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Swollen painful gums. Stomatitis?

Species: Cat
Breed: Tabby Cat
Age: 1-2 years
Other vets have been trying to figure out what is wrong, or how to help Yoko. Her gums bleed, and are very swollen. Her breath is really bad. Its all throughout her mouth, not just in spots, its red and inflamed as well. My vet has put her on Prednizon pills one a day for how ever long. I do not see any change, and I know it hurts her aweful.

Is there any advice you can give me????

Thanks so much
Peace Carlee


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Carlee! In about an hour or two I'll get an answer to you...Just in the grocery store right now. Looking forward to chatting!


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi again Carlee. Thanks for waiting. And thanks for asking your question. I'm sorry to hear that Yoko is having this problem.

What you have described sounds like feline stomatits. I have had a few patients with this condition and it is not fun.

It is a very difficult condition to treat and many cats will have this problem for life. However, some cats can be controlled fairly well with medications or other treatments.

Ideally it would be great to have your vet do biopsies of the affected areas as well as a culture test. This would be something that would have to be done under anesthetic. In my practice I am guessing it would cost around $350-$400 or so. The reason to do biopsies is to find out exactly what the cause is. Some cats can have stomatitis because of a severe bacterial infection that needs a combo of antibiotics to clear up. However,in many cases it is deemed to be an autoimmune condition which means that we can't cure it but can do some things to help.

Prednisone is indeed the most common medication we use for this condition. The prednisone tells the immune system to stop attacking Yoko's mouth. Many cats can be controlled on a small dose given every other day.

I often also have owners use an oral rinse of chlorhexadine and this helps to reduce the need for medications.

In some cats we will do periodic bouts of antibiotics which help to calm things down for a while. I would especially recommend talking to your vet about this if we have seen no improvement with the prednisone.

This sounds extreme but some cats do extremely well if we remove most or all of the teeth. It is believed that the gums are reacting to plaque or some other substance on the teeth. Cats can do quite well without teeth (I personally have one cat with 3 teeth who still eats hard food). Having no teeth is better than having pain or discomfort. However, a full mouth dental extraction would be very expensive.

You can also talk to your vet about prescribing a drug called bupenorphine which is really good for mouth pain in cats.

I hope that info helps! Let me know if you have more concerns!

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

Thanks so much Dr. Marie. I will contact my vet today and go over all of this with him.

I appreciate your time! I am sure you will hear from me again.

Peace and Love Carlee


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome! I hope Yoko is feeling better soon!

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.