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3-yr-old Cat - Gingivitis/Periodontal Disease? Help!

This is a discussion on 3-yr-old Cat - Gingivitis/Periodontal Disease? Help! within the Open Discussion forums, part of the Cathe Friedrich Fitness Forums category;; Hi all ~ This is my first post on the new forum, so I'm excited to try it! Off the ...

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Old 08-05-2008, 01:38 PM
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Unhappy 3-yr-old Cat - Gingivitis/Periodontal Disease? Help!

Hi all ~ This is my first post on the new forum, so I'm excited to try it! Off the fitness topic though:

My three-year-old Maine Coon mix who's never had health issues has developed gum issues. I noticed her smelly breath a couple months ago and thought it'd clear up (or thought I was just nuts), but I finally took her to the vet yesterday.

They tested her for FIV and Leukemia - both negative. The doc said she either has depressed immunity or allergies, and her inflammed gums are not normal for a three-year-old cat. He gave her a cortisone shot plus two-weeks worth of antibiotics. If the cortisone/antibiotic treatment(s) does not work, he suggests a dental cleaning - and if continues to get worse, she'd have to have her teeth extracted.

She's 3, not 15. The kitty needs her teeth! I'm trying not to jump to conclusions and fret over what's not happened, but has anyone had this happen to a young kitty? I'm hoping yearly dental cleanings will do the trick.

I'd love your feedback.

Thanks!
Caroline
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:53 PM
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Some cats are just susceptible to gingivitis and gum disease. One of my three siamese suffers from this also and has had cleaning and extractions. He is 11 now but it started when he was about 3. His mother ended up having all her teeth extracted by that age. I think my vet says it is genetic and some breeds are more apt to develop it than others--i.e. siamese. You can help by brushing their teeth regularly ( I have never managed that!). You want to take care of this because it can lead to more serious illness like stomatitis.
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:47 PM
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My cat Rascal (see his lovely photo in my album!) has chronic gingivitis. The vet said it could be due to carrying the bacteria that causes cat scratch fever, and could be cleared up with treatment, so I got him tested, found out he carried the CSF think (bartonella? something like that?). Put him on meds to get rid of it. It cleared up his bart..., but only slightly reduced the pink around his teeth. His breath is much better, though (before, I'd smell it from a foot away, and it was BAD). The vet says it can also be autoimmune related, and it could eventually clear on its own, or just stay the way it is foreever.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:03 PM
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We had the exact same thing with our male siamese cat starting at a young age. We have had to get cleanings and extractions at various times over the years. He is now 12. The vet did say some cats are just more susceptible to it. Annual cleanings are quite important with a kitty that has dental issues. It gets so expensive though...
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:11 PM
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My cat has the same problem. They came up with a very specific disease that I can't remember the name of, but it sounds like the same problem. He had to have all his teeth pulled at 2 years old. He only has his fangs left to keep his tongue in his mouth.

I have to give him a steroid everyday to keep the problem in check, but he is doing fine and doesn't have any problem eating.
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:15 PM
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My cat Gracie has had this problem since she was a year old. She is now four and only has 1 tooth left (and it is about to fall out as well.) My vet explained that some cats get this where they have chronic gum/teeth issues which can be impossible to cure. We had her teeth deep cleaned two years ago and it didn't help.

He did suggest trying a medication that is used to treat cancer in humans but it is HIGHLY toxic (like if you spill any, you have to put on gloves and de-contaminate the area quickly) and since I was pregnant at the time, we declined to treat Gracie with it for fear of causing birth defects to the baby. But now that we have a small child, we have declined the medicine for the same reason. We jsut don't want a toxic substance in our house or being processed through Gracie.

So I know I'm not offering words of wisdom here, but I can say Gracie has functioned just fine with no teeth. The vet said she can continue to eat hard cat food because they swallow it instead of chewing it to break it down, and this has proven to be true. So hopefully your cat will be able to get along just fine like Gracie has without her teeth.

Also, a running joke in our house is her new nickname: Snaggletooth. Mean, I know, but we love our Snaggletooth just the way she is, bad breath and one tooth and all.
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:08 PM
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My cat, Princess, has bad teeth. It's not gingivitis - the vet said she likely lacks whatever it is in the saliva that keeps her teeth from decaying. So we've pulled 6 total so far... I've always called her "Bear" because she looks like a black bear - so after the last 2 were pulled, I started calling her "Gummy Bear". I think some cats have bad teeth. My ex's cat had NO teeth - he lost them all. He was still able to eat dry food though. Man, when I played with him, he would bite on me and I swear it as worse than a cat with teeth. His gums HURT!
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:24 PM
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Gingivitis / dental disease has become a very common problem over the past decades. It is not unusual that cats as young as 2 or 3 years old suffer from some form of detal/gum disease. The most common cause of dental problems in cats (and dogs for that matter) is the highly processed food we are feeding our pets. Many commercial pet foods contain too much sugar, salt, carbohydrates (like cornmeal, wheat and other filler), too much saturated fat, etc.

The pet foood industry has done a truly magnificent job in marketing highly processed food as the only thing we can and should feed to ensure "complete and balanced" nutrition for our pet. Unfortunately, McFood is what is advocated by many vets and most people don't know what actually is in their pet food and what is on the label in nutrition information is not only confusing to most of us but also deceptive.

The problem is that many people think that the kibble they feed keeps the teeth of their furry friends clean. Nothing could be further from the truth! Just think about it for a minute. Kibble is really the equivalent of cereal. Who in their right mind would advocate that our kids should eat nothing but cereal because it keeps their clean, and they won't need to brush and floss We wouldn't even think about considering doing, nonetheless, many vets still advocate exactly that.

I know it is controversial to many but I feed mostly raw (with the support of my vet), have for many years. None of my cats or dogs ever had to get their teeth cleaned. My cat gnaws on chicken necks and small chicken wings, but otherwise he eats Nature's Variety Instinct no-grain,canned food (not my first choice - but he refuses to eat the food that I make for him - unless he can steal it out of the dog's bowl - then he will eat raw ).

You may want to check out Anitra Frazier's book "The New Natural Cat" and/or Dr. Richard Pitcairn "The complete guide to natural health for cats and dogs".

I understand that my view may not be everyone's cup of tea and I certainly don't want to offend anyone. We all do what we think is right for our fourlegged friends. But hopefully it gives some food for thought (no pun intended ).
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:52 PM
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Carola I totally agree with you and while I do cook for my dog my cats are having very little of that. They eat a grain free dry--Evo and I hate to say it but they are not giving up their cans of Fancy Feast. They will eat cooked chicken and sometimes meat but not always. I would be so happy if I could prepare their food. I have tried the raw foods you can buy in pet stores but no way. I believe the pet food business is one major scam and as far as I can see it is the rare vet who really understands pet nutrition. They are just salespeople for commercial foods. I have a vet friend from India who laughed himself silly when he saw me feed my dog kibble. He wanted to know how I had ever convinced the dog to eat it! I have both books you suggested and a bunch more. I would love to get my cats on home prepared meals--cooked or raw!
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:03 PM
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Carola,
My vet told me, with Adrian, to stick with dry food only. My boys (cats) only get Science Diet Indoor Cat dry food. From my experience with Adrian, who passed away 3 years ago, I constantly check Seville and Madrid (the boys) eyes, teeth, coat, and odor near their necks. Once Adrian changed to a better dry food from a not so good wet food, his dental problems cleared up. He was about 5 years old then.
Best to you with your family member.
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