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VetTechErin, Licensed Vet Tech
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 681
Experience:  Published author in veterinary medical journals and on the Veterinary Information Network with a focus in toxicology
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My 14 yr. old cat is having trouble with her jaw. she can't

Customer Question

My 14 yr. old cat is having trouble with her jaw. she can't seem to chew, but must drink her food. she will not let me look in her mouth. she is too fragile to go to a dr..
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
Hi, my name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to help you with your question about your kitty.
Has she been seen at a vet clinic before where they've been able to examine her such as for vaccines?
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
Sorry! We had accidentally gotten two questions going for you and I missed that the other one was the same user! Here is the answer as I had posted it to your other question:
It is very hard to watch them go through things in later life, and I completely understand the fear of getting her in.
However, you are correct that we definitely can see signs of unwillingness to eat certain foods when they have an issue with their teeth. If there is an infection or an abscess, this can cause pain in the mouth, which causes them to avoid hard foods that hurt to bite.
In cases where you're dealing with an infection like that, they may just put her on some antibiotics to clear up the infection and reduce the pain in that area. Soft foods can also help if she is having difficulties eating.
But on the flip side, you want to make sure that her teeth are the only thing that are causing problems. There are treatments for more serious conditions with the kidneys, the liver, hyperthyroidism, etc., that can make cats lose their appetite. The only way they'll be able to know if she needs these treatments is by getting her into a clinic. They'll check her mouth for certain, but they may also want to do some bloodwork on her.
In the long-run, this is a good thing. If they DO discover an issue that is causing her lack of appetite, they can put her on the appropriate treatment to get her encouraged to eat again. While some diseases cannot be cured, they can be managed to prolong the life and quality of life of an older cat. Some cats can survive and live well for years after such a diagnosis with the appropriate treatment.
If she does not handle the stress of going to a clinic well, it might be worth contacting your vet and having them recommend someone who will do a home visit. We all understand the stress that getting an elderly cat to the vet can cause them, and there are still vets who will come to your home to do testing and treatment, so you don't have to get her into the clinic and wear her out.

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