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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22457
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My 14 year old cat struggled to eat about two months ago. She

Customer Question

My 14 year old cat struggled to eat about two months ago. She had an anal abcess which was successfully treated by drainage and antibiotics. After the pain relief had worn off she started not eating very much again. Her teeth were not great and it was decided to give her a dental scaling. She was given a course of antibiotics first which seemed to help and for three weeks she was back to eating well and jumping around.
She had her teeth de scaled last Tuesday and now after the pain relief has worn off she is back to not eating very well, decreasing amounts each day. There have been times over the last few months when it sounds like she is crunching her wet food. She has had blood tests which were okay.
I have been given loxicam for pain relief and have used it sparingly over the last few months as I have read this can cause problems. I do not like using this but when I put a small amount in her food she eats. There is obviously pain coming from somewhere? I am concerned loxicam could make her ill. Could she have had a mouth infection that the de scaling has caused to flare up again?
I really am at a bit of a loss.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Now in regard to your question, the scaling wouldn't have caused a flare-up of a mouth infection since dental cleaning removes that tarter/bacteria present. Instead, to see the recurrence of discomfort after she has had this done and is off pain relief is more suggestive of an alternative pain source being present.
Now hopefully her vet had a good look around her mouth when she was under anesthesia to rule out oral tumors or ulcers in the mouth and throat. If those can be removed off our list of concerns, we'd have to question whether she has jaw pain (which can be nerve, muscle, or bone related) or pain somewhere else that is putting her off her food (especially as teeth grinding can be a general sign of pain and not necessarily related to the mouth).
In that case, we'd want to have her vet reassess her looking for a focus of discomfort. If the jaw is in question, an xray may be of benefit here. Otherwise, we'd need them to narrow down discomfort sites (ie check for abdominal discomfort, check her joints for arthritis, back pain, etc) so they can focus on that area. Depending on their findings, treatment can be tailored for that issue.
Overall, Wendy's continued signs are not suggestive of an oral bacterial infection at this stage. Instead, we need to assess the jaw but also the rest of her body for a pain focus she is not telling us about. Finally, while working to pinpoint that area, I would note that you can consider speaking to her vet about use of Bupenorphine for her discomfort. This is a very strong pain relief but isn't associated with the kidney stresses that Loxicom is. And can just be a better choice for more frequent use in elderly cats like Wendy.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
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