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tooth pain in cat
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tooth pain in cat

I took in my cat who i found as a starving stray last fall.  he was very sick when i took him to the vets. he had many tests and his levels were all way low, he was really jaundice and only weighed a couple pounds.  we were able to nurse him back to health after a few months of follow up test and a few hundred dollars.  he is a huge cat now 13 pounds and not really overweight, just long, tall and broad.  my question is that he has either a broken or rotten lower, i think, canine tooth. one of the pointy bottom fang looking teeth.  i have always fed him dry food and he has never hesitated or acted as though he didn't want to eat due to pain, the last time i took him to vets he had a yeast infection in his ears, and i asked about his tooth.  it was going to cost a couple hundred to have tests to make sure he is fit to go under and then to have it pulled.  i feel horrible that i do not have the money to have it taken out for him.  she advised me that as long as he didn't seem bothered by it and was eating okay that i could wait awhile.  i am worried that it may get infected on him.   i know ultimatley he needs it taken out but is there anything i should keep an eye out for other then loss of appetite?  i have tried to give him wet food, but he is not interested in it.
Type of Animal
:  
cat
Age of Animal
:  
5 years
Sex of Animal
:  
Male
Breed of Animal
:  
possible persian or coon mix
Last date your pet was examined by a vet?
:  
January 01, 2009
City
:  
poland
State/Province
:  
maine
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931217_tn?1283484935
Hi Nicole,

I would only add that untreated dental disease may lead to a number of other systemic ailments as bacteria which live just under the gum line often enter into the bloodstream during normal eating motions. Infection of the heart valves and organs with numerous blood vessels are typical sites of new infection from dental disease. In people, even pancreatic cancer has been linked to gum and tooth disease. My point here is not to scare you but to encourage you to get this problem taken care of sooner rather than later. Thank you for the opportunity to comment and add to Dr. Humphreys thorough reply above.

Dr. Arnold L. Goldman
3 Comments
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
If the tooth is painful or if you notice a bad smell then the tooth would be getting infected and must come out.  

If there is not much pain or bad smell, then I agree with your vet you could probably wait.  But it appears you have waited (since January) already.  So you will have to decide if it is bad enought for you to take action.  

As long as you have found the right food he likes and can eat you should be good there.  

It is IDEAL to have all these tests done before an anesthetic, BUT, not essential.  You can have the tooth removed without all the pre-anesthesia tests.  It is your right to say no to the tests and get the problem fixed.  

Some veterinarians may decide not to proceed, then it is your choice to wait or go somewhere else.  Clearly it is good medicine and for your cat's safety, but when it comes to getting a procedure done or not done, and you understand the risks and are willing to sign off on a denial of the tests, then the procedure should be done with your consent.  

All that said, a broken canine tooth can exist for years with no problem.  You may not need to rush to fix - only in the case of infection or pain - and it seems you may be there now.  

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796579_tn?1266435624
thank you.  i totally want and will have the pre-anesthsia testing when we do the procedure, especially since he was so sick when i found him, he is a great cat and i do not want to run the risk of jeopordizing his life by putting him under!! thanks again for your time
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Aleda M Cheng, D.V.M., C.V.ABlank
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