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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20144
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with 15 years experience.
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I have a 15 year old female long nose Persian cat. She started

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I have a 15 year old female long nose Persian cat. She started rapid sneezing several times a day nearly three weeks ago and then one eye started seeping with brown fluid. She was alert, eating and drinking as normal until last Friday when she totally went off her food. We noticed she was in pain when eating so we took her to the vets on Monday. We told them all the issues and they removed three back teeth and the vet told us that they leave the gum open to heal, as they said it stops infections and will heal quickly, they added she should be eating by that evening. However she is in agony when trying to drink and especially eat, to such an extent where she now seems mentally scared and refuses to go anywhere near her food.
I'm not a vet but I can apply a little common sense and presume there's a nerve in one or more holes which is causing the terrible pain, is this normal?
Should the vet have stitched the holes or sealed the nerve?
How long will it take to heal so she can eat and drink again?
Please advise
Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 13 years. Thank you for your question. I'm very sorry to hear about this situation with your girl. A lot of times when a toot his removed in the back of the oral cavity from a cat, the socket is left open to granulate in. It isn't sutured shut in most instances as there really isn't tissue to close the socket and if it was closed, more than likely infection would be trapped inside and possibly abscess. I'm going to say that at this time with the amount of discomfort that she's having and her not wanting to drink or eat indicate that something still isn't quite right with her. At this point out from the dental procedure, I would hope she would be pretty comfortable and at least as good as she was prior to the procedure and better. The options you have at this point are to continue to utilize your current vet and to ask them for pain medication for her to see if this helps. The other option you have is to allow another veterinarian to evaluate her to see what they feel is the next step for her. She may need some oral antibiotics to help with a secondary infection. She may need an appetite stimulant.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She has had a two week antibiotic injection. She is also wanting to eat but is now scared to go to her bowls. If I say dinner or fish she starts licking her lips and showing interest, but she won;t go anywhere near the food and if I try to give her a bit she runs away.

I understand that the socket can't always be closed due to lack of tissue but surely the vet can see if there is a nerve in the socket and seal/kill the nerve?

That is good that she is showing interest in the food. Maybe she needs some help to get over this current hesitation / fear of discomfort. She may have had a significant amount of discomfort that is lessening but she is unsure of eating as it may bring back the discomfort. A course of oral buprenorphine may be good here to help provide pain relief. The application of a Fentanyl pain patch may also be a good option here. Both of these can help to reduce discomfort to help encourage eating. As far a seeing a specific nerve, the area of the extraction is a deep crevice and there is no possibility to see on a microscopic level the nerves. These extractions are left to fill in again. If things could be done differently, maybe an oral nerve block could have been used to give relief in the half day after the extraction if one wasn't. Sometimes this can keep the nerves from ramping up with the pain response.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We have purchased some metacam liquid from the vets, however you have to give it with food!! She went blitzo this morning with one tiny bit of food. It's made no difference so far.

So realistically is it a waiting game for a few more days?

Should I take her back to the vets and hand over another week's wage?

They won't be able to look in her mouth unless they knock her out again...

The Metacam is an oral NSAID used for pain. I've seen owners give it straight with no food. Giving with food may help it to be taken easier. I fully understand the difficulty with having to sedate her to evaluate her oral cavity again. There aren't that many cats that will let you do a great oral exam - especially if they are uncomfortable. If she is still pretty alert, taking in water and not seeming too stressed, then giving her a couple more days may be finally the time needed to let the area start to quiet down and to let her get back to normal. I don't want to scare you, but could something else be causing discomfort? Could there be an injury to the mouth post the extraction such as a jaw fracture? I've been practicing for 15 years and I've only seen this once as a case coming into my ER from a dental extraction by a veterinarian.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She has just woken up and rapidly sneezed around twenty times (sounds like a machine gun speed). This only happens a few times a day but obviously shouldn't be.

What could be causing this?

That sneezing could still be caused by irritation in her caudal nasal sinus. Rule outs would be an upper respiratory viral infection, nasal foreign body, and continued dental disease. If there was a communication from an infected tooth into the sinus, then this may be still resolving post the dental prophylaxis.
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