Stomatitis: Cat Owners Questions Answered

This article looks at stomatitis, a condition that can affect cats. Read on to find out more!

What are some symptoms of stomatitis?

The most common symptom is severe inflammation of the mouth, which manifests itself externally by ulcers around the lips and gums. The cat may also have yellow or pale patches of fatty tissue in the mouth. The gums may be swollen, red, puffy or spongy, while secondary infections can lead to abscesses and other complications. There may be discharges from the mouth that is either white, yellow or green in colour. Cats with stomatitis may exhibit behavioural changes, including overgrooming (especially around the face), excessive rubbing on furniture or walls and hiding in dark places. Another symptom is weight loss because an affected cat will feel pain when it eats and will have difficulty chewing its food properly.

What causes stomatitis?

Stomatitis is caused by high amounts of bacteria in the mouth due to a breakdown in the immune system. This breakdown can be caused by such things as stress, poor diet and/or obesity, hormonal changes or underlying diseases such as feline leukaemia. If your cat develops this condition, be sure to seek veterinary services since there may be an underlying condition.

How is stomatitis diagnosed?

A vet will assess the cat and make note of any changes to the oral cavity. They may also take a swab of the discharge for analysis.

How is stomatitis treated?

Treatment consists mainly of antibiotics administered orally or through injection. If there are any underlying conditions, these should be addressed as well. The vet may refer your cat to an oral-facial specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment. The cat's diet should always be considered, especially if there are signs of weight loss or other digestive problems. Your vet may prescribe medication to improve your cat's appetite. They may also recommend soft food supplements that are easier for your cat to eat.

What is the prognosis?

The prognosis depends on the underlying cause. Stomatitis itself can be cured fairly easily. The condition usually responds well to treatment and most cats go back to their normal selves after a short course of antibiotics. It is important to remember, though, that some underlying causes — such as feline leukaemia — will persist even if stomatitis is cured and may require more time and treatment to resolve.

If you would like to find out more, you should speak to a vet today.