Stomatitis in Cats: What exactly is it?
Your vet may have said that your cat is suffering from feline stomatitis after performing an oral examination. But what is stomatitis in cats? Feline stomatitis is an excruciatingly painful inflammation and ulceration of the gums, cheeks, and tongue of your cat. The open sores caused by this mouth condition can cause significant discomfort and pain in your cat, leading to food avoidance or refusal. 10% of domesticated cats are affected by this vexing disease.
Certain breeds are more likely than others to develop this oral condition, like Persians and Himalayans. Any cat can develop stomatitis, but you can help prevent it.
Causes of Feline Stomatitis
When it comes to stomatitis in cats, the overall causes are largely unknown.
Some professionals believe that your cat's stomatitis is caused by viral and bacterial components, but the exact source of this type of bacteria is unknown. Inflammatory dental disease, such as periodontal disease, is linked to the development of feline stomatitis.
Regardless of the cause, most vets will advise that you can help your cat avoid developing this painful condition by brushing their teeth regularly. Some breeds can have their teeth brushed once daily to remove food particles and any bacteria, while other breeds should only have their teeth cleaned once a week or during professional grooming appointments. Consult your veterinarian for what is the best at-home dental routine for your kitty.
Stomatitis Symptoms in Cats
The most obvious symptom of stomatitis in cats is a change in their eating habits. Stomatitis in cats usually causes excruciating pain and diminished appetites as a result. Food avoidance can become so severe in some cases that cats become malnourished because it is so painful for them to eat.
Other feline stomatitis symptoms in cats to watch out for include:
- Red patches/blisters on the mouth
- Oral bleeding
- The foul odor of the cat's mouth
- Excessive salivation/drooling
- Less grooming than is typical
- Dropping food/crying out while eating
Treatment for Stomatitis in Cats
When you bring your cat in for irritation or bleeding of the mouth, your vet will first perform an oral exam. If your cat has mild stomatitis, at-home care might be enough to treat feline stomatitis. Severe cases require surgical intervention. Consult your vet for a better understanding of how to best treat your kitty.
In the scenario where your veterinarian deems surgery necessary, they will likely recommend the extraction of the affected teeth to make your cat comfortable again and allow the area to heal.
Instead of just general routine wellness exams, dental checkups will probably be added to your cat's medical regimen in addition to treatment. The severity of your cat's periodontal disease will dictate how frequently she needs dental exams. Again, your vet may advise tooth extraction if your adult cat's teeth are crowded or if it still has its "kitten" teeth.
Aside from medical intervention, your vet should show you how to properly clean your cat's teeth and schedule follow-up appointments to review your feline's dental health.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.