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Horrible cat problem

(50 Posts)
Aveline Sat 02-Dec-23 08:08:51

Help! One of our cats has Stomatitis. It's an auto immune condition that affects his gums. He's got sores on them, his breath smells appalling and he drools awful smelly saliva. The poor thing is really unhappy and just not his usual self. Of course we went to the vet and have been given various painkillers and antibiotics as well as gel (to 'just rub on his gums!'). This is likely to flare up from time to time or not really get much better. Now the bit I'd like some help with. The vet said the ideal treatment would be to remove all his teeth. His teeth are all in great condition. They've been thoroughly checked under anaesthetic. Removal seems so drastic and not necessarily a cure. The poor boy. What sort of a life would it be with no teeth? Have any Grans had experience of this happening to their cats? Do they manage with no teeth?
It's so awful. He's suffering now and could remain suffering with no teeth. What to do for the best?

Gwyllt Sat 02-Dec-23 08:25:18

Sounds horrid what treatment has the vet tried so far If there is no gum infection why is he suggesting tooth removal

Witzend Sat 02-Dec-23 08:27:34

How old is he?
I have no knowledge of this condition, and I know all too well what a horrible decision it is,,but TBH from what you say I think I’d have him gently put to sleep.

I say this as someone who twice (looking back) put off the decision for too long, because it was so heart-rending.

MerylStreep Sat 02-Dec-23 08:31:55

I had this with one of my cats. I asked the vet to do further investigation under anaesthetic. It was cancer as I suspected.
I told the vet that if they did find that not to bring her round.

Aveline Sat 02-Dec-23 08:48:28

I have read the research papers on this and it seems to be fully effective for about 40%, fairly effective for 20% so it does help 60% in a way. However, the sample was only of 30 cats.
Do any of you have completely toothless cats? How do they manage? How was the recovery?

Aldom Sat 02-Dec-23 08:50:23

I'm so sorry to hear about your cat's illness. In the 1990's one of our cats suffered from stomatitis. He was having treatment from the vet but suffered dreadfully. He was unable to groom himself, his coat became matted. This in itself is painful and of course the condition of the mouth is very painful. Our cat was nineteen years old. He died a natural death, but retrospectively, I wish we had had him put to sleep.
Perhaps the treatment is more successful these days, I don't know. No idea if removing the teeth will help. I'd see if your cat improves with the antibiotics etc. before making a decision. Personally I don't think I would put an animal through even more suffering. flowers

Septimia Sat 02-Dec-23 09:13:35

We have a 16 and a half year old cat who has very few teeth. He had already had several out and had begun to struggle to eat and to get his mouth comfortable afterwards. We knew his remaining teeth weren't good from a previous visit to the vet.

So we took him to the vet and she decided to remove the affected teeth, discovering that he has an irregular heartbeat in the process. She removed the worst teeth and would have removed another if he hadn't been iffy under the anaesthetic.

One of the vets told us that she had a cat with no teeth that managed fine and ours, despite having so few left, has recovered his appetite and is putting on weight. He eats biscuits, chicken and ordinary sachets of catfood without any difficulty.

So I think your cat would manage from the eating point of view. The two considerations after that are the effectiveness of the treatment, which you won't know until it's done, and the cost.

Sparklefizz Sat 02-Dec-23 09:15:16

I'm so sorry to read about your poor cat, Aveline. Years ago I had a cat who had the most awful breath. She only had to yawn to clear the room!

The vet said she needed half of her teeth removed..... not all of them though. She recovered and managed perfectly well following that, although couldn't eat kibble, but was quite happy with meaty meals.

foxie48 Sat 02-Dec-23 10:05:36

Not had a cat with this but my gut instinct is to always look at quality of life first and for that an animal has to be pain free. Having googled, stomatitis is very painful, on that basis if removing teeth is last resort to making cat pain free, that's the way to go. she'll manage fine without teeth. If cost is a problem or the cat is very old, I'd look at PTS. So sorry your cat has this and hope you don't mind me suggesting PTS but it's often a better choice for an old animal than invasive treatment IMO.

Shelflife Sat 02-Dec-23 10:38:56

If you do decide to have your cat put to sleep it is a very gentle procedure. He may well manage without teeth but teeth removal may not solve his problem. As you say he is suffering now and that may continue after he has his teeth removed. Whatever you decide never feel guilty! Thinking of you. 💐

Aveline Sat 02-Dec-23 10:48:46

That's kind of you all. We love our boy and, I suppose, just want to keep him as long as possible. He's only 9. We rehomed him aged 6 as a very fit and healthy cat. He's very loving (usually but not right now). Unfortunately, he's so smelly and drooly right now that we don't really like him on our knees which I know is horrible but truthful.

Dee1012 Sat 02-Dec-23 11:38:00

It's a horrible situation...seeing a much loved pet in pain and distress is just awful.
Has the vet told you what the success rate is if his teeth are removed?.... it's not ideal but I've known several cat's/dogs who've adjusted and managed really well with no teeth.
Me, well I'd have to give him a chance depending on the conversation with the vet i.e success rate.

Oreo Sat 02-Dec-23 11:53:01


How old is he?
I have no knowledge of this condition, and I know all too well what a horrible decision it is,,but TBH from what you say I think I’d have him gently put to sleep.

I say this as someone who twice (looking back) put off the decision for too long, because it was so heart-rending.

I agree.I twice put off the decision and very much regret it.

OldFrill Sat 02-Dec-23 11:56:34

I would give this 9 year old cat the chance with the operation before considering euthanasia.

Charleygirl5 Sat 02-Dec-23 12:11:03

My cat, no longer here had most of her teeth removed. She disliked soft food so was on hard mainly because she had an intestinal problem. She adored those biscuits but after the teeth removal, she tolerated soft food and then returned to hard food when her mouth felt better. It did not appear to affect her.

Aveline he is only 9 so I would give him a chance with tooth removal but if you have to make the PTS decision do not as others have said, leave it too long. Your poor baby boy.

TwiceAsNice Sat 02-Dec-23 12:20:26

No matter what the age it’s the level of pain and suffering to consider more than anything. I had to have my 9 year old cat PTS in August after her just being off colour and not herself . They referred her for a scan at the local animal hosp and they found tumours and felt she was already suffering. I had only a few hours warning to make the decision but I couldn’t let her suffer and held her whilst she had the injection. It broke me but she came first. I hope you can make the right call with the vets advice

Nannan2 Sat 02-Dec-23 12:37:08

Our cat(16 now) has not had this- but he has twice had to have teeth removed- at over £500 a go- he now has only a few front teeth and kind of eats sideways so some drops back out & leaves a mess- but he manages better with smaller fillets in gravy and mousse type foods.He didnt have the problem your poor cat has though although it must have been sore before/after he had teeth removed(he wont let me clean his teeth so i had to just give him dentibites) hence the tooth removals.

Nannan2 Sat 02-Dec-23 12:42:15

As hes fit & healthy in other ways and only 9 i would say yes get him the op and see if it helps.(some vets have a payment plan for the operation) and he surely deserves a chance to live if hes not got any other problem?.

grandtanteJE65 Sat 02-Dec-23 13:11:38

What a ghastly situation both for you and the cat.

Bear in mind that a long life is not necessarily a good life.

In my experience, cats have health issues around 8 or 9, some pick up again and live happily on, but some don't.

It all boils down to the quality of life, after all.

Are the other cats in the household avoiding the poor ill one too?

Another consideration: is the cat one that goes out, and does he hunt? He will not be able to enjoy the hunt without teeth! So will he be content as an indoor cat?

Aveline Sat 02-Dec-23 13:30:38

Both our cats are indoor ones. It's almost a shame that the other one is not only in top top form, very friendly indeed, he's also very beautiful. His winter coat has come in and you can really see why he was an Imperial champion in his youth. Meanwhile the poor sick is looking worse and worse and is very lethargic and not his usual friendly self at all.

Shelflife Sat 02-Dec-23 15:26:31

Have an honest and open talk with your vet. Ask him his opinion ' what would he / she do if it were their cat '?
Forgive me if I am wrong but reading between the lines I think you know what you want to do- go with your gut instinct. A drooling, smelly cat in pain is not an option. Teeth removal may not solve his problem, and ( dare I mention it?) Having his teeth removed will be a huge expense. My cat is adorable and we love her dearly but......... in your situation I would be considering having her put to sleep. Do what is right for you , I don't envy your situation. Please keep us posted on you decision. Our previous cat had cancerous growths and was put to sleep, a very difficult decision but I was relieved when it was over. The shot went in and she curled up and drifted away - no stress just peace.

Aveline Sat 02-Dec-23 15:31:48

It's a lady vet. She's very gung ho somehow. The practice is now part of a big conglomerate not like it was when first went there. We knew and trusted all three partners. This new vet lady that we saw yesterday was very nice but we never see the same vet twice any more. It's a big business. I daresay complete removal of all his teeth and all the follow ups and additional tests would be expensive but we don't count the pennies when it comes to our pussies.

Sparklefizz Sat 02-Dec-23 15:43:05

Aveline Please keep us posted. flowers

Aveline Sat 02-Dec-23 15:52:56

I will. We have to persevere with new meds and gel (when they get it. It's out of stock apparently) then go back after a week on that.

Shelflife Sat 02-Dec-23 15:59:52

Good luck . Thinking of you.