Veterinarian Reviewed on January 12, 2012 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Feline Stomatitis is a common and painful problem for many cats. Stomatitis is an inflammation of the oral cavity involving the gums, and gingiva. It is most common in purebred cats such as Himalayans and Persians. Cats with stomatitis often have bad breath (halitosis). They also have red and inflamed gums (gingiva). The inflammation can spread from the areas near the teeth to the back of the throat. Eating and swallowing become difficult and painful for many of these cats. Many of these cats develop tooth resorption which looks like the gum growing over the tooth or a hole in the tooth. This is very painful.
There are many causes of feline stomatitis. Here are the most common ones
1. Food allergy or sensitivity.
2. Existing unattended to dental disease. Good oral care and proper professional cleaning and extraction of affected teeth is critical – radiographs should be done to look for disease root tips and sequestered bone.
3. Chronic viral infection – particularly Herpes virus but others can be associated.
4. Chemical toxicity – plastics, environmental chemicals, preservatives, and a host of things that make these patients susceptible to disease. This includes antibiotics, steroids and Non steroidal anti-inflammatories ( Aspirin like drugs)
5. Nutritional imbalances or excesses or other stressors that alter immune function and lead to chronic inflammation.
The treatment for feline stomatitis depends on the cause. Proper dental cleaning under anesthesia is always indicated. Most conventional veterinarians will then put the cats on antibiotics For some cats this helps but for others the stomatitis will continue and the cat may end up with all of his or her teeth removed.
I usually recommend a food trial after the dental cleaning in order to eliminate food allergy as a cause. Sometimes herbs, l-lysine, homeopathic and acupuncture can be used to treat or cure this problem. Immune boosting vitamins can be very helpful. Our Immune SURE product and safe for cats. It is very important to identify the cause of this problem as that is the only way to insure proper treatment.
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan