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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 10440
Experience:  I have loved and owned cats for over 45 years.
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I have a cat that seems to be suffering from a toothache and

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I have a cat that seems to be suffering from a toothache and seems to be in a lot of pain. I live in a small town and all the vet offices are closed on Wednesdays. Is there anything I can give him to help with the pain? I was wondering about anesthetic benzocaine 20% for humans we had on hand from Walgreens or some stuff called Cora Caine? Will either of these harm him until we can get him to a vet? Or is there anything else we could pick up at a drug store. If we need a prescription can you give us one?

Hi Stephen, I'm Dr. Deb. I will do my best to assist you today.

I'm terribly sorry for this concern about Mr. No. I do have a few questions to ask about him first, if you don't mind:

1. Why do you think he has a toothache?
2. Is he still eating?
3. Is he drooling or does he have a discharge from his mouth?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He has tried to eat but drops his food an cries in pain. He doesn't seem to be drooling but he seems to be in so much pain he has reared back on his hind legs and paws at his mouth and cries out.

Thanks so much for the answers to my questions.
Mr. No definitely sound like he's having some issues, doesn't he! It also sounds like he may have something lodged in his mouth or possibly an infected tooth or infection.

First, you don't want to apply either Benzocaine or the Cora Caine product you mention; these can be toxic to cats...which is true for many over the counter products.

You could safely give him a baby Aspirin (81 mg) if he's not currently taking any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug but you have to be extremely careful about the should only be given every 3 days. Again, this drug can be toxic to cats if given more frequently than this. But it does have anti-inflammatory as well as anti-pain properties which could help him feel better.
Pilling a cat is not always the easiest thing to do when their mouth doesn't hurt but may be especially difficult now. I would crush the pill and mix it with a small amount of water (or tuna or clam juice) and then use a syringe or eye dropper to dribble it into his mouth...obviously taking care not to harm his mouth further. I would wrap him in a towel first so that you can control his legs, especially his front ones. It may take two people to get the aspirin into him, though.

I would also offer canned food mixed with a lot of water or processed in a blender so that he only uses his tongue to eat....if he's eating at all.

Unfortuantely, none of the experts on this site can write prescriptions because we don't have a client/patient relationship with your pet. This means that a physical exam would need to be performed to establish one; otherwise, it is illegal for us to prescribe medications. I'm sorry about that.

Obviously, you will have him seen as soon as you can but I hope that the baby Aspirin will provide some much-needed relief until you do so. Deb
Dr. Deb and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
I just wanted to thank you for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

I hope you'll keep me posted about his situation. Even though you've rated, we can still continue to communicate; I can also send you a follow up email in a few days.

Good luck with him; I hope this isn't too serious.

And, please just ignore the request for additional information. Regards, Deb

I'm just following up on our conversation about Mr. No. How is he doing? Deb
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We just brought Mr. No home this evening (Friday June 28, 2013) He had surgery this morning and seems to be doing fine. We were right, he did have some bad teeth and some abscess. They removed four teeth in all. We will take him back in a few weeks for a check up.



Thanks for your help.

Thanks so much for taking the time to send me an update about Mr. No, especially since it sounds like good news. I'm sorry he lost four teeth but I'm sure they needed to be extracted.

I'm glad that it wasn't anything more serious. Deb