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Cat grinding teeth after dental cleaning

My cat, Mitzi, makes a terrible grinding sound since she had her teeth cleaned 5 days ago. Took her back to vet who decided to remove a tooth that might be causing the trouble. This meant anesthesia twice in 3 days. She wouldn't eat, so I've brought her home. She tried to eat but the grinding sound is still there. She takes a tiny bite and starts shaking her head and making this sound. She is 17 - she was eating perfectly before the dental cleaning. I am at my wits end - has anyone heard of this? the vet seems stumped.
61 Responses
874521 tn?1424120397
COMMUNITY LEADER
hi I'm not sure either...but just wondering IF the Vet took xrays as well? there could well be underlying PAIN following the cleaning due to FORL's this is an  reabsorption lesion that affects the roots of the teeth...and I'm just thinking if this is present Mitzi could now be hurting..

http://www.dentalvet.com/Encyclopedia/M04977.htm

My one cat was found to have this during recent xrays but he's alot younger and its only just started, apparantly is a very painful condition when it becomes worse...hope its not the case, just a suggestion.
let us know how Mitzi does ok....
Avatar universal
Thank-you so much for this. I wish I had never agreed to allowing a dental cleaning on a cat who may have been 17 with bad teeth but was happy and ate well. The guilt of having done this to her is eating me up alive. She has taken a few sips of milk (she has drunk it all her life) and had some water but otherwise she has hardly eaten. Not even a teaspoon all day. She is on a long acting painkiller. No I don't think the vet took x-rays, Opus. He didn't actually have to remove any teeth - just tartar. I will ask him about this tomorrow. I will never forgive myself for letting her go through this.
874521 tn?1424120397
COMMUNITY LEADER
hey hon, its not your fault...we do what we think is best and trust our Vets to know but sometimes there are problems...I have to take one of mine in for a cleaning on Wed and I too am always apprehensive about but do know its necessary to keeping them healthy....-(
What is she on for a pain med? it could be whats causing the lack of appetite...
she has to eat and soon, cats cannot go long without any food before they run into liver problems, do you have a syringe or dropper? get some jars of soft baby food MEAT without any flavors esp salt....you will need to give her something by dropper(add water to it so its easy to draw into the dropper)..

http://www.medhelp.org/health_pages/Pets/Syringe--Force-feeding-for-cats--Part-one/show/491?cid=2

must do this today, she'll need a few tablespoons every few hours until she is ready to eat on her own..
but first tell me the name of the pain killer...
Avatar universal
To my shame I don't know - he injected her with one before she left the hospital. I will ask him tomorrow first thing
Avatar universal
I tried some chicken baby food, but she started gagging. She has eaten about 3 Iams kibbles, I lick of Whiskas sardines and tuna, a few licks of milk and some water. THAT IS IT!! Every time she eats this crunching sound starts and she shakes her head and moves her mouth around. Now she is actually hiding from me for the first time in her life after the baby food attempt. It is as though she is afraid to eat and associates the food with discomfort or pain...
874521 tn?1424120397
COMMUNITY LEADER
yes thats exactly whats happening....its hurting her to eat.
be sure to offer her soft foods not the kibble as this will be even harder for her to chew.
when you give her some of the baby food(or other liquefied wet food) be very sure just to put a small amount into her mouth each time, insert the syringe or dropper on the side of her mouth near the back molars...(not the front)..and squeeze just a cc (or ml) at a time or yes she will began to choke or gag.

or try to temp her with tuna or anything else she enjoys as you are doing.
It is important that she does see her Vet again and get them to show you the proper way of syringe feeding you will need to do this until she is eating again on her own.
Poor kitty she must be really sore....
If she needs more pain meds when you see your Vet BUPRONORPHINE (buprenex) is one of the safest to use for cats.
Avatar universal
I am writing this down. Tell do cats who stop eating ever start eating again? I've never had this problem. Last week I nearly lost one of my dogs to very bad gastritis. I'm barely sleeping and eating - sorry if I'm rambling but it's just been a two week nightmare. And is it ok for her to get an appetite stimulant? The first time she was so hungry she cried but could not eat, the second time was in the hospital and it didn't make her eat at all. I value the advice of people who are OCD about the animals above vet advice, unless there is a specific diagnosis no-one knows about. Really thank-you for all your time and patience. Am going to the vet again tomorrow morning.
874521 tn?1424120397
COMMUNITY LEADER
hi...so sorry I understand how stressed out you must be right now...yes of course she will start eating again as soon as she feels better. right now she probably has a very sore mouth and perhaps some side effects going on with the medication as well (?)
the assist feeding is just to be sure she continues to get some food into her and not get alot sicker...
I found this youtube video showing you how to do some food up and how to use the syringe(or dropper can be used too)
watch this it will help you alot. I wouldn't worry about adding the pumpkin as this lady does because you are doing this for only short term nutrition and not long term like the cat in the video needs....just keep the food simple..like a baby food meat..or some canned cat food that you add some water too...good luck. let us know how she makes out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6o17wH6ujk
Avatar universal
I have taken your advice and started syringe feeding her - the youtube vid was great. I made a mix of Hill's Critical Care with a little cream to thin it, some probiotics, and a drop of Omega 3 fish oils. She doesn't like it but is tolerating it.
The vet wouldn't discuss medication with me - he looked bored of the whole thing - basically he said he has never heard of these symptoms and almost questioned whether she was in fact having them (because she had never eaten in hospital, so he had seen no evidence). All he could think of was severe pain, but he could offer no reason for an animal having so much pain after a dental cleaning, and he said she could not have any more pain meds until tomorrow.
Oh and he never bothered with Xrays - not even when I took her back, and he decided, without permission, to remove a healthy tooth which 'might have been causing the clicking'.
I have managed to get an appointment with a vet who is a dental specialist tomorrow afternoon, so I'm praying he will be able to resolve this. Will update you. She is quite miserable and listless - she hardly comes out of her special hidy hole.
242912 tn?1402547092
COMMUNITY LEADER
I'm so sorry for all you and kitty have been through.  It's very exhausting care for sick pets and heartbreaking to see them suffering.  I'm glad Mitzi will see a specialist.  She needs dental xrays.   I'm wondering if, during the cleaning and given your cats age, one of her teeth may of split...or become loose...and it's going by unnoticed? (At 17, Mitzi' teeth are not the strongest)  OR, the anesthesia tube down her throat (if that method was done vs IV), could of broken one of her teeth or at the very least, loosened it.  I do hope her jaw wasn't affected (just a guess) that's what the crunching sound you hear. She may now be coming down wrong on her existing teeth?  I hope your vet has as least visually looked in her mouth manually.  

I've had a lot of dental work and change in bite can cause excruciating pain when trying to eat.  Even a cleaning can make mouth and teeth hurt for over a week.  My bet is there is an abscessed or cracked tooth and the vibration of the cleaning tool either loosened or aggravated an abscessed tooth and has been overlooked.  

Bless you go going the extra mile for your girl.  Meanwhile, keep up with the syringing - you're saving her life until you can see that second opinion. You might want to add some Pedialyte (with water being a must of course) - another common liquid given to a sick cat.  She is really feeling bad to be hiding now.  My thoughts and prayers will be with Mitzi and yourself - please let us know what the second opinion says.  See if she might drink some tuna juice after the feeding.  Oh, and always off some kind of treat after syringe feeding so they will associate that with a good thing...if possible, of course.  You may have to resort to wrapping Mitzi in a towel.  I know that's hard, but for her own good.

We have all been where you are with sick cat and understand the lack of sleep, worry, etc.  Please post if you should need to vent, have a question or simply need support.  We are all here for you.

Will be awaiting anxiously for your update.  Good luck today!
Avatar universal
I appreciate your comment SO MUCH - I am being eaten alive by guilt. Thanks for the pedialyte tip. I'm at a loss as to what is causing it. I took her back because of the crunching cracking sound. The vet said he examined her under sedation, found nothing wrong, suspected a tooth (which was healthy), went ahead, put her under and extracted it (without checking with me). When I took her home she was visibly weaker - the second she tried to eat the cracking came back. I wonder if you are right about the jaw? When I asked him about it, he shrugged. He admitted he did no X-rays (not even the second time) even though he KNEW I was worried and told him to take every precaution. I phoned the surgery two days in a row before I took her in saying I was concerned, and please to not take any short-cuts.
There is not a thing I would not do for my Mitzi - she has been an unbelievable blessing. I just pray she does not have to leave this world suffering like this because I failed her. I will never forgive myself.
Avatar universal
Hi there
Specialist said the grinding is caused by her being in excruciating pain - and you may be right about the reabsorbtive lesion!!!!!!! Can't tell without an Xray, but as she was slightly dehydrated AND had an infection where the other vet removed a tooth (wrong side from the pain, btw) this vet was not prepared to risk another anesthesia without sorting out these issues. So she is in hospital on opiates, antibiotics and a nasal drip.  
He did bloods and said aside from her kidneys and current problems (which are not at all bad) this cat is in excellent health for her age. She is at one of the top hospitals here, and seemed to trust this vet, so I don't feel as terrible leaving her. Specialist feels that unless something really goes wrong out of the blue, she should make a fully recovery. Thank-goodness you told me to syringe feed - just in time! Will post an update. Thank you, thank you, thank you
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