Have you observed that your cat feels pain when chewing or that he cannot yawn well? Over the years, as you get older, you may end up with a condition known as chronic feline gingivostomatitis .
This is a problem that can be very serious, since when it feels pain when eating, the animal could stop feeding. For this reason, we are going to explain everything you need to know about this disease.
What is feline chronic gingivostomatitis?
This is a very common disease in cats that affects all tissues that are in contact with saliva and bacterial plaque , such as the mucous membranes or the soft palate.
Unfortunately, it is not known for sure what its causes are, but we can tell you that if the cat has a weakened immune system or if its teeth have not been properly cared for (brushing them daily with a toothbrush and specific toothpaste for felines ) is more likely to be affected by feline chronic gingivostomatitis.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are as follows:
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Pain when chewing
- Pain when opening the mouth when yawning
- Loss of interest in food
- Appearance of ulcers inside the mouth
- Swelling and redness of the gum line
- Breakage or loss of teeth (in severe cases)
How do you make the diagnostic?
If our cat has any of the symptoms mentioned above, it should be taken to the vet as soon as possible . There, they will do a physical exam and, if necessary, an X-ray of the mouth, a biopsy and / or a bacterial culture.
Being a relatively common disease in cats, it is not difficult for professionals to reach this diagnosis, since the damage and discomfort that they cause are quite characteristic.
How is it treated?
Feline chronic gingivostomatitis is a disease that, as its name suggests, is chronic, that is, for life. For this reason, the treatment must also be continued since in this way the feline can lead a more normal life. Said treatment will consist of :
- Pain reliever, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medications prescribed by the veterinarian.
- Cleaning the teeth by the professional, who will remove the accumulated tartar that causes the bad smell and discomfort.
- Extraction of the teeth that have been affected.
- Daily dental cleaning.
- If the animal has chewing problems, the diet should be soft, based on cans of wet cat food (if possible, without cereals since cats cannot digest them well).
Can chronic feline stomatitis gingivitis be prevented?
Unfortunately, there is no disease that can be completely prevented. But since this affects the mouth, and specifically its teeth and gums, some measures can be taken to follow them ‘from now on’, and if the animal is young even better. They are as follows:
Brush your teeth daily
Not only is it important that humans brush our teeth, but we must also brush our beloved cats. Thus, the risk of having feline chronic stomatitis gingivitis will be much lower than if we do not.
Give him a quality meal
We are what we eat, and cats too. If we give them a quality meal, without grains or by-products, we will not only make their oral and dental health better, but we will also make their immune system stronger.
Of course, the ideal would be to give them homemade food, but if we do not want or cannot give it, we can choose to also give them sticks suitable for them.
Take care of it with respect, patience and affection
You may wonder what an oral-dental disease has to do with affection, well. The truth is that it is not known, or not at all. What I can tell you is that for cats to end up suffering from it, multiple factors have to be given, and taking into account that they are very sensitive, very little tolerant to stress, it would not be strange that living in permanent tension would cause them this or other pathologies .
But apart from that, we have to take good care of them because they are part of our family, because we are supposed to love them, because we care about them.
Caring for a cat with chronic stomatitis gingivitis. My experience
Living with a cat that has this disease is not easy. When it is diagnosed it is not uncommon to put yourself in the worst, because you know that if you do not eat … you will lose weight, and if you lose weight you can die , and that is just what you do not want to happen. In 2018 we had to sacrifice Susty, a beautiful twelve-year-old tricolor cat who, despite lovingly caring for her, despite veterinary treatment, despite giving her (or trying to give her) her favorite food, there came a time when she decided do not live. It became little more than skin and bones. We were fighting for three years. But in the end we couldn’t do anything more than what we already did.
In 2019, Keisha was diagnosed with this same disease, a cat who at the time of writing this article was 8 years old, although fortunately, at least for the moment, she is under control. They did a cleaning, and everything seems to be fine.
It is important, I insist, that if your cat is sick you continue to give him the same affection, or more . That you keep him company. He will notice it, and he will be happier. Keisha appreciates the caresses, that someone is with her. She doesn’t like being picked up – she’s never liked it – but she is one of those cats that snuggle up next to you when you lie in bed or on the couch. In those moments I take advantage and give him a pampering session. He deserves it.
Chronic feline stomatitis gingivitis is a disease that can be very serious, even fatal, but for that reason we must be very strong and fight for our cat companion.
To finish, I leave you this video in which a veterinarian explains what feline chronic stomatitis gingivitis is:
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