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Teeth and gum questions

Nudedude

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Apr 8, 2019
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Hello! We’re new here. Diego is a nearly 3 year old sphynx we’ve had since he was 4 months. We live in rural northern MN on the Canadian border. Diego’s had some common sphynx issues such as reactions to foods (especially chicken/eggs), a “cold”, other skin breakouts and rusty yeast type issues with his skin.. he’s a pretty sensitive boy. He also has a grade II heart murmur since we got him.

We recently noticed something up with one of his incisors as it appeared longer than his other top teeny front ones and thought it may be falling out. Sure enough it fell out when checked out the next day and also noticed another small tooth next to it looked like it fell out as well... We have noticed that he has been eating a little less of his wet food compared to his normal but continues to eat his dry food. The last couple days he has eaten noticeably less of his wet food and tonight did not even take a bite, instead heading to munch on some dry food.

He does have some staining especially on his canines. His gums are red right above his teeth where they are usually a very light pink. We haven’t made an appointment yet, mostly because the multiple vets we’ve seen in our area are pretty clueless on the breed and have given us incorrect information on several occasions (and heard some horror stories of teeth cleanings gone wrong happening there). I’ve ordered an enzyme toothpaste and some different types of brushes to try that will be here tomorrow.. we haven’t brushed his teeth before and know it’ll be a gradual process for him to tolerate. What I’m wondering is what we’re doing the right course of action with cleaning his teeth at home? I would like to get his teeth cleaned but am very worried about the risks especially with his breed and the vets available. I’m also worried that he may be in pain :(

Any info is greatly appreciated especially with any similar experiences!
 

Cinderstar95

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Normally my advice would be to go to a professional and take them to the vet, but If you live in a rural area with limited access to resources, it makes it a bit difficult.
i've had sphynx for probably around 18 years now, and I haven't had any of the issues you are going through, so I don't have any anechdotal advice, but I can say that 3 years is a bit early for teeth to be so bad that they are falling out. I have a 3 year old and a 6 year old now. Neither have ever had their teeth professionally cleaned (they kinda need it, and my boy will be going in soon for it (the 6 year old) ) but neither have had any teeth fall out. And the sphynx I grew up with never had her teeth cleaned and lived to be 13 with no teeth falling out. So, I worry that Diego either had some sort of trauma (do you ahve other animals in the home he could have gotten into a scrap with? did he chew on anything that could have broken his teeth? something like that)
the red gums would indicate that something is going on for sure - potential infection? did this redness come on gradually or was it all at once?
the fact that he's not eating wet food but eating dry food is interesting to me - if he was in a lot of pain, he'd want the soft stuff which he wouldn't have to crunch. When you say that he's eating less wet food, is he compensating with dry or is it an overall decrease in what he's eating? if so, I would keep a close eye on it.
My biggest worry is that if he has something going on that is bad enough that teeth are already falling out, simply brushing it isn't going to fix it. Are you in a position where you could potentially drive him to someone farther away that is a safer vet for him? I personally think he needs to be checked out by a professional, but if your local isn't an option (cause yikes, that sounds scary) maybe drive him further? I've taken my boy over an hour and a half away for care before. most handle the car well enough if its feasible for you to get there.
Sorry for so many questions, its just so hard to tell without seeing the animal myself XD
Best of luck with him!
 

Sheldon13

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Hi there. My kitty has awful teeth. I brush them regularly but she still has to get cleanings every year. If the gums are red that means they are inflamed. That can mean infection of just inflammation. Either way, a dental cleaning is what is needed to remedy. After that you can continue daily brushing to hold off any further issues.


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Catzzzmeow

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Cats hide pain very well, so for your baby not to eat you are probably right they are experiencing pain. I’d definitely get to the vet to avoid an infection. If they do have to use anesthesia, remind your vet not to use Ketamine. You can also ask for full blood panel/Pro BNP test so they can better determine if any heart issues as well. Keep us updated.
 

alandsim

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Mar 14, 2019
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That is scary! I would want to find a pro too.

Have you checked if there are any good vet schools in your state? In my town we have decent vets but no hospital that's open 24 hours so if something goes down when nothing else is open we have to travel to a university that does do emergency vet care and they're really good, so maybe for your needs you can find someone more qualified (under the supervision of someone who is very qualified) somewhere like there!

You could also ask area vets what they could do diagnostics wise before doing a whole cleaning under anesthesia and they might be able to advise you on cleaning measures you can take at home.
 

Yoda mom

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@Nudedude Positive healing vibes ...
Agree with the vet visit right away ... always best to get early intervention and a treatment plan. Dental infections can go to the heart .
Something is going on with Diego .. for peace of mind and to find out what is going on the best is vet visit .

Following closely for updates

Hugs n head smooches to Diego
 

Toa and Ross

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Sending positive vibes. Hope you’re able to go to a vet that you do trust. Maybe ask the vet in your neighbourhood if he/she is willing to callin an vet with experiences?
 

Nudedude

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Apr 8, 2019
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I did some more research and also talked to the breeder but it’s still rather bizarre that 2 teeth have fallen out. We have an emergency appointment set up for tomorrow to see if the inflammation is a bacterial infection or not so he can get steroids or antibiotics as appropriate. We have been giving him lots of freeze dried minnows since he is not eating much. He has a definite change in behavior last night and today and he is the most cuddly he’s ever been, so I’m glad he is not hiding his pain by avoiding us but also know he is hurting. Wish we could get him in sooner but that is the earliest they can see him for an emergency visit (urgent care visit would be in 5 days.. rediculous I think). Will keep you updated and thanks for the info on the anesthesia!

Diego is a wrapped up like a purrito and getting lots of head smooches.
 

Sheldon13

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Bless his little heart. They will take good care of him tomorrow and get this all sorted.


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Nudedude

Lairian
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Apr 8, 2019
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Just home from the vet now. The only thing new today is that Diego threw up this morning after I heard him drinking, it was quite a bit of water and mostly whole soggy dry food pieces. He won’t eat his wet food so I picked up some salmon for him. I gave him a little (he gobbled it up) and he drank and did not throw up any more. A little before his appointment he got a little more salmon.

His appointment.. the vet does not think the vomiting this morning was a concern. She thinks he probably swallowed his food whole and his stomach didn’t like that. She wasn’t concerned about the fact he may be eating it whole because of pain. My thought is that he may have been pretty hungry from not eating much so ate quite a bit whole and upset his stomach. When I asked why he wasn’t eating then, she says it may be an association with eating that food when sick so he does not want to eat it. He wasn’t sick so the only thing I could think of is he may have just eaten it when his 2 teeth fell out? He loved his wet food so it is bizarre he won’t get near it. I thought it maybe didn’t feel great where he lost his teeth because it’s a rather sticky wet food (Natural Balance Limited Ingredient salmon and green pea formula).

The vet thinks his gums are inflamed (stomatitis) due to tartar on his teeth. She says his teeth do NOT have much tartar on them. His teeth did not fall out due to tooth absorption sometimes associated with stomatitis. I didn’t think this was the case because i saw the long root of his tooth when it was falling out, but WHY did his 2 incisors fall out? She did not have an answer for this beyond “cats are weird and weird things happen.”

Vet states he has only mild inflammation right above the gum line, and should not be in pain, only some irritation according the vet. But why is he not eating or trying to eat his food whole? And why is there inflammation if his tartar is minimal. She says any amount could be irritating. She recommends a teeth cleaning.

She did not mention steroid or non-steroid anti-flammatory until I mentioned if she would recommend. She said she could give them until his cleaning if I wanted in order to decrease his inflammation.
I set up his cleaning for next week (with full intent of canceling and going somewhere else for this). They state they use gas and not ketamine when I asked.

Side note: she thinks Diego’s heart murmur is grade 4-5 of 6. When he had an echo last week it was grade 2 and his heart was considered normal for his breed. She also asked what was up with his ear wax (lol).

So, second opinion and cleaning next week is what I’m thinking.

Thoughts? Sorry so long.
 

Sheldon13

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Definitely.

-She doesn’t seem to know about ear wax production specific to this breed
-She heard a way worse murmur than a thorough echo found
-She says his gums are inflamed but he’s not in pain (untrue!)
-She has no idea medically why his teeth fell out.

They don’t fall out for no reason. There is a reason, be it trauma, infection, other.

I’m gonna be a big baby and say I don’t like your vet cuz she’s made me mad with her ignorance. I know, real immature.


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alandsim

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Mar 14, 2019
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Agree with @Sheldon13.
To me her answers about why he would stop eating food he likes and swallow dry food whole while claiming he's not in pain sound a lot like BS.

Maybe reach out to breeders in your state and ask if they know a vet who has more experience with the breed?
 

Cinafina

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Oh I'm so sorry for Diego and you! Going through this kind of situation with a vet you trust is stressful enough... :  ( But in my opinion, YESSSS, go see another vet and get a 2nd or 3rd opinion! This one just seems quite clueless to put it kindly.
 

Yoda mom

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Agree with second opinion ..

My vet told me the in office listening to the heart and “grading “ by listening is subjective ... so I would rely o the recent echo

Using a small raised food dish for food and water helped my IBD kitty from vomiting.


All paws crossed for the second opinion and kudos for confirming NO Ketamine wherever you choose to go ... they may also ask for pre surgery blood work so ask about it

A lair full of positive vibes
Following closely for updates
Hugs n head smooches to Diego
 

Cinderstar95

Lairian
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Jan 4, 2017
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I agree wholeheartedly with what has been said so far. She doesn't know specifics of the breed. Now - sphynx are not common and many vets aren't experts in them. Thats not necessarily a BAD thing, but in this case, she's not seeming comfortable with basic cat physiology. Some may disagre with me, but cats are cats and sphynx still have cat physiology. a vet confident in all things cat but doesn't usually see sphynx are still quite capable of taking fantastic care of them. My vet when I was still living with my parents was just a local vet who saw both cats and dogs and did general practice. I had one of the only sphynx in her practice. She was not an expert on them by any means, but she was confident in things cats, and I could tell that she did her research on the breed if I came in with a question, and she wasn't afraid to tell me she didn't know and would figure it out. Now, that I go to a different vet who is a cat only specialist, I still find myself providing some education on the breed. They worry about the ear wax issues that they always have because they are ingrained to worry about it. Its just part of having an uncommon exotic breed.
I say this long spheal because I see often that sphynx owners get hung up on the vets experience with the breed, when when it boils down to it, a cat is a cat. Yes they are predisposed to certain things, but you would still treat it the same way for the most part. I don't want you to go crazy trying to find a vet that has tons of hands on experience with the breed. Most wont, its just a problem with owning the breed. Hell, in the cat only practice I go to , with over a 1000 clients, they only have 5-6 sphynx who come in. I have two of them. but they are fantastic people and I trust my babies with them wholeheartedly.
Now, for whats going on - the vomiting - if he ate super fast, he could regurgitate and it isn't a sign of his overall health. If he does it over and over again, i would worry, but mine vomit often just because. try elevating the bowl as it slows it down and stops them from eating so fast that they regurgitate the food. Even putting it on a thick book would do the trick. I had to do that for a while with Shazam because when he was a kitten he was a little monster that way.
Inflammation causes pain... thats just basic medical knowledge. I wouldn't have them clean his teeth. Chances are, she's right and the inflammation is just because of the tarter. its a sphynx problem for sure. My Shazam has that issue, but teeth don't fall out for nothing. You may not be able to figure it out because of the nature of cats, but having hsi teeth checked out during a cleaning is a good idea. Get a second opinion and I agree that in his case, presurgery blood work may be warrented. A good vet will be willing to have a conversation and explain things to you. they wont brush you off. If you feel dismissed, don't trust them. Thats my opinion anyhow.
Best of luck and keep us updated!
 

Nudedude

Lairian
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Apr 8, 2019
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I talked to Diego’s breeder (who is a vet tech) and she is recommending a cat only vet near her that she brings her kitties to get fixed (over the vet she works with). She was very disappointed with what the first vet had to say and totally understood I wasn’t comfortable having her do a cleaning or continue his care on his teeth/gums. The cat only vet isn’t taking new kitties but agreed to see Diego. The soonest we can get him in is 3 weeks away and he thinks he would like to schedule a cleaning at that time as well, especially since it is 3 hours away. They are getting back to me on what they want to give him for inflammation until then. The first vet prescribed a non-steroid, Metacam, which is only supposed to be used for short periods (several days). It sounds like vets are prescribing this longer and longer recently. Has anyone been prescribed this for inflammation longer than a few days, or any other that you’ve had some short term or long term success with in regards to stomatitis or inflamed gums?

Diego has been getting flaked salmon in his wet food with water mixed in so it is a consistency he can lick up.. we call it his salmon soup. He has been doing pretty good with eating this. He has not vomited since and is a little less lethargic :)
 

Cinderstar95

Lairian
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Messages
289
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91
I talked to Diego’s breeder (who is a vet tech) and she is recommending a cat only vet near her that she brings her kitties to get fixed (over the vet she works with). She was very disappointed with what the first vet had to say and totally understood I wasn’t comfortable having her do a cleaning or continue his care on his teeth/gums. The cat only vet isn’t taking new kitties but agreed to see Diego. The soonest we can get him in is 3 weeks away and he thinks he would like to schedule a cleaning at that time as well, especially since it is 3 hours away. They are getting back to me on what they want to give him for inflammation until then. The first vet prescribed a non-steroid, Metacam, which is only supposed to be used for short periods (several days). It sounds like vets are prescribing this longer and longer recently. Has anyone been prescribed this for inflammation longer than a few days, or any other that you’ve had some short term or long term success with in regards to stomatitis or inflamed gums?

Diego has been getting flaked salmon in his wet food with water mixed in so it is a consistency he can lick up.. we call it his salmon soup. He has been doing pretty good with eating this. He has not vomited since and is a little less lethargic :)
If he becomes uninterested in the water, I use low sodium chicken broth when mine need a really liquidity consistency. Got my girl back onto solid foods recently and it worked wonders! Best of luck and keep us updated!
 

alandsim

Lairian
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Mar 14, 2019
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@Nudedude I am very impressed with your willingness to go above and beyond with effort and research in order to get your babe the care he needs. Not surprised, because look where we are {}, we all understand the importance of good vet care and preventative care, but you definitely deserve kudos and recognition for the money and time you are putting in. Diego knows how much you love him and will have a much better life for it!

This cat-specific vet sounds great. I know I love my local cat clinic :)
 

oolahappi

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Oct 31, 2017
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Interestingly, when I brought my girl in for her check up recently, my vet noted that her teeth were in very good condition 'for a sphynx'. She's only 2 years and a bit, but he said he's noticed bad teeth in Sphynx. On another note, I fed my dog Royal Canin TD bites for years and her teeth were in excellent condition for an elderly Shihtzu, and I now feed my cat the feline version and it seems to help with the teeth.
 
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