My cat has a resorptive lesion – what should I do?

Our question this week was:

My cat is 12-years-old and her blood work is good. The vet told me yesterday that she needs a tooth extracted due to a resorptive lesion. I am worried about putting her under anesthesia. Should I be worried? Is this a lengthy procedure?

Vicky Ferriell


Hi – thanks for your email. As you may know, feline resorptive lesions, also called odontoclastic resorptive lesions, are similar to cavities. These lesions are erosions of the tooth and occur at or near the cementoenamel junction, at the base of the tooth.
Resorptive lesions are quite common in cats, with reports as high as two-thirds of felines being afflicted.

A couple articles that might be helpful is a medical article on Feline Resorptive Lesions and an article that explains what a dental procedure is for cats, commonly referred to as the Dental Prophylaxis for Cats.

The procedure consists of anesthetizing a cat and cleaning the teeth. The procedure for cleaning the teeth is somewhat similar to when you have your teeth cleaned, however they may use an ultrasonic devise that flushes with lots of water that and a few other tools that are not commonly used in human dentistry.

The modern anesthetics are very safe in healthy cats. Talk to your vet about your concerns however, when properly used – they are very safe. I suggest you also read: What is Anesthesia?

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra