TNR cat not eating post dental extractions

IMPORTANT: If your cat is in any distress or discomfort, please consult your own vet as your first priority.
Post Reply
NJCat
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:34 pm

TNR cat not eating post dental extractions

Post by NJCat »

Hello,
A sweet TNR boy that I have been feeding for a few years recently underwent serious dental surgery -14 teeth extracted. He is FIV+ and has severe stomatitis (which is why he had so many teeth removed). The surgery was a week ago. He stayed overnight in the hospital for a few nights and was given a three day injection of Buprenorphine and 2 week injection of antibiotics (Convenia) before he came home with me and I was also given 3 day course of Onsior. I'm curious if anyone else has had experience with caring for an outdoor cat who is sweet enough to pet but, hard to administer medicine to and hard to trap to get to the vet...(we had to use a drop trap the second time I needed to take him to a vet). He does not seem to be recovering well and I'm hoping it will just take a little longer...He ate REALLY well five days after the surgery but then the next day, tried to eat but cried out in pain. Ate OK yesterday but then not this AM. Would trot away from me whenever I approached him. I read that Onsior can cause a loss of appetite...he did have some in his food (crushed it and then I read don't crush....but vet said OK to crush (!?)....I don't know if I will be able to trap him again and get him to the vet. Breaking my heart...this has been going on for a couple of months now...trying to feed him, get him to the vet, relieve him of pain. Vet is aware and prescribed another round of Onsior but now I'm not sure if that's the best thing for him. Thanks for any insight!
Ducky
Experienced Cat Chatter
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:03 am

Re: TNR cat not eating post dental extractions

Post by Ducky »

Your kitty's story sounds a lot like my Humphrey's: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=6964&p=60315#p60315

I can't help on the conventional meds front I'm afraid - we're treating Humphrey's stomatitis holistically (with measurable success) but a great source of advice and information has been the 'Feline Stomatitis/Calicivirus' group on Facebook.

At the height of Humphrey's pain (when he stopped chewing his food and grooming himself) I started to add a few drops of light CBD oil to his food - mostly in the evenings, to reduce the pain and inflammation and help him sleep. I can't say categorically that this is when he turned a corner, but he did start to chew his food and groom himself again. These days he's on a cacophony of different powders and supplements...Plaque Off (a plaque inhibitor powder, because stomatitis is essentially the fallout from the immune system attacking the bacteria in plaque), Lysine (Enisyl-F paste) to keep his herpes symptoms at bay (he's also FIV+), bovine colostrum powder for immune system support mixed with 5ml of colloidal silver as an antibaterial agent for his mouth and a splash of cat milk, and Oratene antiseptic mouth gel which I apply to his gums (it's a US product but with some availability here). These are all things that I can add to his food since I can't give him pills. He has no teeth and although his mouth is a lot better since starting these supplements, he still has a bit of redness around the gums and throat. It's likely that the vet who did his extractions left roots or tooth fragments behind... they didn't take x-rays to check, which I now understand is imperative. So he may need to go to a dental specialist at some point for an x-ray and possible further dental work. I am also looking into k-laser (cold laser?) treatment, which is relatively inexpensive and said to have positive results, although you would struggle to get your boy along for a course of treatment.

I don't think I can post links here but if you're a FB user, it would definitely be worth joining the Feline Stomatitis/Calicivirus group (that's what it's called) and either posting your question (they're really helpful and knowledgeable) or at least doing a search / looking through some of the stickied posts.
NJCat
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:34 pm

Re: TNR cat not eating post dental extractions

Post by NJCat »

Thanks so much for your reply. It's interesting because I'd never heard of Stomatitis until this past May and now I'm finding out so much more about it. Thank you for the information about the FB page. I will be looking at that more closely this week. And, what a lucky boy Humphrey is!! He and Clarence sure do have parallel stories!

When I first suspected stomatitis, I did a lot of googling and found out about L-lysine as well as plaque-off. Tried that initially but he seemed to be eating less and less so then tried antibiotics (I explained his situation to a vet one of my indoor cats goes to and he was kind enough to prescribe an anti-biotic without a visit knowing it would be a challenge to get him there!). When that didn't work, we got him to another vet who tried Convenia and penicillin as well as an anti-inflammatory and that's when we found out he was FIV+....he seemed to improve for a couple of weeks then went back to running away from his food and occasionally making a terrible "ack!" sound like he had something caught in his throat (he was doing this prior as well and, continues even after extractions). That's when we tried the drop trap and got him to yet another vet to get his extractions. I have another appointment for him next week to see how everything is healing - if his eating does not improve, I will try to get him there sooner.... I wish I could just scoop him up and put him in a carrier. Sometimes I think I might not be assertive enough with picking him up but, to be honest, I'm afraid of how he would react if I tried to do so. It would make things so much less stressful though...

I appreciate you sharing your experiences with Humphrey...poor baby. So glad he has someone to look after him and I hope the laser treatment works for him if you have that done. Clarence did have that after his extractions but, I don't know if it improved anything just yet...hope to know if we can successfully get him to the vet again! I have read that post operative x-rays are essential and wish I had asked that they be done but, I was reassured that the vet was excellent at what she does....she suggested that perhaps he's not eating enough because he's anxious/fearful because it's been so painful in the past. I got several types of "mousse" and softer cat foods for him to try since my watered down wet food is not working as well as I had hoped!

Thanks again and wishing Humphrey much comfort!
Ducky
Experienced Cat Chatter
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:03 am

Re: TNR cat not eating post dental extractions

Post by Ducky »

Definitely do check out that FB page...it was a beacon of light amidst the despair after the vet used the 'E' word and sent us home without a hope. The same vet was "flabbergasted" at H's "extraordinary" (her words) 1kg weight gain when we went back at the end of April for an AB jab for a herpes flare-up. Stomatitis tends to only make itself known when kitties stop eating. So something amongst all that hocus-pocus is working for him. Whether it's a combination of things I don't know. His AB jab has worn off now and I'm noticing little bits of dried up drool on his beard in the mornings so it's time to get back on the potions and powders again and look into laser work. I'd be very interested to know how it works out for Clarence (love his name BTW!). H can't have steroids because of his FIV. Atopica has been mentioned a couple of times but it has unpleasant side-effects and I also worry about the long-term effects...it's been tenously linked to reductions in white blood cell count and also liver issues. He's been through enough already. Aside of that, it tastes vile and I don't know how else I'd get it down him.

I too tried watering down H's pate' but he gave me a look befitting of Oliver Twist - utter derision at the watery slop that I'd just presented to him and then sniffed off in a huff. Now he likes the Gourmet tins... either the melting heart (with the runny sauce in the middle) or the ordinary ones. They get more liquidy the more they're stirred. Felix do a runny soup in a 50g pouch that he likes although he leaves the big chunks.

I wouldn't rule out an x-ray for Clarence - should you get chance - just to make sure there aren't tooth fragments or roots left behind. The school of though amongst the FB experts is that any partial or full-mouth extraction will likely be pointless if so...the stomatitis will keep coming back. All the ABs and steroids that are thrown at it will also be a waste. H probably has to have his bottom canines out at some point too. He has deep gingival pockets around them and they look sore. I don't know why they were left behind but I suspect it's because the original vet either didn't know what they were doing / didn't understand stomatitis, or just wanted to get it over with.

A hungry cat will put his fears and anxieties aside and eat... unless it's too painful. Stomatitis flare-ups are common until the mouth is clear of all aggravating factors... teeth, roots, and bacteria/plaque, and they're inextricably linked.

This was also a useful source of information : http://www.fivtherapy.com/gingivostomatitis2.htm?i=2

Could you try picking him up for some fuss and immediately put him down again...repeatedly over time... until he gets used to it? Some top-opening carriers are supposed to be easier. I have to take mine by the element of surprise and whisk them into a carrier hidden behind a door!

I guess if a rescue took him in they'd insist on him being an indoor kitty? Unfortunately this is H's life now, although we've just started going for 'walks' in the garden with a little harness and lead. It wigs him out when I put it on him but as soon as he gets the grass under his paws (and his snout in my poor valerian plant) all is forgiven :roll:
NJCat
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:34 pm

Re: TNR cat not eating post dental extractions

Post by NJCat »

:-) The vet loves his name too! It just popped into my head one day and stuck. The others are Skittles, Sweet Pete, Mama (we adopted one of her four kittens!) and Bob :-)

I didn't know about steroids/FIV until recently and, the first vet Clarence saw gave him one for inflammation. I will have to research Atopica.

What a lucky guy Humphrey is to have you ....I've been cluing into signs too of when things are not right....I hope he responds well to his potions and powders. I have been adding a few things to Clarence's food as well. IF I can trap his this week, he will visit the second vet I managed to get him to who performed the extractions. Can't believe it's been two weeks! He ate REALLY well this Friday and Saturday evenings and was even happily meowing! Something I've not heard him do for a couple of months. But Sunday he did not have a great day and this AM too I was trying to convince him to eat - took some doing but he did after some encouragement. I have been reading that tuna/salmon foods can cause flare ups...and of course that's what he likes! I don't know if that is what did it ...on Friday night he ate about four dishes of a variety of foods I was trying....I got some "mousse" type foods that are really soft and he loved it even with the water :-) "please sir, I want some more" . He does not do as well with anything with chunks/strips. Anyway, I am trying to avoid the "E" word as well - I'm really hoping that he's just adjusting to having 14 pre molar/molars gone. I did hear how important the follow up xrays are and I did ask and it sounded like the did PRE xrays...I should have been more firm with having them done afterwards. But I also have read that that many extractions can take up to two weeks to heal.
The vet who extracted Clarence's teeth wanted to keep his canines because they looked OK and, she said removal of all teeth could collapse his jaw? Something to that effect...I don't know if that's the case with H...

I will try the trick of picking him up for a second...I did that with my 15 year old indoor cat Colby when I first adopted him and he is the biggest lap cat today! Colby also did not like the leash but now we created an outdoor enclosed patio space so all four spoiled indoor cats can enjoy being outside in a safe environment with us! I don't know how Clarence would do being indoors but, if a sanctuary would be the best bet for him, I would love that. I worry about when I go away for a week in hopefully the not too distant future...I have family/ a friend who cares for the indoor and outdoor cats when we go away but, the oudoor cats are not always predictable so I worry Clarence would miss mealtime. Guess I should not worry about that right now but it has crossed my mind! Another reason a sanctuary might be good for him....extra TLC! Hard for me to do when I can't control where he wanders to......

I joined the FB group you mentioned, thank you so much!! Keep me posted on H!
Ducky
Experienced Cat Chatter
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:03 am

Re: TNR cat not eating post dental extractions

Post by Ducky »

'Skittles' :D We also have Lucy (also known as scootybum :roll: ) Dottie, Pedro and Hugo. Because I'm getting old and confused, I mostly call them by each others' names. It's a good job they ignore me, regardless.

I've read that too about fish food... Invariably cats do not catch and eat fish, so it's probably worth cutting fish out of his diet for a bit to see if it helps. I'm reluctant to do that just yet - H loves fishy foods and they're a source of omega-3 and fatty acids that I think are also important for him. I haven't ruled it out however. Fish - especially the ****-ends that end up in pet food, can be full of nasties too. Tuna is the bottom-feeder of the ocean and is high in mercury. Farm-fed salmon have issues with lice infestation and are also fed on processed rubbish; salmon-farming is a filthy dirty business and farmed salmon is best avoided. Ergo, whatever the fish eats/has, ends up in kitty or doggo. Better quality fish is expensive, but possibly worth it... ;)

I mash H's food with a slim fork. It doesn't turn it to slop, but he can pick up the smaller chunks with his tongue. He doesn't seem to have any trouble with Dreamies and they're about the same size...!

Yes his mouth will still have been quite tender for a couple of weeks at least. The gums do heal well and eventually harden, but no faster than ours would. It makes me wince just to think about it.

Possibly yes re. H's canines. I wasn't given an explanation but I will research this further - thank you. If they're bothering him, I think they may need to go. When I can get to the vets doing the laser treatment, I might ask them if this is likely to help.

Bringing weathered strays indoors can be stressful for all but not impossible. Some cats will be eternally grateful for something soft and dry to sleep on, and not have to fight for a meal and scratch around in the dirt for a living. It took me two attempts with H but now he wanders contentedly between his three beds :roll: his window ledge and the conservatory sofa, stopping by his stinky valerian toys for a dust-up. I wonder if I let him outside, whether he'd come back. I'd say probably yes, but there's also the risk that he picks up something nasty. Ironically, the other four are more of a risk to him than he is to them.

So... how'd the trapping attempts go?
NJCat
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:34 pm

Re: TNR cat not eating post dental extractions

Post by NJCat »

Scootybum, LOL! And, I am starting to mix up their names too! We have four indoor cats....Colby, Max, Lily and Ina....they, of course take turns getting curious (and in some cases, jealous) of my interactions with the outside cats....I am very careful to make sure I scrub my hands well if I pet any of the outside crew and, change my clothes if they rub against me...I know FIV is spread through bites (and I know Clarence is negative for FeLV, thankfully) butI am not sure of the others.... Sounds like you have your hands full too with a bunch of kitties! Periodically, I feel a little overwhelmed by them with their demands for attention but then I laugh and think what would I do if I had real children? :D

I just found another food for Clarence to try....I don't know if you have it by you but it's Tiki Cat Velvet Mousse. He seems to do so much better on really blended foods with a texture similar to baby food. I found Wellness Core Tiny Tasters too....so easy for him to eat. Both have chicken options but I also read that chicken can be a problem too!!! He has been eating really well again but sometimes I have to slide the bowl under his nose, he'll look at it and then decide to eat. This happens under a bush sometimes too. I almost feel like he is embarrassed by how he has to eat now with no molars/pre-molars. He ran away from his dish when food of the wrong consistency felt out the sides of his mouth...he ate it again though after I added more water and presented it to him. Does H happily come to his food or do you have to convince him to eat?

Thanks for asking about the trapping....it didn't happen. We had the drop drap out but he refused to come over by me in order to go under it...I purposefully did not feed him a lot the night before in hopes he would be hungry and seek the food out like last time. Then I did a silly thing and put the regular trap near where he was resting under his favorite bush and thought he might be enticed by the tuna oil and baby food in it. He instead disappeared. Didn't see him again until about 1/2 hour before his scheduled appointment that early evening. I of course was upset with myself for not just gently wrapping a towel around him while petting him and having my boyfriend hold a top loading carrier to me to quickly plunk him in to. I've never picked him up before but have started to gently lift him while petting him. I think it will work and I just have to build my nerve up to actually pick him up while wrapped up. What stresses me out is that I seem to do better at collecting hard to contain cats when there is no set schedule. I think I am more relaxed and more confident in my ability. As soon as I know I have to have them at the vet at a particular time, I get worried that I won't get them and boom, I don't. He is also "on to me"...he has been trapped three times in a matter of about 6 weeks so, I think surprising him with a quick pick up/place in the carrier might be best. He's a bigger cat and I know he can be rough at times with his siblings so that's why I have hesitated. Anyway, I get down on myself for not being more assertive with the "grab and go" but, I will work on that! I also hope I'm not jeopardizing his healing by not getting him to his follow up appointment sooner....he has made progress so hopefully it would just be a formality to see the vet again.

I found a website that talks about a holistic approach and how a cat's diet is pretty much the cause of these diseases.... it is: https://naturalcathealth.com/home/ The writer does not give specifics though as far as what to feed....but, punning aside, she gives food for thought! And, consultations on holistic approaches as well.

Thank you again for your time and your advice! It's been much appreciated!!
Post Reply