Stomatitis is a severe form of gum disease that could cause your cat quite a bit of pain. Our Little Elm 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?
Feline stomatitis is a very painful condition that causes inflammation and ulcers in your cat's gums, cheeks, and tongue. The sores that result from this mouth condition can cause your cat a lot of discomfort and pain, leading to avoidance or refusal of food. This disease affects about 10% of domesticated cats, which can be frustrating for cat owners.
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.
Experts suggest that a combination of viral and bacterial factors may contribute to the development of stomatitis in cats, although the exact origin of these bacteria is not yet identified. However, there is a clear link between inflammatory dental conditions like periodontal disease and 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 bacteria, while others 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
One of the most apparent symptoms of stomatitis in cats is a change in their eating behavior. Suffering from stomatitis, cats often experience severe pain, which leads to a decrease in their appetite. In some cases, cats avoid eating altogether, causing malnourishment due to the pain it causes them.
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
How Stomatitis in Cats is Treated
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 to understand better how to treat your kitty best.
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.
Your cat's medical routine may include dental checkups in addition to regular wellness exams, depending on their degree of periodontal disease. Your veterinarian will determine the frequency of these checkups. If your adult cat has overcrowded teeth or still has their "kitten" teeth, a tooth extraction may be recommended by your veterinarian.
In addition to medical treatment, it's important for your veterinarian to teach you proper techniques for cleaning your cat's teeth and making follow-up appointments to evaluate your furry friend's dental well-being.
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.