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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22450
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My (rescued) cat Dylan is about 12 years old and I have had

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My (rescued) cat Dylan is about 12 years old and I have had him for about 4 years. recently I've noticed that he can look a bit unbalanced when he wakes up but then he can also run around too. for the last couple of weeks he has also been sick sometimes after eating and he has been off his food. Since yesterday I have noticed blood in his food bowl and in his water bowl. I looked gently in his mouth and it looks as though one bottom fang is very loose and is at a strange angle lying a little forward. He had all his upper teeth removed when he was rescued as they were all broken but has managed ok up till now. I will be taking him to the vet tomorrow but would welcome a little advice. He is very subdued and may be in pain. Thanks you.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Poor Dylan!
I am quite concerned about him being off his food for such a period of time already. The signs he is showing (especially the blood, tooth position, and appetite decline) are all very suggestive of oral based disease causing significant mouth pain. As well, if he hasn't been able to eat properly for a few weeks, this could certainly lead to weakness and his imbalance when moving about. And if he is off his food completely, we could be seeing the vomiting as a start of secondary hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) due to his anorexia. So, we do want to be proactive with him at this point.

Now in regards ***** ***** causes for his signs, these signs are most commonly associated with dental disease. The fact that you are seeing this compromised tooth there is highly suspect. Of course, we do have to appreciate that it may not be the only issue since dental disease within the whole mouth is a high risk concern at his age. In either case (if just one or more teeth are involved), we can hopefully rule out other issues like polyps, oral tumors, and oral trauma for him.

Now in regards ***** ***** supportive care at this stage, the fish is a good start. Further to this, do consider trying him with soft pate style foods or even meat baby food (as long as its free of garlic/onion powder) as these will be easier for a sore mouthed cat to eat. You can even use Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery diet, or wet kitten food to just get more nutrition in per bite that he will take. And just to note, all of these can be made into a gruel for him to lap up if he isn't keep to take a bite with his sore tooth.

While providing food based support, we'd also want to make sure his hydration remains stable and he doesn't become dehydrated. To check his hydration status to make sure your cat is not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test at home. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether the pet has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE. ( They use a big dog but it makes it easier to see and the principles are exactly the same) If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have Dylan seen by urgently before this gets any further out of control for him.

Finally, since we have to be concerned about pain or at least discomfort for your lad, I do want to warn you not to be tempted to administer any human pain relief medications to Dylan. The reason is because some of our human OTC medications can induce fatal toxicities and even the least "risky" can cause stomach ulcer/erosion (not to even mention that the pain relief they could give is poor and not even worth the risk), Furthermore if you do give any human OTC drugs, it would impede his vet from using proper cat pain relievers until the human ones left his system (usually up to a week). So, if you think he is terribly painful, then this would be a red flag to have him seen by the urgently now instead of waiting for his regular one.

Overall, that tooth +/- further dental disease is likely the culprit for all his signs. Since he is already struggling, do try the above but it would be ideal to have his mouth checked by his vet once they are open (consider withholding food the night before the morning you have him seen so that they can admit him for a dental without delay if necessary). They will be able to examine his mouth (which they are often not keen to let just anyone do) to determine is there is anything else amiss besides this visible canine. Depending on their findings, they will be able to advise you on how to address this for him (ie cat safe pain relief, antibiotics, dental, etc). That way you can address this sooner for poor wee Dylan before he just fades away on us.

Finally, just to note in case you were keen to have him seen today, some veterinary practices in our country have office hours today. As well, I wanted to mention that most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are not open. Therefore, it is worth ringing the practice. If they are open, you can get him seen today and you can get cat safe pain relief into his system asap. If they aren't, then they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check the RCVS Register (HERE) to find your local vets or Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, if you wanted to get him checked out sooner then there are options to have him seen today too.

hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your prompt response. I thought about liver disease as I lost another rescued cat in old age after he had been off balance and vomiting. the difference is that the soft tissue in his mouth looked yellow and Dylan's is pink. I usually give him pate type food anyway as he has no top teeth and he's not a big water drinker. I'm sure that he hasn't had any trauma to his mouth as he is a house cat mostly and only ventures into the garden in the best of conditions but he cannot get out of the garden. He has been sleeping ok and he's not crying so I'm hoping that the tooth is just sore but not painful. But I will be taking him to the vet first thing in the morning. thank you very much for your help. Linda

You are very welcome, Linda.

Pri***** *****ver disease often manifests as cats that start drinking excesively, perhaps appear distended (as the liver enlarges), lose weight (especially if we have a liver tumor), and may develop a yellow discoloration of the gum/skin/ whites of their eyes. So, as long as you are not seeing these signs and Dylan isn't yellow like your other kitty was, it wouldn't be our top concern here.

That said, since Dylan is an older gentleman, I would suggest that you consider having his vet check a pre-anesthetic blood test before sorting out his mouth. This will just allow you to check the state of his organs to make sure he is a good candidate if he does need a dental, as well as to make sure that his organs are functioning well for his age. That way you can have the peace of mind that his liver isn't causing him any issue nor any other organ doing so either.

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )
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