Stomatitis is a severe form of gum disease that could cause your cat quite a bit of pain. Our Sharpsburg vets explain the potential causes of stomatitis, how to recognize it in your kitty, and how to get it treated.
What is Stomatitis in Cats?
The extremely painful inflammation and ulceration of your cat's gums, cheeks, and tongue is known as feline stomatitis. The open sores caused by this mouth condition can cause your cat considerable discomfort and pain, resulting in food avoidance or refusal. This frustrating disease affects 10% of domestic cats.
While some breeds are more susceptible to developing this condition, like Persians and Himalayans, any cat can develop stomatitis, but you can help prevent it.
Causes of Feline Stomatitis
The finite causes of stomatitis in cats are mostly unknown.
Some professionals have determined that there are viral and bacterial components to your cat's stomatitis, but the precise origin of this type of bacteria is unknown. Inflammatory dental diseases, such as periodontal disease, have a direct relationship with the onset 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.
Symptoms of Stomatitis in Cats
The most noticeable sign of stomatitis in cats is, predictably, a change in their eating habits. Cats with stomatitis are frequently in excruciating pain and have diminished appetites as a result. In some cases, food avoidance is so severe that cats develop malnutrition because eating is so painful.
Other stomatitis symptoms in cats to watch out for include:
- Red patches/blisters of the mouth
- Oral bleeding
- 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 their 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 in order to make your cat comfortable again and allow the area to heal.
In addition to treatment, dental examinations are likely to be added to your cat's medical regimen, in addition to general wellness exams. The severity of periodontal disease in your cat will determine the frequency of dental examinations. If your adult cat's teeth are crowded or if it still has "kitten" teeth, your veterinarian may recommend tooth extraction once more.
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.