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Jes the Vet Tech
Jes the Vet Tech, Licensed Vet Tech (LVT)
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 568
Experience:  Licensed Veterinary Tech with 8 years of experience, mom to 16 cats :-)
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Whats wrong with my 12 year old Cat

Resolved Question:

Around a year ago (around then) he began drooling really bad... the drool is quite thick.... stinks horribly, and it's sometimes discolored.. almost black. He's stopped grooming himself and is also having accidents (urinating) around his cat box. Today I noticed the urine is also quite dark and odorous. I realize elderly pets have bad breath... but this is beyond bad... people complain that something's 'died' inside Him.. (lol.. I know, not funny... ) . He gets yearly Vet care... all the shots... the best dry food (Eukanuba & Iams) I can afford... and all I ever hear is 'He's aging'.... see you in six months'..... Is there something in particular causing this?.... I might also add this is strictly a neutered HOUSE Cat... he never goes outside... is not around other animals or poisons... altho' I must admit that around a year ago we used to have pros come in to spray for Roaches... could this have something to do with his (of late) very bad smell?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Jes the Vet Tech replied 7 years ago.
Hi there! I am shocked that your vet has not recommended geriatric blood work including a thyroid test and urinalysis. Also, has he ever checked your cat's mouth? It is very possible that the nasty smelling drool is a result of infected teeth. Dental disease can be very serious in that it can cause a cat to stop eating entirely, also the bacteria from the mouth travels to other organs such as the kidneys, which may lead to an already commonly found problem in older cats: kidney disease and failure.

I am attaching a few links about geriatric cats, dental disease, and the like for your information:

I would HIGHLY suggest that if your vet has overlooked the possibility of dental disease and has not recommended a geriatric screening (bloodwork to check the organs' function as well as a urinalysis to check for kidney function, diabetes, and any problems with the urine, such as a urinary tract infection which could make the urine look dark because there is blood in it) and a T4 (thyroid) check to check for hyperthyroidism, a common ailment of older cats, that you find a new vet who will, and do so this week if you can. These tests are extremely important to diagnose issues as early on as possible. Diabetes, kidney failure, and hyperthyroidism CAN be managed (not cured) for many years if caught in the early stages, and a cat can live a long life in spite of having one or more of these diseases. I would have a geriatric blood screening done ASAP, have your cat's mouth checked out thoroughly and a dental cleaning done as well (providing he's healthy enough to be put under sedation for a dental). They may need to extract teeth, which is fine. I know cats with nary a tooth in their heads who still eat hard food!

I know this could end up being quite expensive. At the very least, get the urine checked as soon as possible. The dark urine may be a sign of a UTI or kidney problems. He may require antibiotics to treat it.

I hope this helps. I really hope your vet runs these tests for you and does a good examination of his mouth, or that you are able to find someone who will. If he's just telling you the cat is fine in spite of these issues, I hate to say it, but he's not a very good doctor. You are completely right to be worried about all of these things you've mentioned and are a good owner to take such good care of this guy!

I wish you well...please let me know what happens! Good luck!

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