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Thread: My cat's "chattering jaw" problem

  1. #1
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    My cat's "chattering jaw" problem

    My 16-yr. old siamese cat's jaw had recently started "chattering" while it's open, and he takes several seconds to close it after he meows (most of the time). I know it's not normal, and it's worrying me.

    From other posts elsewhere I've heard that this might be related to teeth problems or a mouth ulcer. I was hoping it wasn't something worse, like a secondary symptom of some kind of disease.

    Has anyone else had an experience with something like this? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Hello and welcome to pet ,lovers!

    This sounds like FORL, Feline Odonoclastic Resorptive Lesions, that chattering is a classic symptom.

    this is a very painful condition and your kitty will need dental surgery, the sooner the better.

    I have a cat who had the surgery last year. He was like a new cat, a kitten again, afterwards. I had had no idea how much pain he was in.

    In addition to the pain he is in, untreated dental problems can cause other health problems such as kidney disease. Best to get him in to see the vet asap.

    Please come back and let us know what happens.

  3. #3
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    Ps

    here is some info on FORL

    http://vmth.tamu.edu/HospServices/Dentistry/FORL.shtml

    also here is my original thread on the subject, in case you are interested

    http://forums.petlovers.com/vb/showthread.php?t=29754

  4. #4
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    tiffers is offline PetLovers.Com Moderator PetLovers.Com Moderator
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    I agree with Special 100%. If your kitty does indeed have 'Neck' Lesions...he needs to see a vet, very very soon as this condition is very painful.

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    I'm scheduling my kitty for the vet this morning. Considering that he's 16 years old and has *never* had a dental checkup beyond just a vet visit, I'm feeling really bad that he's probably has tooth "issues" for a long time. Since cats are great at hiding pain, I hope he doesn't have to have every tooth in his mouth removed.

    I also hope this won't cost a fortune. Removing one or two teeth is pricey, I'm sure, but a whole mouthful could - I imagine - be quite costly.

  6. #6
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    Good luck and please let us know how it goes!
    ~*~In Loving Memory To My Mom ~*~ 1931-1993
    Some say love, it is a hunger: an endless aching need......
    I say love it is a flower and you it's only seed.
    Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows...
    lies the seed that with the suns love.....

    ~*in the spring.......becomes the Rose*~

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tricon7 View Post
    I'm scheduling my kitty for the vet this morning. Considering that he's 16 years old and has *never* had a dental checkup beyond just a vet visit, I'm feeling really bad that he's probably has tooth "issues" for a long time. Since cats are great at hiding pain, I hope he doesn't have to have every tooth in his mouth removed.

    I also hope this won't cost a fortune. Removing one or two teeth is pricey, I'm sure, but a whole mouthful could - I imagine - be quite costly.
    I'll be waiting for an update. only one can cause a lot of pain, hopefully it won't be as extreme as all of them! Most vets look into a cat's mouth at a check up. But those neck lesions can be sneaky until they are causing great pain.

    My boy who had them gets six month check ups. My vet checks his teeth very carefully. three months later he had the FORL bad enough to hurt him.

  8. #8
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    Ok, I met with my vet this morning. Seems my kitty has at least one FORL tooth (perhaps another, but the vet won't know for sure until he can sedate him). Ming (my kitty) also has a cracked-tip canine tooth, which the vet says may or may not need repairing/removing; it depends on the condition of the root, which x-rays will show. He also drew some blood for blood work, which will come back tomorrow. It'll tell it there are organ problems, which is important considering Ming has had two seizures in the last few months.

    The bill for all this is going to be considerable. Mid-$400s on the low end to $900 on the high side. Ouch! It all depends on how much work the vet will have to do.

    I'm going to take Ming in tomorrow morning, and once he's been sedated and examined, the vet will call me to let me know what all will need to be done. I've notified my banker that a major withdrawal may be in the offing at his bank tomorrow.

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    Thank you so much for the update. I'm so glad Ming will be able to get the dental care he needs.

    Are they going to do the surgery at the same time they take the xrays? That will save him from going through too many anesthesia?

    What about these seizures Ming had? Could they possibly have been strokes?

    Please keep us updated!

  10. #10
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    I'm so glad you're going away with his dental. Many owners brush this procedure off as purely cosmetic. He will feel soooooo much better once his teeth are pulled and out of this mouth. That canine, depending on pulp exposure, can also be VERY painful. But, the canine is one of the hardest teeth to pull, so your vet may try to repair it as best he/she can.

    Special, we generally do xrays while we're doing the procedure. Depending on if Tricon's vet has a dental xray machine or not, will depend on how long it takes. We have a dental xray machine, and it takes maybe three minutes per picture. Then, while we're cleaning, another technician develops them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TIFFERS View Post

    Special, we generally do xrays while we're doing the procedure. Depending on if Tricon's vet has a dental xray machine or not, will depend on how long it takes. We have a dental xray machine, and it takes maybe three minutes per picture. Then, while we're cleaning, another technician develops them.
    that's the way my vet does it too. I always pre approve xrays (and extractions), at her discretion, because it's not standard procedure, and I'd hate for them to get in there, want to do an x ray and not be able to get in contact with me to approve it.


    Ming is going to have new life and new energy, tricon7, you will be amazed at the difference. Be sure to ask about pain medication for a day or two after the surgery. My vet prescribes buprenex, .5 ml every 12 hours.

  12. #12
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    tiffers is offline PetLovers.Com Moderator PetLovers.Com Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by special View Post
    My vet prescribes buprenex, .5 ml every 12 hours.
    This dose may be different for Ming; the dose is dependent on the weight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TIFFERS View Post
    This dose may be different for Ming; the dose is dependent on the weight.
    good point!

  14. #14
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    I was looking back through my pictures, and I have some 'neck lesions' on a kitty. She was in bad shape, and had to lose all but one canine tooth. But, she's a brand new cat. It is amazing the amount of pain she was hiding.

    Here are the images if you're interested:

    (These are not all that graphic. No blood, just nasty teeth.)

    These first two are just showing the amount of plaque that has formed on these teeth, mainly on the top teeth. This kitty was drooling nonstop...she refused to eat anything if she couldn't slurp it up with her tongue and was in extreme pain.

    Image One
    Image Two

    These three images show the actual teeth underneath the plaque after I cleaned them and how far the neck lesions have eaten away the actual tooth.

    Image One

    Image Two
    Image Three

    If you want a better explanation of the images, I can do that. Just ask. If not, I understand...some people can't stomach things like this.

  15. #15
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    Ming had his surgery yesterday, but far from making him feel like a new cat, it appears he's taken a turn for the worse. I'll explain the surgery first, though.

    It turns out he didn't have any FORL teeth, really. One had a slight lesion, but there were no bone or root problems, so the vet left it alone for now. The cracked-tip canine also looked good, root-wise. However, he had an abcessed tooth, which we hadn't seen and which was causing him all his pain. It was a lower canine, which the vet successfully removed. X-rays didn't show any more problems, and his blood work looked acceptable for a cat his age (16-yrs).

    He was completely out from under anaesthesia when I got there and picked him up, along with his pain and antibiotic meds. At home, he was a bit off his normal self, but nothing exceptional. He usually sleeps with me on our king-sized bed, and that night he hopped up and down 90% his old self.

    Today, he only got on the bed once (which is where he normally spends his day), and when he went to jump down, he collapsed like a ton of bricks onto the carpeted floor, then got up and slowly went to a spot he's marked out under our vanity dresser to lay down, where he's been all day. For him to not get on the bed all all is very unusual. If he goes anywhere, it's very slowly, but he does appear to be drinking some water, fortunately. I haven't seen him eat his dry food, which doesn't mean he hasn't, but I went to get him some canned food with gravy. He never eats the meat, but he loves the gravy, and he lapped that up with gusto when I put it before him, so he has an appetite.

    I went to get him up to give him his pain meds today, and I was almost unable to get him to his feet. He finally got up, and it's not like he's wobbly - he just doesn't want to stand/walk, and when he does move it's very slowly and deliberately. So I don't know what's up with that at all. I did call the vet back and talked to him about my concerns, but other than his age, he didn't seem to have a definitive diagnosis. If Ming hasn't gotten better by tomorrow, the vet wants to check his blood levels again to make sure his kidneys haven't gotten worse. I'm also to make sure he has plenty of water at all times and check to see if he's urinating. It's all about the kidneys for old kitties, you know.

    I hope the surgery didn't take more out of him that I had intended, but with an abcessed tooth, nothing else could have been done.

    I was put up Ming's photo here, but when I try and add an Album, it says I don't have sufficient privileges?
    Last edited by tricon7; 03-11-2009 at 03:28 PM. Reason: Adding info

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