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Mouth Inflammation and Ulcers (Chronic) in Cats

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You will need to give a thorough history of your cat's health, onset of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have precipitated/preceded this condition, such as chewing on cords or other inappropriate objects, recent illnesses, and the usual dental care that is provided. Your veterinarian will exam the oral cavity carefully to determine the extent of the inflammation, or whether any of the teeth are obviously in need of care. Standard tests will include a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis and an electrolyte panel in order to detect an underlying disease. Diagnostic imaging is also standard in diagnosing dental conditions. One of the possible complications of CUPS is idiopathic osteomyelitis, inflammation of the bone and marrow. X-rays will be taken to determine bone involvement and judge the extent of idiopathic osteomyelitis.


Often chronic antigenic stimulation (from a chronic disease condition) will predispose an animal to development of oral ulceration and stomatitis. (Antigens are substances that stimulate the production of antibodies in the body.)




Underlying diseases will be treated as necessary. Often, cats that have not been able to eat normally for some time will need nutritional therapy to make up for it. A soft diet with fluid therapy and/or a feeding tube will be put in place immediately if your cat is anorexic, and your veterinarian may also recommend vitamin supplements. 


Pets with idiopathic osteomyelitis should have the necrotic bone removed. The gingival flap should be closed and broad-spectrum antibiotics will be prescribed to protect the cat from infection.


Antimicrobials can be used to treat primary and secondary bacterial infections, and may be used intermittently between cleanings for therapeutic assistance, but chronic, or long term use could lead to antibiotic resistance.  Anti-inflammatory/immunosuppressive drugs can be used to treat the inflammation, and can make your cat more comfortable in the short term, but there are potential long-term side effects of corticosteroid usage, so your doctor will consider this when deciding on which pain therapy to prescribe. Topical therapy, such as chlorhexidine solution or antibacterial gel may also be used directly on the gums and in the mouth, and your veterinarian may also be able to prescribe a topical pain medication for cats that can be placed on the gums and mouth to lessen the pain.


Living and Management


Cats with LPS and CUPS should receive dental prophylaxis (preventive treatment) twice a day, or as often as is possible at home to prevent plaque accumulation. Topical antimicrobials may also be applied to your cat's tooth and gingival surfaces. Patients should have their teeth cleaned when diagnosed and they should be frequently scheduled for veterinary dentals (during which they will receive periodontal therapy and extraction of diseased teeth). 


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