Feline Stomatitis

a white cat with black eyes

Feline Stomatitis

Stomatitis is a more severe form of oral inflammation than gingivitis, involving more than just the gingiva (gum tissues). Stomatitis is often very painful, causing a decreased appetite or difficulty eating. Some cats will try to eat, then hiss or cry when chewing hurts.

They might also show signs of pain when they yawn or move their mouths to groom themselves. Their behavior and demeanor might change due to constant pain in their mouth. You may notice that your cat is not as social as previously or hiding more (because they don’t feel well). Weight loss may occur. Often it will be too painful for the cat to self-groom, causing the haircoat to appear unkempt.

With Stomatitis, the cat’s immune system is overreacting to the bacteria that is accumulating on the teeth (which is in the form of plaque). This is a very painful disease process due to the amount of inflammation in the mouth and along the very back aspect of the mouth, entering into the pharynx area and/or throat.

Treatment for Stomatitis includes total mouth extractions. The teeth are what are causing the accumulation of this plaque, and the Stomatitis will persist until we have removed the teeth. If we can surgically intervene as soon as possible, the better the outcome and prognosis. If we can treat these cases earlier on in the disease process, the success rate of the Stomatitis resolving is good. We can cure Stomatitis in 85% of these cases. (*Note: there are some cases out there where the canine teeth are left in place and all other teeth are extracted, this is on a case-by-case basis. Any teeth left in the mouth (not extracted) must have stringent home care (tooth brushing) daily. In our experience, most cats that have been dealing with Stomatitis are not amenable to tooth brushing and we feel that we have the best chance at curing the Stomatitis if all teeth are extracted to begin with).

While these precious cats are awaiting surgery and further treatment, good pain control is key. We can help discuss the best plan to make your cat as comfortable as possible while awaiting oral surgery.