Feline Stomatitis

petra_gwSeptember 8, 2011

Well, it seems our recent little rescue has stomatitis. We tried 2 different antibiotics and once he is off them, his awful breath comes back, lymph nodes enlarge, and mouth becomes inflamed again. He has tested negative for felv and fiv twice. He does sneeze from time to time, so he could have calici.

The vet said we could put him on corticosteroids and/or antibios off and on. But he would have to stay on those for the rest of his life. The other option is to extract his teeth. So, we are going to get a referral to a dental specialist.

Has anyone here dealt with stomatitis? If so, what approach did you take and what worked for your cat?

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OMG, I deal with several rescues and they have stomatitis going around. It happens SO much.

The sooner the teeth are extracted the better. I've tried *everything* and nothing works like taking the teeth out ASAP. ALL the teeth. Not the caudal teeth- ALL the teeth.

I've tried pulsing Abx and steroids, not to mention interferon, and ended up with refractory stomatitis that didn't respond to full mouth extraction. After you BS around and finally get to full mouth extraction you STILL may not get resolution. Get the teeth taken out first and if that doesn't work, THEN go with pulse Abx/steroids/interferon/whatever.

Stomatitis HURTS. I've euthazined many cats for this disease because it was the most humane thing to do.

Trust me, I've dealt with a LOT of cats with this disease and where I have gotten the owners to do full mouth extractions FIRST the cats have done a LOT better. If you BS around you may NEVER get resolution- and I'm dealing with those guys too. Those cats are in PAIN and it's just not right.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 10:12PM
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meghane, thanks for the reply. We have an appointment with a veterinary dentist on Tuesday, mainly to verify that it IS stomatitis. I am just not sure about it because all he has is a red line along the gums, the swollen lymph nodes and stinky breath. He does not have mouth ulcers and he eats constantly. Other stomatitis cases I've heard about involve mouth ulcers and enough pain to cause reluctance to eat. But we'll see what the specialist says, I am sure she'll be able to tell.

Question for you re. the extractions, a friend whose cat has stomatitis had her teeth removed a couple weeks ago, by a regular vet who apparently did a really good job. Our vet does not want to do the extractions because she says if there are any fragments of ligaments left behind, the stomatitis will recur, and it's better left to a specialist. Do you send people to a specialist or do you extract the teeth yourself?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 12:09AM
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I do them myself but your vet is right- any fragments will cause recurrence of stomatitis. Post-op dental x-rays can detect any fragments so they can be removed promptly.

Removing all the teeth is a tough job. It takes a lot of time since rarely are the teeth loose. You need the right equipment for both the dental work and for anesthesia monitoring for such an extended period. It will take a lot longer if the surgeon is not experienced in extractions like this, which is not good for the patient.

I would take your vet's reluctance to do the procedure herself as admittance into not having either the experience or equipment to do the job correctly. Some general practitioners are great at this, some do it but shouldn't, and others refer to a specialist because they want what is best for the patient and can't provide that service themselves. It's distinguishing the vets that do full mouth extractions and shouldn't that you need to worry about!

As far as diagnosis, there are various degrees of stomatitis. I've seen a LOT worse than the description you've provided, but the goal is not allowing it to progress to the point of ulceration and anorexia. At that point, it's really an uphill battle getting stomatitis resolved.

You are awesome for realizing it's a problem and following through. I hope the dentist appointment goes well. Please keep us posted!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 5:58PM
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Like you, I would seek out a specialist first before total extraction. You've probably done lots of research but the link below has info on different mouth problems. I see where they even do biopsies for confirmation.

I'd never heard of this disease so thanks for posting about it. I do hope you get encouraging news Tuesday.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stomatitis

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 1:16PM
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Meghan, I wish we lived closer, you'd have a new patient. :o)

Annz, thanks for the site, that is one of the ones I came across as well. Those poor mouths look a lot worse than his. I also hope we get good news, he is such a sweetheart and has had such a rough start in life, he deserves a break.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 2:11PM
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He had the extractions Thursday afternoon (all of his teeth had to go) and is back to normal today. Eating, playing, cuddling, etc. Got pain meds through last night, but does not appear to need any today. They were very thorough, took lots of radiographs and made sure no fragments of anything were left. They also took a lymph node biopsy at the initial appointment to make sure there were no abnormal cells in the nodes. The biopsy came back normal. So, hopefully, it will be smooth sailing from now on.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 4:50PM
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That is GREAT news! I'm so happy your kitty!
He'll be much happier from now on.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 2:21PM
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Have any of you heard of or tried treating with bovine lactoferrin and lysine? My vet thought since there is no turning back with teeth extractions this was worth a try. She also gave me some Doxycycline. My 13 year old cat was diagnosed with diabetes last year and I got him into remission in 1-1/2 months. Seven months later he still had gingivitis after a dental and antibiotics the previous month. Vet gave him 2 shots of cortisone which helped his mouth but made his diabetes kick back in. After 2 months I got his diabetes back into remission but he started pawing at his mouth again after eating. I took him to a different vet who put him on Clavamox and a probiotic for 2 weeks. He is just finishing up the Clavamox today. Yesterday I took him to a friend who is a vet and she reads up on the latest and printed me out info about treating feline stomatitis with bovine lactoferrin (or bovine colostrum) and lysine. The vet who put my cat on Clavamox gave me a quote of $500 to take dental x-rays and do a gum biopsy. My friend vet is willing to do extractions without all the testing if his symptoms continue or worsen. I would appreciate any thoughts on all of this.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 3:56PM
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I have tried lysine hoping (though not expecting) that a viral disease is sometimes undying these stomatitis cases... no luck, though. Not tried the other products myself, but have read few reports on various products like that used on stomatitis cases with miserable results... though sometimes something seems to work despite not working on most other patients... worth trying. Still, taking all teeth out works the best so far... though STILL not 100% cure, so don't be horribly disappointed if it does not take care of the problem.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:21PM
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