Ginger to the new vet’s (needs dental scaling soon)

As mentioned in the earlier post, I decided to take Ginger and Tabs to get a geriatric check-up at the new vet’s this evening. This clinic is much, much nearer to our home, so in case of emergencies, it would be faster to reach them. Also, it saves me a lot of travelling time.

I’ll talk about Ginger in this post. Tabs will be in the next one.

Ginger needs to lose some weight (yes, yes, we know!).

A baseline blood test was done and Ginger’s readings are all normal (phew!).

In fact, Ginger’s last blood test was in August this year, which was just four months ago. It’s “too soon” to do another one, but today’s was to establish a baseline since I will probably be following up at this clinic in future.

Why a baseline is needed is because this clinic uses a different machine so it will not be accurate to do a 1-1 comparison with the previous readings from the previous clinic. But with some arithmetic, we can do a comparison using the ratios.

Today’s blood test readings:

Creatinine 127 (136 is high)
BUN 9.2 (10.7 is high)
Phosphate 139 (2.74 is high)

So, the above is “still okay”, but the vet studied all of Ginger’s previous kidney readings and there is definitely a slow increase. In other words, the readings are slowly creeping up.

Well, Ginger is 13 years old, so that should not be surprising. Kidney disease hits 1 in 3 household cats.

Also, Ginger already has a kidney cyst which is slowly growing too. Because of this cyst, Ginger is considered as having kidney issues already. It is a matter of time when he has to be treated as a kidney patient. So the six-monthly monitoring of the blood tests is important. The moment the readings go high, we can start with all the CKD treatment protocols.

At this time, no treatment is required yet. Phew….I was relieved.

Ginger’s PCV today is 36%. Considered okay.

However, Ginger has bad teeth. This a pretty serious but not urgent.

I know, it’s so hard to brush a cat’s teeth. I’ve been giving them Orozyme and sometimes using the finger “glove” but they don’t really help and this vet agrees. He too says that Orozyme is only a toothpaste and the finger “glove” merely massages the gums and teeth. We need to physically BRUSH their teeth as we do our own teeth. I asked where I can find a toothbrush that is small enough because most of the pet toothbrushes are too big, meant for dogs. He says I could try a human baby’s toothbrush. Okay, that, I can definitely buy at the pharmacy. I will try doing this.

The vet also recommended RC’s Dental kibble for all our cats. The pellets are really large so it forces the cat to chew. And the vet says it is like brushing their teeth. I know there are differing opinions about whether chewing on big kibble can brush a cat’s teeth or not, but I’m game to try, so I bought a 1.5kg pack and I’m going to give it to all our cats. It is also a complete food by itself, but I shall give it to them as a snack for start. It’s much cheaper than Greenies too.

Benefits: Plaque control / Brushing effect / Hairball complex / S/O index ROYAL CANIN® Dental is specifically formulated to help support and manage oral hygiene in cats. This formula is clinically proven to effectively reduce the formation and build-up of dental plaque.  The kibble in ROYAL CANIN® Dental is specially designed to create a brushing effect. The shape and size of the kibble allows your cat to get good grasp with their teeth, penetrating the food to activate the brushing effect and ultimately reducing the accumulation of plaque and tartar. This formula also helps to control the formation of hairballs by helping to eliminate ingested hair through your cat’s stools. This diet also promotes a urinary environment unfavourable to the development of both struvite and calcium oxalate stones. As part of the ROYAL CANIN® Veterinary Range, it is important that this product is only given to your pet when recommended by a veterinary professional. Transitioning your pet from one diet to another should be a smooth and gradual process over a 7–10-day period. Please ensure you follow the correct rationing amount.

Source: https://www.royalcanin.com/my/cats/products/vet-products/dental-2971

Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp!! Nice, huh?

Now, for Ginger’s dental scaling and possible extractions, the vet has this plan. Since Ginger is around 13 years old (considered “elderly”), it would safer for Ginger to have shorter sedation durations. So the vet suggested that he does a scaling and through this, determine if any extractions might be needed. So in this scaling, there will be no extractions. Hence, a shorter duration under sedation.

Then, he recommends that we see another vet who has a special dental X-Ray machine to take a deep scan of Ginger’s teeth. Only two vets have this machine in the Klang Valley. It is a special X-Ray machine for taking dental scans. Through this dental scan, the vet would be able to see if there are any complication during the extractions later. All this will be done under sedation. There are cases where extractions are done, but some root is left behind. The deep X-Ray would allow the vet to know how much needs to be fully extracted so that no fragments are left behind. Then, right after the extractions, another X-Ray would be taken to ensure no fragments remain. If there are any, the cat is still sedated so the vet can go in and finish up the job.

The above sounds like a good plan to me, based on the justifications given.

There have been cases where extractions are done, and fragments are left behind, thus causing pain and complications later on.

So, Ginger’s next stop will be a dental scaling by this vet. From there, the vet will advise if Ginger needs to go to this other vet for extractions. After everything is done, I would need to maintain Ginger’s teeth as much as I can. I’m giving RC Dental a try here since I’ve tried Orozyme for so long and it somehow does not work because eating toothpaste just doesn’t work, right? We need to brush out teeth. Really, BRUSH!

However, I need to reconsider Ginger’s scaling as in his previous one, there were complications. Ginger regurgitated while under sedation during the scaling and extraction so the procedure had to be cut short. Only one tooth was extracted.

To summarise:
1. Ginger can be considered a kidney patient already because of his kidney cyst that is slowly growing (we didn’t check this today as this clinic does not have an ultrasound machine yet). But even if it has increased in size, there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. A scan is just to “know”. The more important thing would be Ginger’s kidney readings, which we have taken today. Once the readings hit high, that is when we need to start him on CKD treatment and supplements.

2. Ginger needs a dental scaling. Under consideration.

3. Ginger needs to lose some weight!

Lose weight, lose weight, lose weight….!!

Next, the shocking blood results of Tabs….


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