General Question

anniereborn's avatar

Can you help identify my cat's problem?

Asked by anniereborn (5581 points ) June 25th, 2014

This is Pretty Kitty, my 21 year old. For a couple weeks now she has been pawing at her mouth. We took her to the vet. The vet said “I don’t see anything”. Of course they could X-ray her. But that requires her to be put under. This is not a good idea at her age.

We have been to all the vets in the area and are not happy with any of them.
Here is a video of what she does. She has also started to make this grinding sound when she does it. (Which you probably won’t hear).
PLEASE has anyone had any experience with this?

http://youtu.be/yZSA1DZNoVc

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

28 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Well, clearly something is bothering her. The pawing is usually if the animal has something stuck in its mouth. Has she had a thorough mouth exam for any abscess, broken teeth, any obstruction, food stuck in her teeth? She may have a loose tooth that is moving around and bothering her. Or….she may have a tumor or other obstruction in her throat, airway, far back of her palate.
It is obvious something is bothering her, I’d insist on more diagnostics.

anniereborn's avatar

The vet looked in her mouth and said that she thought it was her front canine bothering her. That she was very sensitive in that area when touched But she saw nothing going on.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I heard the noise three times, in the beginning, around 37 secs and at the end. How willing is she to let you examine her, maybe with a magnifying glass?

anniereborn's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe very UNwilling. I am likely to be bit….hard.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

She pawed at both sides of her mouth. Do you have some tough gloves? I think she has something stuck in there, maybe a bone of some sort? I had to go into my dog’s mouth one time to pull out a big wooden splinter. I was hoping I could still count to 10 after I did it. But his actions were very similar.

anniereborn's avatar

We don’t have any gloves that tough. Any suggestions?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

She really isn’t going to like this, but could one person hold her head and the other person slide something like a toothbrush handle into her mouth, to keep it open? So you could look to see if there is something stuck in there. Just be careful you don’t stress her too much. If she fights too hard back off fast.

anniereborn's avatar

We have major problems even trying to get a pill in her or liquid medicine :(
But, that IS an idea.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I know, cats are tough to deal with. But there is something in there bothering her. It’s not a tooth, but maybe it could be more than one? She pawed at both sides.

Coloma's avatar

Could she be having breathing problems?
My old kitty that died of heart failure in 2010 would gasp and paw at his face towards the end. It was so sad, he was euthanized not long after his distress became acute.

anniereborn's avatar

@Coloma I’m so sorry to hear about your old kitty :(
Mine does not seem to be having any trouble breathing through.

syz's avatar

She either has a bad tooth or a malocclusion. Veterinary dentistry is a pretty specialized area of expertise, so I’d look for someone who has lots of experience or is a boarded specialist.

anniereborn's avatar

Thank you everyone. I am gonna take her in this weekend to the vet she had before we moved here 5 years ago. He is an excellent vet and the hospital is highly advanced.

livelaughlove21's avatar

At the 28-second mark, it becomes quite clear that this is a pain response. I’d see a different vet, which I see is what you’re planning to do.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Yeah, I agree that this looks like tooth pain.

gondwanalon's avatar

Your cat is looking very good for its age.

I would schedule a tooth cleaning with the vet. When your vet has has the cat anesthetized the vet can get a real good look at what’s going on in the cat’s mouth. It could be this piece of bone stuck in gum tissue, a tumor or could be just a bad tooth.

Good luck!

Dan_Lyons's avatar

My neighbor’s 15 yr old cat just lost his saber tooth teeth. Incisors?

What about the cat’s whiskers. Are they brittle and breaking?

And of course 21 years old! Wow!

stanleybmanly's avatar

The clip is pretty useless, but you should take the plunge and have the kitty’s teeth x-rayed. There’s no point to a life of constant torment.

gondwanalon's avatar

The video is far from useless. It clearly shows that the cat has something wrong with its mouth. If your cat does not display that behavior in the vet’s office then the video will be helpful to the vet.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@livelaughlove21 For the majority of the “footage” the cat’s face is either turned away or obscured by that white object. It’s tough to make out what’s going on as well as just which area is irritating the cat. That the animal is distressed is abundantly clear.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@stanleybmanly The video shows the exact behavior described by the OP. There’s nothing useless about it. My vet always appreciates videos like this because the animals don’t always show the behavior in the vet’s office. It’s much easier for him/her to determine what could be wrong if he/she can actually see it. I think the same logic applies here.

snowberry's avatar

My dog acted like that once, and one of her teeth was loose. She was 15 years old. And the noise could be the loose tooth.

anniereborn's avatar

Here is an update. We took her in on Friday. Thankfully this vet took a VERY good look at her, all of her. He was able to get a very good look into her mouth. He did not see any growths or obvious teeth problems. However, she is 21 and does have bad teeth. He said the only way to know what is wrong and to fix it is to put her under.

When examining her he found that she has a heart murmur. He said that putting her under with that, and her age would be very risky.

He prescribed a medication for the pain. It is Gabapentin (Neurontin) and filled by a compounder as it is such a small amount. I sure hope it works. I will not let my kitty suffer. But I am not about to put her through a procedure that is nearly guaranteed to kill her either.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My male dog went in for an operation on his teeth at 15 or so. He had a stroke, we think, and passed a few days later. I’d do the same, make her as comfortable as you can, and let her have as good a life as you can. I’ll say a prayer for you both tonight.

anniereborn's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe So sorry to hear about your pup.
Thank you for your kind words

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Great pets are a nice gift. Life gives a lot, we need to love what we get. Good luck. You are more than welcome.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@anniereborn It’s too bad they can’t do anything to solve the problem – hopefully, the tooth will come out on its own and she won’t have to be on painkillers for too long.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther