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Stomatitis in Cats

With a lack of routine dental care and teeth cleaning, your cat is at risk of developing painful conditions like stomatitis. Here, our Toledo veterinarians share information on the causes and symptoms of stomatitis in cats as well as how it can be treated and prevented.

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?

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.

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

One of the first signs that you may notice with stomatitis in cats 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 other signs of stomatitis 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?

When feline stomatitis is left untreated, it has the potential to lead to serious health issues. Your cat may begin to refuse food because of the pain they are experiencing. This may lead to sudden and severe weight loss. They may also drink less which can cause dehydration, a serious and potentially life-threatening health condition.

Diagnosing 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, 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.

Treatment for Stomatitis in Cats

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 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.

Preventing Stomatitis in Cats

The absolute best way to help prevent the development of dental problems with your cat's teeth is routine brushing and cleaning of your cat's mouth. 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 Shoreland 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 showing signs of pain or discomfort when trying to eat? Please, contact our vets at Shoreland Animal Hospital to schedule a dental appointment for your feline friend.

Welcoming New Patients

Shoreland Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our veterinary team is passionate about the health of Toledo pets and is looking forward to meeting you and your furry friend. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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