Stomatitis is a severe inflammation of the oral cavity in cats caused by an exaggerated inflammatory response to the plaque bacteria in the mouth. The inflammation causes the gum tissue and oral cavity to become swollen, red, and very painful. The exact cause of stomatitis is unknown though most patients with stomatitis have an underlying viral infection. Calici and Herpes are common viruses that can be seen in cats with stomatitis. If your cat has stomatitis and has no record of being tested for FeLV and FIV previously, we may recommend testing for these viruses. Calici and Herpes are also contagious to other cats, but are not typically life threatening. Cats with stomatitis are typically very painful. Often they will stop grooming and their coat becomes dull and unkempt. Patients with stomatitis may show interest in food but be reluctant to eat because of the associated pain. They may also cry when yawning or chewing food. Excessive drooling and bad breath are also common symptoms. Frequently, cats with stomatitis are antisocial and hide because of chronic pain. A thorough oral exam under anesthesia is critical to diagnose stomatitis. Dental radiographs and surgery to extract most or all teeth have a high success rate, although some patients need ongoing medical care. We have successfully treated hundreds of cats with stomatitis here at Veterinary Dental Services, LLC.
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