Stomatitis and Gingivitis in Cats

October 2021

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Chocolate point Siamese purebred cat

Portrait of Lily in Autumn

Stomatitis in Cats

 

Stomatitis sounds like something to do with the stomach… but it is not. Inflammation of the mucous lining of any of the structures in the mouth, which may involve the cheeks, gums, tongue, lips, and roof or floor of the mouth. The word “stomatitis” literally means inflammation of the mouth. (reference: Medical Dictionary)

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Gingivitis

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Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Bleeding is a primary symptom, and other symptoms include swelling, redness, pain, and difficulty in chewing. (reference: Medical Dictionary)

 

This post follows the earlier one of being my cat’s private chef. The 4 week check-up vet visit ended being 7, which gave me more time to see if improvement continued beyond the first few weeks. Journey of a Cat’s Private Chef

 

The steroid shot Lily received kicked her recovery into high gear. The sores inside her mouth and throat healed up, her voice returned. I could now hear her meowing behind a closed door.

 

Disappointed, though, the red gums in both cats remained. Less, but still red enough for concern.

 

We left the vet’s office with the possibility of Lily needing to have periodic shots of steroids. This doesn’t sit well. I have to solve this issue without the next step. A deep cleaning for both cats and worse (teeth removal). No talk of giving them teeth cleanings yet.

 

I researched why a cat can get stomatitis. The usual is a poor diet. Mine don’t have a low standard of cat food. I even cook for them, besides giving them raw.

 

One shocking attribute; the diagnosis of stress. They are both happy and have lots of fun here. Sure, they freak out when the vacuum cleaner chases them around the house. But I have limited the usage by getting a broom and dustpan between entire house cleaning sessions.

 

If stress, I go back to before I got Lily. The breeder keeps the kittens until they are 4 months old. I got Lily at 9 months. Previous owners returned her to the breeder, claiming diarrhea. The breeder says her cats don’t have that problem. Diarrhea is possible if a kitten is caged and under extreme stress, with a poor diet.

 

When they returned Lily, she had a sore on her neck. The breeder decided to keep Lily. But knowing she had a forever home with us, she let me purchase her.

 

Theory is, since Lily stands up to pee. Not okay with the new owners. [As I mentioned in another post, the ordeal (Spay Day or Was It?), shocking news to me and the breeder.] I’m sure the previous owners thought if they had her spayed, she would no longer stand up to pee. Not a chance. She wasn’t marking territory, she just has this way of urinating. (her mother does the same)

 

Chocolate point Siamese cat

Lily waiting to grab the ball

I can only imagine they kept her caged until evidence of her being spayed disappeared. (Belly fur grown back.) Purpose, to get a total refund. Sad, as the breeder would have given them a total refund. They brought Lily back to the breeder in a stand-up cage. May have been in it since they found out the spaying didn’t change her urinating behavior. Makes a mess for sure if you don’t have a box with 4 tall sides. (3 tall sides were inadequate for Lily, and the box had to be tall.)

 

When I put Lily in the large cage for the 3 hour ride home, it was troubling. She leaned up smack against the back of the cage. Not scared, as much as she looked depressed and disgusted. A strange look for a cat. I expected a scared expression. She never made eye contact. Once I learned what she may have endured from 4 to 8 months of age, my heart breaks. She can’t tell me what happened, but I know it wasn’t good.

 

Did they cage Lily for 3+months? Could be very stressful on a kitten. Were angry words exchanged directed at her, making her even more stressful?

 

I didn’t peer into Lily’s mouth after getting her. Never thought to and assumed it wasn’t necessary. Access not welcomed either.

 

Her breath became stinky, and I noticed a sore on the side of her mouth. I had been giving both Lily and Lucy Seal Gold Sea Meal and Plaque Off. Breath improved, but still not as hoped. Which then brought me to the vet’s visit.

 

If stress is a factor in the cause of stomatitis. That explains Lily’s condition, but not Lucy’s. On further research, I found stomatitis is contagious. UGH… Cats groom each other and exchange saliva. You can’t treat one without the other or it never goes away. I read it can be a long recovery. Not encouraging words.

 

Even if they got deep cleaning of their teeth, I’m not sure if the red gums will disappear.

 

I read raw food, bone meal (human grade), and several other supplements could help.

 

My vet says she knows nothing about the ideal raw food diet. But made a point. You don’t know how they processed the meat, stored it, etc. prior to putting into your shopping cart. I pointed out that I buy human grade food. Her claim, we don’t eat raw. Cooking will destroy any parasites in the meat.

 

Not prepared to grow organic mice to feed to my cats.

 

She did mention I should give Lucy lysine for her runny nose and watery eye discharge. Discovered lysine might even help with my ongoing problems with bronchitis on my right side. Difficult to sleep on side without coughing. I bought lysine for myself and enjoyed a new side to sleep without gasping for air. Powder form for the cats and pills for me.

 

Where I stand now on the issue. Is to feed them a variety of raw, good canned food, cooked chicken thighs. Supplement with lysine, bone-meal (human grade), taurine, Sea Meal, Plaque Off, ground flax seed, olive oil. Tried to give them cod liver oil. Thought it would taste fishy, has a mild lemon flavor, so they are not happy. Cat Oratene enzymatic teeth gel for 10 days and now Oratene enzymatic toothpaste gel after every meal. Can’t brush their teeth, their gums bleed if I do. I rub the gel on their gums. Lily tries to avoid me as much as possible with this routine. Lucy is okay with the procedure.

 

Raw ground sirloin, raw chicken tenderloins, raw wild caught salmon, raw chicken livers and hearts. I give them cooked chicken thighs and shrimp. Occasionally, they get cooked carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, pumpkin, and rice in small amounts.

 

Cat food is canned Blue Buffalo Chicken Pate, Instinct Rabbit and Lamb. They get cat food, with raw and cooked human grade food, plus supplements. I divide the supplements into different combinations for the 3 meals they eat each day. They enjoy an endless supply of well water.

 

My kids are indoor-only cats. Rare to spot any outdoor cat around the house. With COVID, I don’t get to intermingle with anyone’s cats, so not a problem with me bringing something home to them.

 

Treating Red Gums

 

Difficult to treat and may require some teeth extracted. Of course, remains the question of what happened to Lily between 4 and 8 months of age. Was she exposed to something? Have no answers.

 

Will wait to determine my next steps. Rubbing their gums three times a day with a gel enzyme toothpaste for cats can’t hurt. After the tube is empty, shall decide in which direction to go. Oratene is a brushless toothpaste gel, it can be applied with your finger.

 

Improvements since giving them supplements. Not frantic scratching. I could give a gentle tug on their fur, and it pulled out. Rare to get any loose fur now. Their coats are shiny and soft. The gums around their fangs are looking normal. Less red on Lucy’s gums. Lucy just stands still and lets me rub her gums. Lily is warming up to the procedure. Maybe her gums don’t hurt as much now.

 

Talk to your vet or a veterinarian nutritionist to find the best way to feed your cat, with health issues. We need to use our own knowledge to make wise decisions for our little ones.

 

The purpose of this post. To show alternatives exist for whatever ails ourselves or our pets. Doing nothing should never be an option. A second opinion (as in your vet) is important. Drugs might be the first defense. After that, looking at healthy alternative treatments for optimum success. This should be a decision between you and your vet.

 

As long as my cats improve, I will continue with what is working. If improvement subsides, I will return to my vet and see what my next choice might be.

 

Questions:

Do you have a cat with gingivitis or stomatitis? If so what did you do for your pet?

              Do you brush your cat’s teeth or have you ever used a brushless tooth gel?

 

 

 

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