Feline stomatitis is a severe, painful and life threatening problem for many cats. It exists in cats of all breeds and ages. Cats having stomatitis often have bad breath and inflamed gums. Sometimes, the inflammation extends from areas close to the teeth to more distant areas. In certain areas, the gums widen and block off parts of the oropharynx. Eating and swallowing become difficult and unpleasant for cats.

What Causes Feline Stomatitis?

There is no single reason for stomatitis. The most common assumption is that it is caused by chronic viral infections such as calicivirus and herpesvirus. Cats with poor immune systems — possibly due to FIV and FeLV infections — are vulnerable to chronic viral infections. Other factors that can lead to stomatitis include immune-mediated diseases, irritant absorption, and kidney failure. One reported cause of stomatitis is the bacterium Bartonella henselae, which is definitely present in some cats with stomatitis, but is also present in cats without stomatitis.

Symptoms of Feline Stomatitis

The important thing to remember is that this is a really painful condition, and it's just not fair to leave a cat in this state. Unfortunately, cats are also very good at suppressing signs of discomfort, so the first symptom may be a sudden loss of appetite. Other symptoms include:

• Drooling
• Eating slowly than normal, and with extra caution

when chewing or biting.

• Rubbing in the mouth, usually with the front paw.
• Reduced appetite.
• Loss of weight.
• Refusal to eat and occasionally even to drink.

How Is Feline Stomatitis Diagnosed?

Diagnosis is largely dependent on medical history and clinical symptoms. Blood and urine tests are also prescribed for any underlying systemic illness. Oral X-rays are also used to assess if there is any damage to the root teeth and supporting structures. Cultures and biopsy samples can be taken in serious or suspected cases.

How Is Feline Stomatitis Treated?

A comprehensive examination and removal of plaque and tartar under general anesthesia is the first step in the treatment of stomatitis. The tartar deposits are removed and the tooth surfaces are scaled (cleaned) ultrasonically and then polished. It is necessary to carefully clean the tissues below the gum line to remove any accumulated plaque or tartar.

Treatment of stomatitis requires addressing the root cause of the issue. Most of the time, no specific cause is known. Many cats would need a wide variety of antibiotics, chlorhexidine rinses or gels, and anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition to surgical treatment, regular oral home care is very important to reduce plaque accumulation and decrease inflammation.

Author's Bio: 

Jesica Fernandez, Content Writer From, US