infected, abscessing teeth in there. Gross, terrible for health in many ways, and very painful.


Do it. Do it right. Expect $300-$600, or possibly more if there are very many extractions needed. Whatever you do, DO NOT CUT COSTS, DO NOT PRICE SHOP, and DO NOT TELL THE VET NO if s/he asks for authorization to do more/extract more/etc. There is no point in doing it if you don't do it right. Having it done cheaply is often WORSE than doing nothing.


Dental care should be considered a routine expense and budgeted for it. Most dogs and cats need a dental at least every 2-3 years. $400-$600 is typical for an older pet with issues. For a younger pet with minimal disease, it might be as low as $250-$300, but it is rare that owners will agree to the procedure until there is significant disease, which means it will be expensive.


Brushing is 100% the most important thing you can do to reduce the frequency of dental cleanings. Get advice on how to do it at the vet's, and begin a week after the dental. (Never start brushing when there is already significant disease until AFTER the disease is treated. Brushing infected/inflamed gums will be excruciating, and you can't undo rotted teeth with brushing. You have to remove the source of disease FIRST, then KEEP them cleaner via brushing.)


(I am vet practice manager.)

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