Feline Stomatitis and Medications

Information below intended for veterinarians.
Some photos may be graphic.

No "Magic Potion" for Stomatitis Treatment

Currently for felines with stomatitis there is no “magic potion” that can effectively cure this debilitating and painful condition.

Stomatitis in cats is a severe inflammation or ulceration of the oral tissues. It is frequently identified by owners because it causes:

Some cats experience so much pain they may be observed crying out and dropping food when attempting to eat. Current data suggests that this disorder may have an immune mediated etiology but is generally considered to have many contributing factors.

Feline StomatitisThe oral photographs at right depict a cat treated medically for years without positive response to treatment. (As reported by the owner and prior to receiving successful treatment of extracting most teeth at our hospital.)

Cats with this disorder rarely respond to medical treatment without meticulous oral hygiene
(difficult to achieve in a cat with a painful mouth), and regular professional periodontal therapy.

Feline StomatitisIn addition, the photo at below right shows the severity of the stomatitis has extended to the caudal buccal mucosa.

Corticosteroids have been used to provide relief initially, but long-term use loses its effectiveness and may even cause diabetes. Many other treatments including Interferon, Cyclosporin, laser therapy and other “magic potions” have been used to try and treat this debilitating disease but remain palliative at best. Antibiotics in conjunction with any of the above treatments may provide some benefit by decreasing the bacteria in the plaque which is triggering the cat’s immune response. But again, this relief is temporary.

For most cats, 80% or more will receive complete cure by extraction of all teeth; though some cats may require additional medical treatment even after all of the teeth have been removed. It has been our experience that cats with this disorder that have extractions performed earlier in life rather than attempting medical management for a number of years have a greater cure rate and tend not to require further treatment.

Cats tend to hide their pain, though studies show that they experience pain similar to humans. They have evolved not to show pain and not to show signs which would be regarded as weakness by other members of their species or even other species.

Remember, oral radiographs are essential when extracting cat teeth
to ensure that every piece of the root has been removed!!!

Annual oral exams are recommended for all cats.

 

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