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Old 20.01.2016, 17:37
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Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

Is there anyway to reduce calculus in cats without having them put into narcosis? Also ways to prevent a large build up?
Went to the vet yesterday and it might be that next year (yes I start to freak early) my one cat will need to have it removed if it continues to build up. Now with my last cat I had a very bad experience which ended in having to put the cat down. So I would like to avoid this in any way possible (I have changed vet etc). I know it is only a 'small' thing, but it gets me totally freaked if I think that it possible perhaps maybe could happen to this cat too.
That's why any suggestions how to put off such an operation would be greatly appreciated. Cat otherwise fully healthy no issues at all.
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Old 20.01.2016, 18:47
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

I've never heard it called that before; I guess I'd always used "tartar".

I thought it was some sort of weird cat maths when I saw the title
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Old 20.01.2016, 20:24
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

Our vet removed the calc with his finger nails. At first I thought it was the cat's teeth that were being flicked out! it took a minute or two, without anaesthetic and the cat didn't seem too worried...
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Old 21.01.2016, 00:50
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

One of my cat builds tartar extremely fast and that since I picked her up from the street. Apparently, not much can be done, except giving her a regular dental cleaning.
I was also very reluctant to put her under full narcosis that often. But the new vet I'm going to said that he can clean her teeth by giving a only light dosage. So now I agreed to have her teeth cleaned twice a year, instead of waiting 2 or 3 years ...
Seems to be working well.

His contact is: Dr Schröter
http://www.klein-tierklinik.ch/
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Old 21.01.2016, 09:47
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

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I've never heard it called that before; I guess I'd always used "tartar".

I thought it was some sort of weird cat maths when I saw the title
haha fair enough, I googled it and thought that tartar sounded more like beef, then I would have gotten the comment how can a cat have mushed meat stuck to its teeth
I hadn't heard of either, just used the german word all the time
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Old 21.01.2016, 10:08
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

I remember a vet predicting that I'd have big issues with my then 12 month old kittens who apparently were prone to tartar and gingervitis.....he got me hugely worried at the time.

On a different visit, we had a different vet, and he advised me I didn't need to spend on regular tooth cleaning sessions, or buy the specialist vet biscuits, but instead to give my kitties uncooked (yes, RAW!) chicken wings every week to keep their toothy pegs healthy. (think it through - its just like when they crunch through a bird they've caught). Turns out that the kitties love the chicken wings, and three years later, their teeth are just fine.

From time to time I lash out by feeding them from a very expensive bag of Hills brand "Science Plan" Oral Care biscuits. Available from many vets and from pet stores across CH. My fussy eater felines love them too, and it does wonders for any stinky breath they may have.
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Old 21.01.2016, 17:00
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

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On a different visit, we had a different vet, and he advised me I didn't need to spend on regular tooth cleaning sessions, or buy the specialist vet biscuits, but instead to give my kitties uncooked (yes, RAW!) chicken wings every week to keep their toothy pegs healthy.
Absolutly! The best cleaner.
My boy cat eats raw mice and cleans his teeth like that. But if I manages to switch my female from dry food to home made raw, she ab-zo-lud-ly turns her fancy nose away from anything with bones in it ... So ... so can't avoid teeth cleaning ...
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Old 21.01.2016, 17:15
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

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On a different visit, we had a different vet, and he advised me I didn't need to spend on regular tooth cleaning sessions, or buy the specialist vet biscuits, but instead to give my kitties uncooked (yes, RAW!) chicken wings every week to keep their toothy pegs healthy. (think it through - its just like when they crunch through a bird they've caught). Turns out that the kitties love the chicken wings, and three years later, their teeth are just fine.
Question from a vegetarian can I buy those in Coop/Migros or do I need to go to the butchers? just where can I get that?
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Old 21.01.2016, 17:42
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

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Question from a vegetarian can I buy those in Coop/Migros or do I need to go to the butchers? just where can I get that?
Sorry, I was just about to make some clever comment, and then I realised that I wouldn't know where to source certain veg, so why should I expect you to know about sourcing meat.

I get the chicken wings from Co-op with no issue. Except sometimes they only provide them coated with spices etc. I recommend you only buy the "naked" ones (no spices)

One of our girls is arguably the world's best mouser. Her record - 6 field mice in one day and 2 birds, despite being tripled belled on her collar. Loves chomping through the lot (after she's proudly showed me her hunting results). She has very clean teeth!!

Last edited by smileygreebins; 21.01.2016 at 18:09. Reason: emoticons issue
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Old 21.01.2016, 23:55
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

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Question from a vegetarian can I buy those in Coop/Migros or do I need to go to the butchers? just where can I get that?
At the Migros, you can find frozen chicken backs. The bones are tender enough for a cat.

If you get chicken wings, you need the last part of the wing, which I don't know where to find, except on the markets, during the sping-fall seasons.
The "big" bones of the wing is hard too hard for a cat.
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Old 18.02.2016, 14:30
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

Njusta, I agree that prevention is always the best route, you've been given good advice in that respect.

But if you find that despite your best efforts at prevention the plaque continues to build up, a professional cleaning may be the only option. Tooth and gum disease can lead to all sorts of problems, including serious infection.

I understand your worries about the risks of anesthesia. If professional cleaning looks like the route you have to go, we are fortunate here in Switzerland to have access to specialists in veterinary anesthesia.

Yes, most cleaning can easily be done by your general practice vet, and general practice vets are certainly qualified to do anesthesia. But when an animal is high risk for anesthesia you might consider asking your vet if it would be advisable to call in a specialist in for the operation. Perhaps having experts involved might put your mind at ease.

There is a team of mobile anesthesia specialists, led by Dr Peter Kronen, who travel to various clinics and practices in the area to assist in high risk cases.

http://www.vas-int.com/de-ch/home/

We have just gone that route with The Belltie. He has serious respiratory disease, in fact he had a life-or-death crisis last month. The little mutt managed to pull through... Only to have a tooth abscess return. We had dealt with this twice before with ABs because although this normally is a routine operation he is ultra high risk for anesthesia. But now we had to do the surgery, as the infection had spread.

Dr Isabelle Iff, a member of the VAS team, took charge of The Belltie's anesthesia... And I am happy to say that I am sitting here at Marigin watching my little Steh-Auf-Mann in the recovery box.

Info to file away in the back of your mind, just in case.

But let's hope it never comes to that, and that your prevention measures keep your cat's teeth clean and healthy.

Last edited by meloncollie; 18.02.2016 at 14:44.
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Old 18.02.2016, 15:25
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

meloncollie, thank you for this post.

I am postponing our girl's teeth cleaning procedure for a while since I am pretty scared of the anesthesia as she is extremely sensitive.

It is good to know that such service exists here. Now I just need to build some courage... because ours, too has some serious respiratory issues.

Gosh, why is this so hard...
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Old 18.02.2016, 17:26
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

I always mix some of the expensive dental food in with our cat's regular dry food. She loves it and has no issues with her teeth at all since I started doing that.
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Old 18.02.2016, 21:14
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

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Now I just need to build some courage... because ours, too has some serious respiratory issues.

Gosh, why is this so hard...
If it is any help:

With the clarity of hindsight, I now wish I had bitten the bullet and done this a year ago. Had I taken the risk then - and yes, the Belltie's respiratory disease makes him ultra high risk - he would have been healthier and likely could have coped with the stress of anesthesia better a year ago.

The hard part (and yes it is hard) is that when the animal is otherwise healthy those 'what if's' loom even larger.

The 'easy' part of my decision today was that in this instance my choices were to take the risk, or say goodbye fairly soon. Not so easy to go for the risk when your dog is younger and otherwise healthier.

But the odds are better when your dog is younger and healthier.

Having seen the amazing work the specialist anesthetist does, and having seen the danger that dental disease can lead to, I am going to bite the bullet with Hooligan sooner rather than later. (Hooligan has suspected epilepsy, another anesthesia risk.) We will do the same thing - call on the VAS team for anesthesia.

One of the things I admire about the vets I have worked with here is the willingness to cooperate with one another in the best interest of the animal. So huge thanks to the vets and teams at Marigin, MyVets, and VAS.

Talk to your vet, Ulaula. Discuss your worries frankly, ask about options.
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Old 18.02.2016, 22:16
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

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I've never heard it called that before; I guess I'd always used "tartar".

I thought it was some sort of weird cat maths when I saw the title
It's important to differentiate between the two, for a fully integrated understanding.
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Old 18.02.2016, 23:43
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

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I am postponing our girl's teeth cleaning procedure for a while since I am pretty scared of the anesthesia as she is extremely sensitive.
My cat has also respiratory problems. But as I wrote, the vet does the cleaning under light anesthesia. So this makes me feel better to schedule cleaning sessions twice a year. The next one is coming up next month ...
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Old 19.02.2016, 10:18
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Re: Cats: Dental calculus (Zahnstein)

I tried the chicken, and neither of my 2 cats even were slightly interested...they stared at it and then at me with huge ??? in their eyes. Clearly they are too domesticated, haha


Well I guess I m just going to have to wrap my head around it and get it done next year should the vet bring it up again.
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