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Stomatitis in Cats

Stomatitis in Cats

Stomatitis is a serious type of gum disease that can be very painful for your cat. Here, our Nashua veterinarians provide information on the possible causes of stomatitis, ways to identify it in your cat, and the available treatment options.

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. This frustrating disease affects around 10% of domesticated cats.

Although certain breeds such as Persians and Himalayans are more prone to developing stomatitis, any cat can be affected. However, there are preventive measures you can take to help reduce the risk.

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 developing stomatitis, but the exact source of this type of bacteria is unknown. Inflammatory dental disease, such as periodontal disease, does have a direct tie 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.  

Symptoms of Stomatitis in Cats

The most noticeable sign of stomatitis in cats is, predictably, a change in their eating habits. 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.

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 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, severe cases may require surgical intervention. It is important to consult your vet to understand the best course of action for your cat's treatment.

If surgery is deemed necessary by your veterinarian, they may recommend extracting the affected 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 "kitten" teeth, your vet may suggest tooth extraction once again.

In addition to medical intervention, your vet should provide guidance on proper teeth cleaning 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.

Have you noticed bleeding sores or other signs of oral discomfort in your cat? Don't hesitate to contact Animal Hospital of Nashua to book your kitty a dental appointment.

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