My Cat Has Mouth Issues

CatChannel veterinary expert Arnold Plotnick, DVM, discusses treatment and cost-management for cat dental problems.

Q: My 11-year-old male cat has been having mouth issues. He lost one tooth a few months ago and now appears to be losing another. He has trouble eating; he does not like wet food and the only things I can get him to eat are yogurt and cat milk. He has lost weight and I am afraid for him. I have been giving him an oral medication from the vet, but it’s a real struggle to get him to take it. He drools and his tongue sticks out now. My vet wanted to take out his tooth, but it would cost $400, cash. Can I can do anything for him? I don’t want to put him down.

A: Your cat needs dental work. There is no other way around it. It is clear that your cat’s mouth is bothering him; he’s having trouble eating, he is drooling, and his tongue is protruding. You need to call other veterinarians and see if you can find one who can perform the dental work for a less expensive price, or who will work with you in terms of financing. Charge it to a credit card and pay it off over the next few months. Owning a cat requires taking proper care of it. During rough economic times, it’s understandable to skip an annual examination or vaccination if the cat is healthy and doing well. But if a cat is clearly sick and in pain, you must find a way to have him treated.

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