Stomatitis, a debilitating gum disease, can inflict significant pain on your beloved cat. Our veterinarians in Madison are here to enlighten you on the underlying causes of stomatitis, equip you with the knowledge to identify its presence in your feline companion, and guide you toward effective treatment options.
What is Stomatitis in Cats?
Feline stomatitis is a highly distressing condition characterized by severe inflammation and ulceration of your cat's gums, cheeks, and tongue. The presence of painful open sores in the mouth can cause significant discomfort and anguish to your beloved feline companion, often resulting in the avoidance or rejection of food. Regrettably, this frustrating disease afflicts approximately 10% of domesticated cats.
Although certain breeds such as Persians and Himalayans are more prone to developing this ailment, it is crucial to note that any cat can be susceptible to stomatitis. Nevertheless, there are proactive measures you can take to help prevent its occurrence.
Causes of Feline Stomatitis
The specific causes of stomatitis in cats remain largely unidentified. While some experts have identified viral and bacterial factors contributing to the development of stomatitis in cats, the precise origins of these bacteria are still unknown. However, there is a direct correlation between inflammatory dental conditions, such as periodontal disease, and the occurrence of feline stomatitis.
Irrespective of the underlying cause, most veterinarians recommend regular teeth brushing as a preventive measure to help your cat avoid this painful condition. Depending on the breed, some cats may require daily brushing to eliminate food particles and bacteria, while others may only need their teeth cleaned once a week or during professional grooming sessions. It is advisable to consult your veterinarian to determine the most suitable at-home dental routine for your feline companion.
Symptoms of Stomatitis in Cats
The most noticeable indication of stomatitis in cats is, as expected, a change in their eating habits. Cats afflicted with stomatitis often experience intense pain, leading to a reduced appetite. In severe cases, cats may even become malnourished due to the excruciating pain they feel while eating.
Here are other symptoms of stomatitis in cats that you should keep an eye out for:
- Red patches/blisters in the mouth
- Oral bleeding
- Foul odor of the cat's mouth
- Excessive salivation/drooling
- Reduced grooming compared to their usual behavior
- Dropping food/crying out while eating
How Stomatitis in Cats is Treated
When you bring your cat to the vet due to mouth irritation or bleeding, the first step is an oral examination. If your cat has mild stomatitis, you may be able to manage it with at-home care. However, severe cases require surgical intervention. It's important to consult your vet to determine the best course of treatment for your kitty.
In cases where surgery is deemed necessary by your veterinarian, they will likely suggest extracting the affected teeth to alleviate your cat's discomfort and promote healing in the affected area.
In addition to treatment, regular dental checkups will become a part of your cat's medical routine, in addition to general wellness exams. The frequency of these checkups will depend on the extent of periodontal disease in your cat. If your adult cat has overcrowded teeth or retains its "kitten" teeth, your veterinarian may again recommend tooth extraction.
Apart from medical interventions, your vet should guide you on proper dental care for your cat and schedule follow-up appointments to monitor 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.