Stomatitis is one of the most prevalent diseases in cats, a picture with no apparent cause that usually occurs at least once in the life of our pet and that can endanger his life. However, it is possible to treat this pathology in a timely manner, to give the animal quality of life through a timely diagnosis.
To know what feline stomatitis is about, what are the signs that manifest and what is the most successful treatment to follow, today we are going to know a little more in depth all the details of this disease.
Plasmocytic lymphocytic stomatitis in cats
Feline stomatitis is a serious infectious process that occurs in cats. It is a chronic disease, that is, it prevails over time despite the administration of treatments, so it seeks to preserve and improve the quality of life of the cat.
It is a pathology of slow progress that consists of a progressive deterioration of the mucous membranes of the oral cavity and digestive tract, specifically esophagus and stomach. If not detected and treated in time, this disease can complicate and cause the death of the animal.
Two types of presentations can occur from this chronic disease: type 1 stomatitis, which involves only the labial mucous membranes and gums; and stomatitis type 2, which is related to the other structures onwards, until complicated with esophagitis.
Some experts have associated the disease with the presence of some retroviruses, which are common in cats; However, there is no clear cause that explains the presentation of the disorder.
That is why there is no specific breed of cat at greater or lesser risk of suffering from this pathology nor is it predominant in a given sex. Nor is it a contagious disease, so it does not represent a risk to the other animals in the house.
Symptoms of feline stomatitis
This disease manifests itself with the inflammation of the gums and has among its most representative clinical signs the presence of:
- Ulcers in the mouth and tongue, which can become bleeding.
- A considerable increase in saliva.
- Inapetence for difficulties in eating food.
- Abrupt drop in weight.
- Pain in the affected area, which can be recognized by the cat’s groans or resistance to contact in the mouth area.
- Teeth fall
Eventually, these combined symptoms significantly decrease the quality of life of the feline, becoming a risk to their survival due to the loss of blood and body weight.
Analysis and determination of feline stomatitis
Usually, cases of feline stomatitis that arrive at a veterinary consultation are in an advanced state, representing one of the most critical points in the diagnosis of this disease. This is because, for the owners, it is usually difficult to identify the presence of this pathology, precisely because of the independence of the animal.
In some cases, symptoms tend to be associated with seasonal changes or alterations in cat behavior, without paying attention to significant details such as tooth loss, contact pain or excessive salivation.
For a correct diagnosis, the veterinarian applies a wide variety of tests to rule out other possible conditions and determine the severity of the case; That way, you can establish the possible treatment.
In principle, the veterinarian will thoroughly review the feline’s oral cavity, a process that will accompany the taking of samples if he considers it necessary, as well as a routine of blood tests and viral tests.
Samples may be ideal for tissue biopsies; If dental pieces are compromised, some radiographic plates will be necessary to determine the depth that the disease has acquired.
In general, the results indicate the presence of an ulcerated mucous tissue with dense submucosal inflammatory infiltrate, characterized by the predominance of plasma cells, lymphocytes, neutrophils and histiocytes.
As it is a chronic disease, we cannot speak of a complete and total cure for feline stomatitis; Therefore, the treatment is clearly symptomatic, that is, it is designed to attack and reduce the presentation of symptoms in order to provide a better quality of life for the cat.
The choice of medications and techniques will depend entirely on the severity of the condition and the evolution of the animal. According to the veterinarian’s diagnosis and prognosis, the procedure to be followed will be determined.
To avoid bleeding, one of the key points to treat is ulcers, while to avoid pain inflammation should be treated; that way, it is possible to get the cat to eat food again, with total normality.
It is not advisable to apply cortisone in the anti-inflammatory treatment since it usually complicates the condition. In certain cases, it will be necessary to include surgical processes such as the extraction of dental pieces, in order to reduce inflammation and risks.
All the steps will be prescribed by the veterinarian and reviewed periodically, to confirm that the treatment is being carried out smoothly.
How to care for a cat with stomatitis?
In addition to drug treatment, there are certain elements of the cat’s routine and life that must be modified. Being a chronic disease, you need to make changes in your lifestyle. Thus, we must take into account the following aspects:
Change the cat’s food for a milder supplement, in order to decrease inflammation and pain.
Help him in the feeding; pain and discomfort will scare you from trying to eat. That is why it may be convenient to feed it bite by bite.
Consult with the veterinarian about the possibility of providing an extra nutritional supplement, according to the weight loss and the level of lack of appetite.
With early intervention and thorough treatment, cats suffering from mild to moderate stomatitis can recover their oral health without having to undergo aggressive dental surgery.