Stomatitis in Dogs and Cats

dog on the couch

Stomatitis is a condition characterized by the irritation and inflammation of the soft tissues inside your pet’s mouth. Although it may not seem like a serious problem, it can develop into a painful and debilitating condition that could even put your pet’s life at risk.

In the majority of cases, stomatitis causes ulcers to form on the soft tissue, including the lips, tongue, gums and back of the throat. These quickly become extremely painful, making it difficult for your animal to eat, drink and even swallow.

Stomatitis can affect both cats and dogs. However, with promptdiagnosis it is possible to get your furbaby treatment that can relieve her discomfort and improve her oral and general health.

Symptoms of stomatitis

If you believe that pet is suffering from stomatitis, you should seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. But, how can you identify the condition? The most common symptoms of stomatitis include:

- Red, inflamed soft tissue visible in the mouth

- Persistently bad breath

- Ulcerated tissue in the mouth

- Obvious discomfort or pain

- Extensive plaque on the teeth, appearing as a yellow/brown stain on the teeth near the gum line

- Excessive saliva production / drooling

- Accumulation of fluid in the gums

- Loss of appetite

- Weight loss

- Poorly kept coat, usually because grooming becomes painful

Causes of stomatitis

There is often no single cause of stomatitis, but it is often associated with the development of dental disease. This is because in periodontal disease, plaque accumulates along the gum line, causing the soft tissue to become irritated and swollen. Eventually, the bacteria multiply to the point whereby the gums become infected, and the infection spreads beyond the mouth vi the blood stream, where it attacks your pet’s vital organs.

Other possible causes of feline and canine stomatitis include:

- Hormone disorders (such as diabetes)

- Kidney failure

- Problems with the immune system

- Reactions to medications

- Fungal or viral infections

- Bite wounds

Severe stomatitis has been known to develop if a pet bites on an electrical cord or eats a toxic substance, such as a plant or chemicals.

Treatment for stomatitis

Stomatitis is renowned for being difficult to cure completely, and many pets will experience repeated episodes of the condition. As a responsible, loving owner, the best way to support your pet tends to be long-term treatment plans that involve different aspects of care.

Stomatitis is exceedingly painful. As such, our veterinarian’s first priority will be to get your pet’s discomfort under control so that she can eat and drink normally again. Soft foods may be advisable until this happens. In the meantime, pain and anti-inflammatory medications may be administered. Our vet will almost certainly prescribe antibiotics too, and these will help your pet rid herself of the infection that has taken hold.

Exceptional dental care is the best way to treat stomatitis and help prevent it from occurring again in the future. This is because brushing and professional dental cleaning can prevent plaque and tartar from forming, thus also preventing the development of dental disease. If your pet has been diagnosed with stomatitis, our vet will probably recommend that your furbaby has a professional clean to eliminate areas of bacteria and prevent infection from recurring.

If you would like further advice about stomatitis in cats and dogs, or if you think that your pet may have the symptoms of this excruciatingly painful condition, please get in touch with our team to know about our veterinary services as soon as possible.