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Cats/my elderly cat


Hi Ali, my elderly cat Sylvester is drooling and has breath odor, but is still in good spirits and has a good appetite. before i take him to the vet i was planning on giving him a course of penicillin ...i am pretty sure he will need a tooth out,i am just a bit concerned about the medicine affecting his kidneys....he had a blockage of some sort about a year ago and could not wee !!  it cleared up when i gave him the special U/R canned food by Purina.  do you have any thoughts about the subject? i know you are busy and you have been very helpful and supportive in the past. have a great day ! Barbara


I wouldn't suggest giving antibiotics without the advice of your vet. From the sounds of things Sylvester could have an issue with his teeth, but there are other medical issues that can cause foul smelling breath/drooling. I'm incredibly glad that Sylvester's blockage resolved on its own, however typically a urinary blockage is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical treatment by a veterinarian for two reasons - first and foremost adequate pain relief is important as these blockages are incredibly painful, secondly and most obviously relieving the blockage before it has an opportunity to cause kidney/bladder damage is crucial.

I can certainly understand why you would be concerned about medications that you could give Sylvester affecting his kidneys and I agree with you which is why I think that the safest course of action before giving him any medications at all would be for the vet to assess him as soon as possible. The vet may want to do blood work to check the status of his kidneys (usually referred to as a BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)/Creatinine profile) - at my vet these tests are about $30 each, I'm not sure what your vet will charge. Having a kitty who nearly died in 2007 due to the kidney failure she developed during the Menu Foods pet food recalls I know how valuable the information that these tests provide can be. Given Sylvester's history I would imagine that the vet would want to be super cautious and just make sure that his kidneys are functioning within the normal range before prescribing ANY medications. If Sylvester's drooling/bad breath is the result of dental disease the vet may recommend taking action and removing decayed teeth as quickly as possible to reduce the risks of transmitting any bacteria from his mouth throughout the rest of his body... Typically my vet will prescribe antibiotics IF she finds infections under the teeth that she pulls, otherwise she will simply allow the extractions to heal while watching for signs of any potential problems... After all you don't want to risk creating bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics by using the wrong antibiotic to treat an infection or using that antibiotic incorrectly.

Hopefully you have found this information helpful. If you have any further questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me againa at any time - I'm more than happy to help in any way that I can.

Kind regards,



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I am the proud guardian of 5 mixed breed cats ranging from 12 weeks to 13 years old and one purebred ragdoll. I have 20+ years experience working with mixed breed cats from a variety of different situations. I have fostered cats/kittens with special needs/behavioral issues. I have rescued/rehabilitated/re-homed a variety of stray/abused cats. I can offer advice on managing feral cat colonies, rehabilitating strays and finding them forever homes. I can help you to determine whether a cat is stray or feral, there IS a significant difference. Improperly introducing a new cat/kitten can result in aggression between newly introduced cats because cats are territorial by nature and they don't like sudden changes in their environment. To learn more about a peaceful way to introduce a new cat into a home with other cats please check out my previous answers on this subject. Proper nutrition for cats can be confusing, I recommend checking out which was created by a veterinarian (Dr. Lisa Pierson) who takes a common sense approach to explaining feline nutrition. Cat behavior and instincts are different from those of humans, I can help you understand your cat's needs so that you can meet them adequately and have a balanced, psychologically and physically sound kitty. Cats vary in personality, energy level and intelligence, different approaches may be required to achieve results in terms of training and interaction with your feline companion. An intelligent, high energy cat must be kept busy or they will make their own fun. I am NOT a licensed veterinarian and I can't offer medical advice. If your cat is ill/injured my advice is always the same: get prompt medical treatment provided by a veterinarian. If finances are an issue I will try to find resources in your area that can help with medical costs or make other choices to ensure the welfare of your cat.


I have fostered feral and stray cats, rehabilitated and homed cats that many people recommended euthanasia for. I am willing to make an effort to do the research and ask questions because I care enough to find solutions to behavioral problems rather than giving up. I have an interest in the use of alternative therapies to help provide the best possible care for all cats and I can say in all honesty that I've seen some incredible things happen for some incredible cats and their human caregivers when the right alternative therapeutic modality is used by a qualified veterinarian with expertise and experience in the field.

I've earned my diploma as a veterinary assistant with honors.

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