Monday, November 17, 2014

Pain in the Teeth Part 2

Now it was Finnegan’s turn and at first I thought maybe his teeth were not as bad as hers. How wrong I was! Of course he was much worse to bring into the vet, even for just an exam. He screamed bloody murder in the car, and he’s the one with the soft meow! He hissed at the vet and tech panted heavily and wandered the room continuously. He was a good boy for the exam though which showed he had some significant problems. We did the blood work, rabies shot and came home so we could go through this again in a month. Unfortunately, he had a bad reaction to his rabies shot and stopped eating completely. A couple of days later we were back at the vet (NOT FUN) and he had to get a Benadryl and famotadine (Pepcid A/C) shot. This took care of it and as much as I protested, unfortunately we’ll have to go through this again in the future. But this time we have it in his records and he’ll be getting the Benadryl and famotadine BEFORE the vaccine from now on. 

A month later we were back for the dental and thankfully due to his stress level, they were wonderful about making the same accommodations for him as they did for Lacey. All went well but he had two teeth that were already broken and needed to come out, and one lower canine that was rotting from the root that needed extraction. No wonder he was also not behaving as himself.

But we had another problem. When I got him home and gave him his pain medication (buprenex) he began acting terrified of me. Beyond anything I’d ever seen him or any of my pets ever do. He was shaking like crazy, hiding his face in the corner of the room, not eating, etc. It was horrible. I only gave him two doses and felt this was more than the anesthesia after effects. I called the vet the next morning and she told me to stop it immediately which I had. Buprenex is a good pain medication and as I said earlier, Lacey did well on it and so did my late kitty Alex. But it’s also an opiate and in some cases it can cause a pet to hallucinate and that’s what was happening here.

So in the meantime I had to syringe feed him some baby food (no onions or garlic) and my instructions directly from the vet were to give him a one-time only dose of baby aspirin (81 mgs). Aspirin can be toxic to cats so I asked a lot of questions and she assured me this ONE TIME dose would be okay. It did him wonders and within two hours he started eating on his own. It took a full 24 hours for the effects of the pain medication to wear off but he began to come around and was fine. It was an unfortunate incident but there was no way for my vet or myself to know he’d have this reaction. I am the one who prefers Buprenex over Metacam and asked for it but from now on, any procedures he has, he will have to use another pain medication. And again, NEVER give aspirin to your cat without specific instructions from the vet first, EVER. 

As with Lacey, since his dental procedure I am seeing a brand new cat. Playful, loving beyond anything I’ve seen in a long time and doing very, very well. In fact he had been vomiting hair up quite frequently for awhile before his dental. I had them give him a lion cut (shaved him) during the dental since he was already out cold and this has helped tremendously with that issue. But I also suspect that his vomiting had a lot to do with his bad teeth causing him gastrointestinal distress. Inflammation in the teeth and gums can cause stomach upset, which makes perfect sense because inflammation travels elsewhere in the system.  

Here is some more information on dental disease, the cleaning and dental procedures and what to look for:
Although my cats did not have tooth resorption, this is a common condition and very painful. Another good reason to have their teeth checked annually:

The vet wanted me to start brushing their teeth and gave me some CET toothpaste with a tiny finger toothbrush. Unfortunately the CET gave them both diarrhea. I looked up the product and it contains 50% sorbitol which is a gastric irritant. This is why I go on and on about even tiny amounts of certain things. If this can happen to my healthy cats...imagine what ingredients like this can do to a kitty that already has IBD or gastric issues.

There is no reason to put 30-50% sorbitol in a cat product, especially when it clearly can and has caused my cats to get soft poops/near diarrhea and tummy aches. It states right on their product pdf: Sorbitol: Reports of adverse reactions to sorbitol are largely due to its action as an osmotic laxative when ingested orally, which may be exploited therapeutically. I also found this on another site: The only significant concern with sorbitol is that it can promote Irritable Bowel Syndrome or lead to problems in the gastrointestinal system.

That's the last thing I need is another cat with IBD. And although IBS and IBD are two different things, we don’t know the effects it has on a cat’s body versus a human’s body. Either way, it made them both sick. And I tried to find one but I don’t think they make a pet toothpaste without sorbitol in it. I thought about what to do because I am going to have to continue brushing their teeth. So I decided to make my own toothpaste, and this is what I came up with. It may not be the best but to me it’s the safest and works just fine.

Use Amco spoons for measurement:

250 mgs opened capsule of lactoferrin

500 mgs opened capsule of taurine

One scoop of Viralys L-Lysine powder or 500 mgs opened capsule of L-lysine

Largest spoon dose of Petkins Invisible Formula Liquid Oral care solution

2 largest spoon doses of George’s 100% Aloe vera liquid

Teaspoon Beechnut baby food (meat and broth only)
Sprinkles of fresh catnip for taste and mint flavor
Stays fresh in refrigerator for 6-7 days
After brushing give a freeze dried all meat treat as a reward

Unfortunately to buy the tiny toothbrush you’ll need, you have to buy the CET product. But this is the sample paste so it’s not expensive. I personally wouldn’t use the toothpaste but that’s my preference. I wash the little toothbrush with clear dish liquid, no dyes or perfumes. This brush works better than any other, is softer and fits in their mouth perfectly,

For brushing, I sit down on the floor with one of them in between my legs, wrap a towel around the front of them and quickly but gently open their mouth with my fingers. Slide in the toothbrush and very gently scrubbed. It’s hard to get the back teeth, no ways around that. But if you can, those are the worst. Do it quickly for the first week, no need to get the back ones yet. After every brushing, give them a freeze dried, all meat treat. Let them know it’s not all bad.