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Cats/Losing a canine


I recently took my 11 year old tabby to the vet because his breath was horrible.  I was told that he needed teeth cleaning and possibly some extractions.  Definitely has tartar build up.  His canine on the right side was loose. They gave him Clindamycin (liquid antiboitic) which he just finished last week.  It definitely helped with his bad breath.  I was out of town over the weekend and noticed a few hours ago that he lost the loose canine.  From what little he will let me look at it, it looks clean.  He seems to be okay but should I take him back to the vet just because he lost his tooth?  I am just concerned about him getting an infection.  
     I truly cannot afford the cleaning and/or extractions.  The vet gave me an estimate on cleaning $452!!!  A highend estimate on extractions $800, knowing that he needed at least one extraction b/c of the loose canine.  Just not sure if I should take him back to the vet.

   Thanks!  April

Hi April,

I don't feel it will be of any extra benefit to bring him back to the vet just to view the area. It's expected that loose teeth will fall out. The reason we like to try to extract them before they fall out is because loose teeth are fragile. They're likely to sort of break and leave behind fragments in the socket. The gum heals over the fragments, and this can cause abscesses or general inflammation.

But since the site appears clean  now and his breath is ok, until the time you can afford oral surgery, there isn't a heck of a lot to do for the site. You should monitor his mouth to be sure it doesn't become infected. Chances are, he'll need antibiotics from time to time until problem areas are more permanently resolved with oral surgery, so if he gets bad breath or red gums, he should see the vet. Once you can afford oral surgery, a dental x-ray can determine whether or not this site is clean or if there are fragments under the gumline. If there are, they can make an incision and remove them. Sometimes, we get lucky, and a tooth does happen to fall out cleanly, or the body does a nice job of reabsorbing any tooth fragments left behind.

Best wishes!


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The areas in which I have gained the most experience are cat health and feral cat management/rescue. I provide supportive care to chronically ill cats, hospice care to terminally ill cats and also am involved in trap-neuter-return efforts. My specialities lie in taming feral cats and in the allopathic treatment of cats with illnesses or special needs. I also have owned Siamese, Himalayans, Abyssinians, Russian Blues, Savannahs, Bengals, Peterbalds, Don Sphynx and Oriental Shorthairs and am well-versed in cat breeds as well as cat behavior and nutrition.


I have 15 years of extensive experience with cats ranging from breeding to medical care. My daily routine consists of caring for cats with diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney failure, feline leukemia, feline AIDS as well as feral cats. I have experience with liver patients, heart patients, feline infectious peritonitis, cancer, recovery from amputation and trauma, congenital deformities and most every disease in between. I have assisted cats giving birth and hand-nursed kittens who were neglected by their mother from 2 days old through weaning.

15 years' hands-on experience. Current nursing student. I've studied the parallels of human and cat anatomy as well as zoonotic disease, so my studies are broadening the depth of my understanding of feline anatomy, physiology and pathology.

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