Stomatitis disease in cat’s is an unfortunately common oral problem that requires aggressive treatment by a veterinarian to get under control. Sometimes the only recourse in battling this painful, inflammatory disease is a full mouth extraction, which enables the cat to eat again and enjoy their life.
Stomatitis disease in cat’s is a serious condition that occurs in many cats—and it is also potentially life threatening. If you suspect your cat has stomatitis, you need to see a veterinarian as soon as possible, to avoid having to have a full mouth extraction and costly, unpleasant complications for your feline friend.
What is a Stoma, and What is Stomatitis Disease in Cat’s?
A “stoma” is literally an opening or cavity; in veterinary health, a cat’s stoma is his or her oral cavity, or mouth. Stomatitis in cats refers to an inflammation of the cat’s mouth, also called gingivostomatitis.
Stomatitis disease in cat’s is a common condition. It is also painful and can cause lethal complications. It is found in all breed types and ages, although older cats in the Himalayan, Somali, and Persian breeds are particularly prone to developing stomatitis, as well as other long-haired and oriental breeds.
No one really knows what causes stomatitis in cats, although some veterinarians theorize it is an autoimmune or inflammatory response to bacteria or other pathogens.
Symptoms of Stomatitis Disease in Cat’s
Stomatitis in cats is not necessarily caused by periodontal disease, but many cats that have stomatitis also have gum disease.
Cats who have this condition often present symptoms such as:
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Red, inflamed gums
- Eventually the inflammation spreads to the back of the throat
- Swollen, enlarged gums and oral tissue. This can become so dramatic that the back of the throat becomes blocked.
- Lack of appetite/difficulty eating. Stomatitis in cats is very painful, and between the swollen gums and difficulty swallowing, many cats lose a great deal of weight relative to their size because they will not or cannot eat.
- Tooth resorption. Similar to “cat cavities”, these areas appear to have the inflamed gum growing onto the tooth, or it may look like an actual hole in the teeth. These are also very painful.
Treatment of Stomatitis in Cats
Once your veterinarian has diagnosed your pet with stomatitis, there are a few treatment options.
Medical Therapy. Some veterinarians prescribe a course of oral or injected antibiotics combined with corticosteroids, which reduces inflammation and infections, as well as painkillers. However, medical treatment is not usually effective over the long term; surgical treatment is preferred by most vets.
Surgical Treatment. The most common treatment for stomatitis in cats is surgery. Although it sounds dramatic, the best thing to do is to do a complete mouth extraction of all the teeth behind the canines, including the inflamed soft tissues. A mouth extraction is almost universally successful in alleviating all the symptoms and has little long-range impact on the cat’s ability to eat—many cats eat hours after the surgery, and even eat hard kibble eventually.
If your cat presents symptoms like those described here, you need to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Sometimes it is possible to avoid a full mouth extraction in stomatitis disease in cat’s, but even if that is the eventual requirement, you will be happy with the results: a cat that is pain-free and healthy.