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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 29789
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My cat is 19yrs old and is loosing weight - she has an appetite

Customer Question

My cat is 19yrs old and is loosing weight - she has an appetite but it sounds like she is crunching bones when she is eating soft food. Have felt around her mouth but cant feel anything unusual.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Pepsi. Teeth grinding causes that sound and is a common and frustrating presentation in cats. Teeth grinding with excessive salivation is very likely related to oral pain. Gastrointestinal and neurologic problems must also be considered and carefully ruled out.

The most common sources of oral pain in cats are dental pain, oral lesions and jaw fractures. Tooth resorption (similar to our cavities but a different disease process) and dental abscesses are the most common causes of dental pain. Stomatitis (a general inflammation in the oral cavity) is a severely painful oral inflammatory condition and tumors (squamous cell carcinoma) are the most common painful non-inflammatory oral lesions. We look carefully for trauma as a potential causes of oral pain and oral discomfort from temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ), malocclusion, foreign bodies or the ingestion of unpleasant substances (especially household chemicals and plants) must also be ruled out.

After oral pain has been ruled out, abdominal pain, nausea and neurologic diseases are considered as potential causes of teeth grinding and salivation. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), pancreatic disease, cholangiohepatitis, gastritis and hypokalemia (low potassium) are also ruled out. From a neurologic perspective we need to consider , brain tumors and peripheral nerve neuropathies.

I understand the difficulty in thoroughly examining a cat such as Pepsi which might require anethesia - a risky proposition at her age - much less dental work if needed. Hospice care might be selected instead and that would include a narcotic analgesic such as buprenorphine which could be squirted into her mouth as per her vet's instructions.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.