All you need to know about stomatitis in cats Causes and methods of treatment
stomatitis in cats means that your pet may suffer from loss of appetite and salivation often … So, in this article we will learn about stomatitis in cats.. . its causes, and how to diagnose and treat it??
What is stomatitis in cats??
Oral stomatitis in cats is known by many names, the last of which was chronic gingivitis in cats (FCGS). FCGS affects about 0.7-4% of cats and is a very painful, debilitating chronic condition often caused by severe inflammation of the oral tissues. Two forms of this condition are identified depending on the location of the inflammation in the mouth. The first form is characterized by inflammation that begins in the gums and tissues surrounding the teeth.
The second shape, called Caudal Stomatitis, includes an area in the back of the mouth where the upper and lower jaws meet together. Caudal stomatitis may be more difficult to treat.
In FCGS, the affected areas of the mouth are usually light red in appearance, bleed easily, and may have a “cobblestone” appearance. Cats with FCGS experience severe pain and often find it difficult to chew and eat. They may lose weight, have bad breath, salivate, or have oral bleeding and may paw their mouths. These cats may also have a dirty coat due to decreased self-care and poor nutrition.
Oral stomatitis in cats may cause ulcers in the mouth. These ulcers may include the lips, tongue, gums, and back of the throat. Cats can be affected by any age or breed
What are the types of stomatitis in cats??
The primary types of inflammation are:
- Ulcerative Stomatitis: This condition occurs when a significant amount of gum tissue is lost in a cat’s mouth, and it is frequently accompanied by inflammation of the oral tissues.
- Oral Eosinophilic Granuloma: This condition occurs when there is a mass or growth in or near the cat’s mouth, especially on the lips.
- Gingival Hyperplasia: This condition occurs when gum tissue increases and may grow over teeth.
What are the causes of stomatitis in cats??
Multiple factors are suspected to cause stomatitis in cats and the causes have not been definitively identified. The formation of tartar and calculus is also believed to be an important contributing factor.
Whatever the reason, cats infected with FCGS are generally believed to have a variable immune condition that allows the condition to occur and continue. Inefficient and excessive immune responses were included.
An asymmetric response by the cat’s immune system to plaque bacteria appears to play an important role. Excessive interaction with plaque bacteria leads to an overly inflammatory reaction that may develop without intervention into a more severe autoimmune condition where the body also attacks the tooth tissue itself.
In young cats, inflammation can occur when the teeth become crowded in the mouth.
Several metabolic disorders are also known to cause stomatitis in cats, including an abnormal amount of waste in the bloodstream, inflammation of the blood vessels in the mouth (common with diabetes), lymphomas and insufficient levels of parathyroid hormone.
Infectious diseases and oral injuries can also cause inflammation.
There may be a link between the development of stomatitis in cats and the calici virus in cats. Most cats with stomatitis are carriers of the chronic form of this disease… (FIV), feline leukaemia (Felv) and bartonella may also play a role.
What are the symptoms of stomatitis in cats??
Symptoms or signs of stomatitis in cats can include:
- Bad breath
Bad breath is very common in cats with stomatitis. When checking for bad breath, it is important to understand that it is not always an indication of illness. However, stomatitis leaves a particularly unpleasant odour that is usually easily noticeable.
- Ulcerated tissue
Highly inflamed gums are a major sign that your cat may have stomatitis. When the gums become inflamed, they turn red and begin to swell. If the gums are left untreated, you may start to bleed. This inflammation is not just restricted to gums – other areas around the mouth, such as the back of the throat, can also become inflamed and ulcers can develop as well.
- Large quantities of plaque are formed
- Excessive drooling or saliva
Oral stomatitis in cats often causes excessive salivation in cats. Unlike dogs, saliva is not very common in cats and is often a sign of pain. This makes it easy to identify as a warning to something that might be an error in your cat’s dental health.
- Fluid build-up in the gums
- Inability to eat (lack of appetite)
- Weight loss
Another sign that your cat may have cat’s stomatitis is rapid weight loss. This is because inflammation and swelling in the mouth cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, which may cause your cat to eat very slowly or stop eating completely. One of the signs you should pay attention to is the cat that runs to their food bowl because they are hungry but then struggle to eat and leave most or all of it. This can be especially common when cats eat dry food compared to wet food.
- pawing face or mouth Learn the causes of itching in cats
- Poor hair and skin condition due to lack of hygiene
Many cats with stomatitis will start taking care of themselves less and less. This is because cats use their tongue and mouth to groom, and since stomatitis can cause a lot of pain making grooming the hair very uncomfortable. Sometimes, you may not notice that your cat is paying less attention, but you’ll see signs instead, like a matte coat with tangles. Learn the causes of hair loss in cats
How is stomatitis in cats diagnosed??
Examining the mouth of a cat with stomatitis can be difficult because the cat is reluctant to open his or her mouth. Your veterinarian may recommend sedation to facilitate a more complete examination.
Results of basic blood tests, such as a chemistry panel and complete blood cell count (CBC), tend to be unremarkable in cats with stomatitis. However, your veterinarian may recommend specific testing for underlying diseases such as FeLV, FIV, and bartonellosis.
Sometimes, a small sample of tissue from the mouth is submitted to a laboratory for biopsy. However, the diagnosis is commonly based on clinical signs and physical examination findings. A dental examination and dental X-rays can help your veterinarian determine the extent of periodontal disease.
How is stomatitis in cats treated??
A treatment plan for stomatitis in cats will vary depending on the stage and severity of the condition and a cat’s response in an individual case. Because there is no known specific cause for stomatitis in cats, there is also no specific treatment for the condition and all these management techniques have been tried, often in combination, with variable results.
Regular dental care and medical management are typically the first line of treatment. Medical management is aimed at plaque control and modulation of the inflammatory/ immune response. A routine dental procedure should be performed to address any inflammatory dental disease, and a regular dental home-care program should be started. If the initial periodontal management is not enough, other medical therapies can also be tried.
One treatment your vet may suggest to you is antibiotics. Antibiotics are sometimes used to regain control in a flare-up of disease and to control secondary bacterial infections which may otherwise worsen the inflammation and pain. Antibiotics can support the improvement of stomatitis which in turn will reduce inflammation and pain. Once gone, your cat’s condition will need to be monitored as it can flare up again. Antibiotics are not advised long term – only during flare-ups.
Steroids can be an effective way to treat stomatitis in cats. However, they tend to be reserved for severe cases to regain control during a flare-up.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Another common treatment for feline stomatitis is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs otherwise known as NSAIDs. These drugs are used to reduce inflammation along with pain.
Other therapies aimed at modulating and normalizing the immune system have also been tried including interferons, bovine lactoferrin, and esterified fatty acids. Stronger immunosuppressive medications have been used in the past but have fallen out of favour.
There are many medical options that give partial or short-term control of stomatitis in cats. However, long-term results have been disappointing and many cats with stomatitis in cats cannot be controlled with medical therapy alone. In these cases, the next step is oral surgery for near full-mouth or complete dental extractions and excision of the excessive inflammatory tissue. Most cats (80% in one study) benefit from this therapy, but it is not a guaranteed cure and some cats will also need to continue medical management as well.
.How to prevent stomatitis in cats??
To prevent stomatitis in cats, your veterinarian may recommend that you rinse or brush your cat’s mouth. There are also some topical ointments that can be used to reduce or prevent inflammation of the cat’s gums.
stomatitis in cats can be a debilitating and potentially life-threatening condition in cats. It can be difficult to treat, but many cats respond well to a combination of routine dental care, medical management, and oral surgery and regain a good quality of life. Although some owners worry about removing all a cat’s teeth, once the inflammation improves the cat will eat much more comfortably than it did with its teeth prior to the surgery. Hopefully, as more is learned about stomatitis in cats, better treatment options and even preventative measures will be discovered.