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Stomatitis in Cats

Routine professional dental visits and at-home oral hygiene can help prevent serious conditions like stomatitis. Here, our Deer Park veterinarians discuss the causes and symptoms of stomatitis in cats, how dangerous it is and what can be done to treat and prevent it.

What is stomatitis in cats?

Feline stomatitis is a highly painful condition characterized by inflammation and ulcers in your cat's gums, cheeks, and tongue. These open sores can cause significant discomfort and pain for your cat, often leading to food avoidance or refusal.

Although certain breeds such as Persians and Himalayans are more prone to developing stomatitis, it can develop in any breed of cat, regardless of age or sex. However, there are preventive measures you can take to help reduce the risk.

What are the causes of stomatitis in cats?

Many veterinary professionals believe that viral and bacterial infections play a role in the development of stomatitis. Inflammatory dental diseases, such as periodontal disease, are known to have a direct tie to the occurrence of feline stomatitis.

Even so, one of the easiest ways that you can help reduce the amount of bacteria in your cat's mouth is with routine teeth brushing and dental care. 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. Your vet will be able to provide you with the information you need and recommendations to help keep your cat's mouth clean.

Stomatitis Symptoms in Cats

The very first thing that you may notice if your cat develops stomatitis is a refusal to eat. Cats suffering from stomatitis are often in extreme pain and have reduced appetites because of that. In some cases, food avoidance is so severe that cats become malnourished because it is so painful for them to eat.

Some of the most commonly seen signs of stomatitis in cats are:

  • Red patches/blisters on the mouth
  • Oral bleeding
  • A foul odor from the cat's mouth
  • Excessive salivation/drooling
  • Less grooming than is typical
  • Dropping food/crying out while eating

How dangerous is stomatitis in cats?

Untreated stomatitis in cats has the potential to cause serious medical issues. Your cat may begin to refuse food because of the pain they are experiencing. This can cause sudden and severe weight loss. They may also drink less which can cause dehydration, a serious and potentially life-threatening health condition.

How do vets diagnose feline stomatitis?

When you bring your cat to the vet due to mouth irritation or bleeding, they will first conduct an oral examination. If your cat has mild stomatitis, taking care of them at home may be sufficient for treatment. However, advanced cases may require treatment with surgery. It is important to consult your vet to understand the best course of action for your cat's treatment.

Treatment for Stomatitis in Cats

If your vet recommends surgery, they may extract the problem teeth to alleviate your cat's discomfort and promote healing in the area.

In addition to treatment, regular dental checkups will likely become part of your cat's medical routine, alongside 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 still has its baby teeth, your vet may suggest tooth extraction once again.

In addition to medical intervention, your vet should guide you on proper teeth cleaning for your cat and schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your feline's dental health.

How can stomatitis be prevented in cats?

Routine brushing of your cat's mouth can help prevent serious issues like stomatitis. Your cat's teeth and gums will have a much better chance of remaining healthy if plaque is brushed or wiped away before it can cause damage or infection.

To help keep your kitty's teeth in tip-top condition bring your pet in for a professional dental examination and cleaning once a year. Dental appointments at Deer Park Animal Hospital are like taking your kitty for an appointment at the veterinary cat dentist.

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.

Is your cat avoiding eating or showing other signs of dental pain? Please, contact our vets at Deer Park Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment for your feline friend.

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