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Linda Simmon
Linda Simmon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 5231
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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I have a 19yr old cat who has an overactive thyroid,. she

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Hi,i have a 19yr old cat who has an overactive thyroid,. she takes Methimazole.Just lately she has been losing weight and has trouble chewing.There is a smell of her breath and sometimes she paws at her face.A while ago a different vet said she needs a tooth out but the vet I have been seeing said her teeth are ok just some plaque.Some advice please.
Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda. Just a few moments while I type my reply
From the symptoms you describe, I would be highly suspicious of a tooth ache or dental disease. Cats will often paw at their mouth, rub their face on the ground, drool, have bad breath, eat less or choose to eat wet food rather than dry food.
Sometimes dental disease can be hard to spot in a conscious cat, especially as some disease can be below tooth level and requires x-rays to diagnose. With very thick calculus, red gums or loose teeth the dental issue is easier to spot in an awake cat.
If one vet thought a tooth needed removing he would have said that for a reason, so likely spotted something, hence I would be more inclined to side with him. Perhaps the other vet missed it.
Other possibilities exist including oral ulcers or mouth cancer. A very thorough mouth exam is advised and sometimes a mild sedative is needed to achieve this in a feisty cat.
Given her age and concurrent medical condition, she may not be the best general anaesthetic candidate and so it would not be a straight forward decision as a dental cannot be performed without an anaesthetic.
If it was felt that her quality of life was poor due to her dental issues and a dental is her only option to live a comfortable life, a dental (+/- extractions) could be performed though would be high risk. A pre anaesthetic blood test to assess an up to date liver/kidney function as well as intra-op fluids would be advised . Her thyroid would also need to be stable.
If an anaesthetic is not something you would consider, she may benefit from some medication e.g. pain relief, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics to control any oral infection and pain. These should be started asap.
I would ensure she has plenty of soft, warm tasty food and that she is encouraged to maintain her hydration with warm chicken broths and water. Consider a high calorie food such as Hills A/D as well as warm chicken and fish little and often.
I do hope that this answer has been helpful and please do not forget to rate the service by selecting the stars at the top of the screen so I may be compensated for my time. Even after rating we can continue the conversation. All the best, ***** *****
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi,thanks for that.She has been getting pain relief injections,and I have been giving her soft food as she is more inclined to lick rather than chew.She is sprightly for her age so I would like to give her any chance I can.
Absolutely. Age is sometimes just s number and I have seem some elderly cats that look and act years younger than their age. I would aim to get her weight up and get her in good condition before the procedure.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you think the soup that you get for cats would be ok.
Certainly. You may have to try a few flavours before hitting on one she likes. Most cats prefer it warm as the smells and flavours are stronger.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Indeed,as she is fussy.Ihave tried lots of different kinds of food that she used to like,but as I said she doesn't want to chew,so hopefully she will like the soup.