Potential conflict with vet

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Nellie 1
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Potential conflict with vet

Post by Nellie 1 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:38 pm

Hello all,
My cat is just over 20 years old. He has bad arthritis in his front and back legs. He still gets up and down the stairs, likes his food and uses his litter tray. He enjoys out company and purrs. His back end is very thin. He is a bit wobbly when he gets up but then walks around OK. He has not had a blood test for about 3 years because of his age. He is sick a lot but I have managed to calm this down with a partially raw diet. He is on metacalm.

At his last vets check I mentioned that he was eating on one side of his mouth. He has a broken tooth. The vets wanted to operate but my partner who loves the little old boy said he would take him to work rather than let this happen. We took him back into the vets at their request and the vets said he had month left if not weeks and that we should make a decision rather than make him suffer with toothache. He is due back at the vets tomorrow. He has been on antibiotics.

I feel he wants to live. His metacalm has been increased. He as been out in the front garden tonight enjoying the warm evening. He is due at the vets on Saturday. I have had three cats put to sleep but I think he is not ready. What do you think. Thanks all

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Kay
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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Kay » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:36 pm

anaesthetics are much safer these days, even for really old cats, though it is usual to put them on a drip overnight before the op to minimize the risks

I would be inclined, in your position, to have the offending tooth removed, as toothache is horrible - it would be a very quick procedure, and doesn't tend to cost much, or require lengthy recuperation so even if he doesn't have long, I feel it is worth the risk if the other alternative is to end his life now

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MarkB
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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by MarkB » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:48 pm

I totally agree with Kay. Toothache is horrible and anaesthesia is much safer these days. My Alice had several teeth out. She was only 15, but had multiple health problems. The vet put her on a drip all day prior to the dental and left her on a drip overnight again to be safe. She was like a new cat after her bad teeth were dealt with and managed another few years.

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Crewella
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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Crewella » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:50 pm

I absolutely agree with Kay. He can't go on in pain as he is, toothache is horrible, and as you feel he has some quality of life remaining, I think it's worth the risk. It's what I would do, in your position, as I've had several cats in their late teens go through dental ops - they had a little extra care and attention, as Kay says, but all recovered well. It's not an easy decision, though - I wish you all the best. xx

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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by booktigger » Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:06 am

I would have the dental done, if it's only one tooth he may not need to be under anaesthetic for long. I would get full bloods done first though

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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Janey » Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:31 am

I agree, your vet wouldn’t suggest it if they didn’t think it was ok. As said, toothache is awful and makes you miserable. I’ve had quite a few elderly cats have dentals - one over 20 years and another 19. The 19 year old was hyperthyroid and his kidneys weren’t too good either, the vet did full bloods before, used drips and just took out the worst of the teeth so they weren’t under long. All the cats have been so much better afterwards. One of my elderly cats even had all his teeth out and he wasn’t the healthiest. Also, if your cat is sick a lot that could be the reason, bad teeth can upset their system, it did one of mine, so another reason to go for it. So yep if your vet recommends it and your cat can’t eat comfortably and it’s ok to go ahead I would go with that.

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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Grace56 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:59 am

I agree with all of the above. Toothache is horrible for humans, imagine how much worse for a poor animal who can't take painkillers (and they don't always work )
The vet knows what he's doing and will take into account your cats age regarding anaesthetic.

Nellie 1
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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Nellie 1 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:12 pm

Hello all and thanks so much for your thoughts. He has been back to the vets today. The antibiotics have worked and his gum has totally settled down. His front claws were clipped he was given biscuits to distract him and he ate a big pile prompting the vet to say he did seem to have motivation to live on even if it was only for food. We will continue with the antibiotics for now and see how it goes. The vet accepted today that he is very frail and the decision to operate would be a difficult one given his great age and frailty. In view of your comments I will keep an open mind about surgery so thank you for posting.

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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Kris35 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:48 pm

Hi Nellie,

My 17 year old cat (almost 18) had to have two teeth removed last week and when she came home she had some sort of weird effect from the anaesthetic. We did bloods AFTER the op and it showed she had kidney failure. She was on a IV drip for two days and nights and I had her pts yesterday. I tried to save money by not having bloods done and wont make that mistake again. Although I'm not sure what the vets would have done different - they did say that Metacam isn't suitable for a cat with kidney failure.....and as I didn't do the bloods before the operation, she was on Metacam. Whatever - I feeel the dental needs to be done somehow. Good luck.

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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Cussypat1974 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:55 pm

I am confused as to why the cat has not had blood work done in three years because of age. Blood work is meant to be done ore often as they get old, not less frequently?

A broken tooth is AGONISING. Animals, especially cats, continue to eat and drink and try to behave normally DESPITE enormous pain, because of their survival instincts. To me this is a basic welfare issue. The cat should be treated for the broken tooth or euthanised. Living in constant agony (even if it is not apparent to a human) is not an option for anyone. I have seen 24 rotten teeth removed from a dog who was still eating. Rotten....... Black and stinking and full of pus.

I have also dealt with cats who are terrible under anaesthesia, and basically am a dab hand at cuddling them to life at this stage. So long as the vet team KNOW there is a risk, the animal wile well taken care of and monitored. Honestly, once you are monitoring an anaesthetic properly, the chances of losing a patient are very slim. Plus, to remove one tooth would take minutes! (Some molars take a while, but still minutes in general!)

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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Cussypat1974 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:58 pm

And Kris..... This is why bloods should be done on older animals before surgery. Anaesthetic protocols change with the risk factors that show up. All anaesthetics carry risks of course, but they can be minimised if you know what the dangers are. Do it once and do it right.

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Jan
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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Jan » Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:41 pm

I couldn't agree more with what Cussypat wrote about how important it is to have blood tests before any surgery or any other time when a cat becomes older. If the vet we took Blackie to for removal of an upper canine hadn't suggested he should have a FULL blood test in view of his age (12 at that time), we'd never have found out that something was amiss with his kidneys. He showed no signs of anything whatsoever being even slightly wrong.

Though it wasn't the news I wanted to hear, and I was already upset about Blackie breaking an upper canine, to this day I'm grateful to the vet who suggested this full blood test and subsequent urine test. It meant we could take immediate action.

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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Kris35 » Sun May 01, 2016 12:24 pm

Cussypat1974 wrote:And Kris..... This is why bloods should be done on older animals before surgery. Anaesthetic protocols change with the risk factors that show up. All anaesthetics carry risks of course, but they can be minimised if you know what the dangers are. Do it once and do it right.
Well I took my vets advice? She told me the dental needed to be done no matter what and nothing was said about precautions that could be taken if the bloods came back worse. My mistake I know but I kind of listened to what my vet said.

Kris35
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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Kris35 » Sun May 01, 2016 12:29 pm

Jan wrote:I couldn't agree more with what Cussypat wrote about how important it is to have blood tests before any surgery or any other time when a cat becomes older. If the vet we took Blackie to for removal of an upper canine hadn't suggested he should have a FULL blood test in view of his age (12 at that time), we'd never have found out that something was amiss with his kidneys. He showed no signs of anything whatsoever being even slightly wrong.

Though it wasn't the news I wanted to hear, and I was already upset about Blackie breaking an upper canine, to this day I'm grateful to the vet who suggested this full blood test and subsequent urine test. It meant we could take immediate action.
Hi Jan. So Blackie had a tooth removed under anaesthetic - can I ask how old he is, and also what precautions your vet took please? Its just that I really think my 18 year old needs a dental but I am scared of losing her.

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Jan
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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Jan » Mon May 02, 2016 1:12 pm

Hi Kris

The vet suggested in view of his age (12 at the time - he's now 13), he should have a full blood count test which was sent to an outside laboratory. I think the price was about £80. When the results came back a few days later, he phoned to tell me Blackie's urea level was above the normal limit, so he said a urine test should then be carried out. He also said that our cat would need to be hydrated throughout the procedure because of Blackie's age. To be honest, I had no idea what to ask for before Blackie underwent the dental surgery :roll:

Hope this is of some limited help in what to ask for before your cat has the dental.

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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Kris35 » Tue May 03, 2016 10:12 am

Hi Jan,

Thanks, yes it does help. My cats bloods ( my cat thats still alive) were also sent off to the lab and all came back pretty much fine. I need to check her urea level again. Oh Im so scared though.

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Re: Potential conflict with vet

Post by Jan » Wed May 04, 2016 9:00 pm

I remember that scared feeling only too well ;) If there are no bad health concerns, am sure all will be well. Do let me know how it all goes.

J x

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