Stomatitis in cats is an inflammatory condition of mouth and gums. It is a painful chronic condition that can affect the cat of any breed. The stomatitis in cats is an autoimmune disease. The immune system of the body reacts to plaque build up in teeth. Luckily, stomatitis in cats can be managed but oral care or after dental surgery. For more information regarding stomatitis in cats, keep reading here at PetVet.
What is Stomatitis?
Stomatitis is an oral disease of cats. It causes inflammation of the cat’s mouth as well as gums. Stomatitis refers to the generalized inflammation of the mucous membranes within the mouth. In most cases, this condition consequently causes ulcer formation in the mouth. These ulcers also involve the tongue, lips, gums, and throat.
Causes of Stomatitis in cats
There are different causes that contribute to stomatitis in cats. In the majority of cases, the cause is assumed to be immune-mediated. In immune-mediated, the system attacks oral tissues as an abnormal response to bacteria in the mouth.
Periodontal disease can also contribute as a cause of stomatitis. This disease results from the accumulation of plaque (bacteria) on and around the teeth. Consequently, this causes inflammation of gums and teeth.
Signs of Stomatitis in Cats
Drooling of saliva, bad breath, inflamed gums, weight loss, pain when their faces are touched and lethargic due to pain.
How to Diagnose Stomatitis in cats?
It will be difficult for a veterinarian to examine the cat with stomatitis. The cat is usually reluctant to open mouth due to pain. For this purpose, the veterinarian induces sedation for patient ease. A small sample of tissue from the mouth is taken to the laboratory for biopsy. As a result of sedation, the patient responsiveness to external stimulation reduced. Dental X-rays can also help the veterinarian to determine the extent of periodontal disease.
A veterinarian will start with a physical examination of your cat. Then, he may recommend basic blood tests, such as a complete blood count(CBC) to diagnose. In the meantime, your vet will also suggest specific testing for underlying diseases e.g FeLV and FIV.
Treatment of Stomatitis
The basic purpose of treatment is to manage pain and to decrease inflammation. Cats with stomatitis require long term treatment with anti-inflammatory medication. Oral rinses or gels are usually prescribed because brushing of teeth in stomatitis is usually painful. Sometimes cats willing to eat soft food, so owners may be advised to use canned food until the cat’s mouth heals.
Although, the treatment of stomatitis varies depending on the severity of the problem and the cat’s response. But, regular dental care and medical management is the first line of treatment. Furthermore, routine dental cleaning should be performed after local anesthesia administration. This will help to control inflammatory dental disease, remove plaque and tarter. Therefore, to protect the surrounding gums cleansing of periodontal tissues should also be performed. Chlorhexidine rinses or gel usually prescribed by the dentist that reduces bacteria in the mouth.
If medical management is not helping the cat to get releive from pain. Your veterinarian may recommend extractions of affected teeth. Removal of the teeth helps to control periodontal disease. Extraction of affected teeth also reduces bacteria growth. Because the presence of bacteria can provoke the immune system in cats with stomatitis. Therefore, when treated completely cats can live healthy lives without teeth.