Symptoms of Stomatitis

How can you tell if your cat is suffering from feline stomatitis? Below are some of the observable symptoms that you might see in your cat if she are suffering from stomatitis.

The information in purple italics is my explanation of my cat Lily’s experience with each symptom.

Bad Breath

Rather than the simple, everyday bad breath that you might notice in felines when they are not suffering from a medical condition, stomatitis will cause your cat’s breath to be noticeably terrible. It is a distinctive odor, one that is difficult to describe, but equally difficult to miss. Also, you can smell the bad breath from at least a foot or two away after the stomatitis has flourished in your cat’s mouth.

Lily’s breath was horrendous! It wasn’t just bad. It was like the smell of rot and death. It was her breath that finally alerted me to her disease, and I could smell it when she was on my lap, when my nose was a good 16″ – 18″ from her mouth.

Bleeding Gums

Stomatitis causes extreme trauma to the gums. This trauma causes the gums to bleed. The drool from a cat with stomatitis is often tinged with blood because of this trauma. You may also notice a metallic smell coming from your cat, which is the smell of iron from the blood.

Lily often had blood in her drool before we got her stomatitis under control. It was common to see dried pools of blood in her favorite sleeping areas, such as on my bed. The metallic smell was quite disgusting to me, and very strong when there was a lot of blood.

Lily drooling from stomatitis with blood in the drool

You can see that the drool on Lily’s lower lip is red with blood.

Drool stain on a pillow that has blood in it

Lily was drooling while sleeping on my pillow and the drool stain has blood in it.

Crying Out in Pain While Eating

When cats with stomatitis do eat, it will be with noticeable and apparent difficulty. These cats will often make painful mewling noises or yelp in pain as they force the food past their inflamed throats.

Lily did this often after her stomatitis got bad and before we got it under control. She still cries out at times, but it is a rare event these days.

Crying Out in Pain While Playing

When cats play they often grab toys or other items with their mouths. Cats with stomatitis, though, may cry out or scream in pain during play after they forgetfully grab something with their mouths.

Lily did this for at least a month before I realized she had stomatitis, but I had no idea what was causing her cries of pain. I feel terrible for not figuring this out sooner, but I had never heard of stomatitis at that time and had no idea about mouth diseases, especially not in a cat less than a year old.

The video below shows an example of what the cry may sound like.  In this video Lily’s cry was a very quick little yelp that I did not understand when I heard it, as this video shows. However, there were other times when her cries were extremely loud.

Dehydration

Just like their reluctance to take in food beyond the bare minimum required to survive because of the painfulness of their mouth, cats suffering from stomatitis also limit themselves to drinking the minimum amount of water that they need to survive. The reason for this is because it hurts when they lap up the water. Dehydration in cats suffering from this condition is noticeable.

I am unaware of Lily experiencing this symptom.

Drooling

Cats that are suffering with this condition are known to have excessive drool. This is because swallowing is painful, so they would rather let their saliva drip out of their mouths rather than swallow it. It is common to see drool drip down the fronts of their bodies, sometimes even soaking their entire chest areas. Cats that sleep with their tails tucked under their faces may end up with matted fur where the drool collects on their tails, especially if the cats have medium to long haired tails.

Lily drooled a lot before her stomatitis was under control, and her fur matted so badly that we frequently had our vet shave her fur to remove the mats. She is not cured and still drools occasionally. When she does, I give her a pain medicine called Buprenex to ease her pain.

04/28/2015 Edit – Lily has not drooled or needed Buprenex in over two years.

Lily drooling from stomatitis

You can see drool on Lily’s lower lip. This isn’t bad. There were times when drool covered her entire bottom lip and chin.

Drool from stomatitis matts the fur on Lily's tail

Lily sleeps all curled up with her tail under her face. When she drools, the drool matts the fur on her tail right where you see it touching her face and we have to shave it in that one spot.

Lack of Grooming

Cats groom themselves by washing up with their tongues. But cats with stomatitis avoid using their tongues whenever possible in an attempt to minimize their pain. Cats with stomatitis will stop grooming themselves. You can see this lack of grooming because their fur will look unkempt, messy, matted, or dirty, if not all of these options.

Lily stopped grooming and her fur definitely looked all of the above. She began grooming again after we started giving her PlaqueOff, and I was thrilled the first time she hacked up a hairball because it meant she felt well enough to groom again.

Pawing Incessantly at Their Mouths

You might observe your cat touching her mouth with her paws as a way of trying to rub the pain away, or ease it by physical contact.  This behavior may be accompanied by mewing noises or other verbal expressions of pain.

Lily did not do this. She avoided any type of contact with her mouth, including from herself.

Red, Swollen Gums and/or Throat

The gums in the mouth become red and swollen, and the tissue in the throat is also often affected in the same way. You can attempt to gently look in your cat’s mouth but do not force the issue if your cat refuses to let you open her mouth. Instead, let your vet look.

I never looked in Lily’s mouth, though I did try once. She was clearly in pain when I tried so I immediately stopped.Stomatitis in the mouth of a cat after her teeth were pulled

Reluctance to be Touched On or Near The Mouth or Face

Cats with stomatitis will not want their mouths and/or faces to be touched because of the extreme pain they feel all the time with stomatitis. They may shy away when hands come near these areas because they will not know if they are going to be hurt, or they may even cry out in pain when touched.

Lily’s stomatitis is now under control, meaning she rarely bleeds or drools these days, but she is not cured. She still lives with constant pain and we never intentionally touch her on or near the mouth. If we accidentally touch her mouth she cries in pain and runs away to hide.

04/28/2015 Edit – Lily’s no longer bleeds or drools and stomatitis has not caused her pain in over two years. We can now touch her mouth and she no longer cries out in pain when we do.

Weight Loss

Because of the extremely painful state of their mouths, cats who are suffering from this condition tends to only eat the bare minimum amount of food that they need to survive. If your cat had a robust appetite before beginning to suffer from stomatitis, the weight loss that you will see can be significant, possibly even life-threatening. If you run your hand down your cat’s body and you either suspect that she has lost weight or you can feel the bones clearly along her spine and hips, then she probably has lost weight.

Lily was already a small cat, weighing slightly less than seven pounds before stomatitis, but she dropped to an even six pounds after getting this disease. When I ran my hand down her back I could clearly feel her ribs and hip bones.

Weight loss in a cat due to stomatitis

It is difficult to tell how skinny Lily is in this picture because she has a lot of fur, but she weighed just six pounds here. She is the size and weight of an older kitten, not the two year old adult cat that she really was here.

If you observe your cat engaging in any of these behaviors, there may be a good chance that she is suffering from feline stomatitis. This disease is extremely painful to cats. Don’t let her continue to suffer. Call your vet to make an appointment as soon as you suspect your cat might have stomatitis.


Comments

Symptoms of Stomatitis — 99 Comments

  1. Hi I noticed my cat was dribbling a little bit yesterday an was not eating as the day went on I noticed she really smelt bad from her mouth! This morning her mouth is soaked an her chest fur is soaked an there are little pools or bloody dribble where she is sitting an she hasn’t eaten again this morning but is drinking lots an lots! She is a stray car that I took in as she was constantly on my doorstep I put a found car post on the cats protection site but she wasn’t claimed I put noticed on lamposts an at the park out thd back from me an put a collar on her saying I’m lost! I’ve had her around 4 months now but don’t really want to get involved with costly vets bills as that was never the intention I just feed her an let her come in my house! What shall I do an what can be wrong with her! I don’t want her suffering in pain but cannot afford vets bill either

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Sheryl,

    Wow, what a difficult situation you are in! If your cat has stomatitis you might be able to treat it with supplements such as Lysine and PlaqueOff, but those can take a while to kick in. Your cat might be able to hold on until those kick in by getting a steroid shot from the vet.

    If your are struggling financially then you might consider starting a fund raising campaign at a site like GoFundMe. Other people here have done that and been able to raise enough to care for their kitties.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.

    Rochelle

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  2. Tonni,

    The best thing you can do is take your cat to your vet. Your vet will be able to run tests and visually assess your cat to figure out what is causing his pain and drool.

    Please keep us posted as to what you find out.

    Rochelle

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  3. Time got away from me, and I had not made it back here to offer what I’ve been thru with my Zoey Cat. I think in looking back it was last week in March that my vet removed all of Zoey’s teeth to try and combat the stomatitis. Yes that is what she was diagnosed with. After the teeth were removed, she spent overnight at vets and then sent home with a shot of steroids to help the back of throat inflammation etc and I was given single doses of pain meds in syringes to use if needed. One week and she was drooling again so back to the vet for post op anyway and a different steroid shot was given. It lasted 4 weeks, and I gave her lots of pate wet food so in her check-up and next shot, she gained an ounce. Another near 4 weeks and anything she would eat and she gained few more ounces, but end result was drooling and running from food which by now I could see the very earliest signs and get her right in for a shot. So at this time, she gets a shot as long as she can hold out til early signs of distress, for the most part 4 weeks , but like this time she only lasted 2 weeks. It is Depo-Medrol 20 mg. We are getting the syringes and bringing home to allieviate the trip for her, but at any given change of symptoms, she will go right in and be checked. This week I have found two little pea size lumps tween the shoulders, seem painless, and not sure if due to the injections there or if it could be what they said they believed she is “pre-cancerous”. The vet and I have talked about quality of life and have a wonderful mutual agreement, that as long as the shots work, and she can eat on her own, and go without pain, then we are sticking with the shots. Vet has a few other types of shots if needed to change. But if suffering happens with the shots, then she will have fought the good fight. I pray anyone with the symptoms described on this home page happening to their cat, get it to the vet asap. Look at their throat, and check for the red raw inflammation.

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  4. I also want to add that those shots cost me $9.00 per shot, per month so we have been very lucky. Of course the pulling of the teeth etc was quite costly but I’m fortunate to have found a great vet, cheaper than others I’ve dealt with.

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  5. I noticed our cat doing this, so I took her to the vet as soon as I saw it. The only thing is that a couple of times, it looked like her legs just gave out and she fell onto her side. She did not lose consciousness and she got up right away. However, I noticed that she almost seemed post-ictal. She will hide under the bed or the chair. We are waiting on blood results. I wondered if there was something with her food. I have not changed brands but I did open a new bag and it seemed like this happened after I gave her food out of this new bag

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Deanna,

    Oh my gosh! I’ve not heard of anything like this so I have no idea if it could be from her food. What did the blood results show?

    Rochelle

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  6. Ling ling chow has been diagnosed with stomotits… She has had several shots of steroids and antibiotics…. They are not helping as much anymore….. So I am fixing to find a vet that can extract her teeth….maybe just her back ones. Here’s a tip that might help others….. I get the softest cat food I can find or I buy jars of baby food….chicken,beef,turkey or even ham. One jar has 8 grams of protein. I put it on a plate and get really hot water and mix it into the baby food where its kind of runny,or I get lactaid milk (which will not bother their digestive system) I warm the milk up kind of hot and mix it into the baby food or the very soft canned food where its pretty runny, with the lactaid WHOLE milk this will add extra protein for your little fur babies. I also use extra virgin coconut oil….she loves it and it soothes her gums. It doesn’t take care of the problem, but it helps until I can take her to the vet and get her teeth extracted….I never thought about fish oil,plaqueOff,or Buprenex for pain……I’m so glad I ran upon this websight,its incredible….. Thank you so very much! I just thought I would let y’all know what has helped my little Ling ling chow…. If I was not to mix the food with liquid and make it runny she could not and would not eat at all…..but remember to make the liquid hot,because when you mix it well with the food it will be the perfect temperature and they will lap it up pretty quickly. She likes it when I stand there with her while she eats. I stroke her fur and just let her know just how very much I love her. Please pray for her when I take her to the vet…..I LOVE MY LITTLE LING LING CHOW SO SO VERY MUCH. I HOPE SOME OF MY INFORMATION WILL HELP SOME OF YOUR LITTLE FUR BABIES. GOD BLESS TO ALL!

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Lorraine,

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

    I think I read somewhere that cold food has less of a smell for cats, so it makes sense to me that your method of heating up food for your cat works.

    Rochelle

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  7. Rochelle, I’m so glad to have found your site, as many others have stated and I thank you for all of your kind consideration in responding to everyone. You have a very big heart. Mine is breaking now, because my cat of 8 years, Dorothy (or Dot) started showing strange symptoms a few days ago, and they’ve made her gravely ill. She may or may not have stomatitis, I read where you mentioned to another concerned cat parent that you’ve never heard of a cat grinding her teeth, or teeth grinding being associated with stomatitis. Dot has eaten next to nothing and has taken in very little water (I started squirting a dropper full of water into her mouth last night but as she was so miserable, I couldn’t do it more than a few times), and not knowing that wet food is more difficult for a cat to eat – when they’re afflicted with Stoma – wet food is all I was giving her. She hasn’t been herself, she usually has a hearty appetite and prefers to be outside.. we live out in the sticks. I didn’t notice any bleeding in her mouth or drooling. I wrapped her in a towel and held her while my friend looked inside her mouth and then we switched so we could both see. My friend saw nothing but a sore on her tongue, but I saw a couple of sores in addition to the right inside portion of her mouth/jaw was swollen. She sometimes looked like she was yawning, but was actually gagging, as though she was trying to get something out of her mouth. She didn’t produce any bile or vomit when gagging. No pawing, but it’s readily apparent that she’s in a great deal of pain. She shows a few symptoms of somatitis, but unfortunately I realize her condition could be related to several other causes. I know she needs to be seen by a vet, but I couldn’t take her yesterday as I haven’t been working for the last year because I moved in with my mom to care for her and have gone through my savings. I’m looking for a job now, but in the meantime, I have no financial resources and my mother isn’t able to help. That leaves me with good news and bad news: I learned from a friend this morning, on Facebook, that there’s a woman in a nearby town that has set aside funds for someone precisely in my predicament. As long as the cat is spayed, she will pay the vet bill for an emergency visit. The bad news is that although my cat has stayed inside for two days straight, (usually she’s out enjoying nature during the day, but comes inside at night to sleep with me..she’s happier in the country than she ever was in the city!) when I opened the sliding glass door this morning to let out one of my mom’s dogs, Dot turned into a lightening bolt and slipped outside before I could catch her. She’s grown considerably weak over the last few days, and I know she’s dehydrated. I’m terrified she’s gone off somewhere to hide, and will die alone within the next day or two. I know cats often do that when they become gravely ill. I’ve searched high and low, I hiked halfway up the hill behind our house, through tall brush and blackberry bushes. I slid down into the ravine in front of the house, near the road and searched for quite a ways along the creek, under bushes and old barrels, cut myself and twisted my ankle, calling for my cat and crying. Forgive me, I know this is long and I’m not even sure she has stomatitis. I just can’t stomach the idea of my cat dying out there, in this heat, all by herself. I will keep searching until I find her.. You’re so kind and giving of your time, I guess I wanted to ask you to pray that I find my baby. I’m feeling tremendously guilty because I took in a rescue kitten (Penny-Star) two weeks ago, who had some health issues. In nursing and caring for her, the kitten is now perfectly healthy, but I’ve been giving her more of my time and attention than I was my own cat. I’m taking care of Penny until my friend moves in August, and is able to adopt her. I’m worried that Dot felt cast off. I’m praying to the Universe that she returns this evening when it cools off. Again, I apologize this is so terribly long, I’m curious if any of Dorothy’s symptoms sound like Stomatitis. She’s never had unpleasant breath until the last couple of days. The tooth grinding, however, is the most distressing to hear. I know you’re not a vet, but do mouth sores sound like she could potentially have cancer?
    Thank you, and take care!
    Jerri

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Jerri,

    I want you to know that I feel terrible for not responding to your comment sooner. I was out-of-town for a while, then life has kept me busy since I got back. I am so sorry for the delay.

    Your story broke my heart. I’m afraid to ask, but did you find your cat? How is she doing?

    As for your question, I don’t want to guess as to what might or might not be going on with your cat. It wouldn’t be fair to you to either scare you or give you false hope based on anything I might say in my ignorance. I apologize for not being able to give you a better answer.

    Rochelle

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  8. My 3-legged rescue cat developed advanced periodontal disease and stomatitis about a year and a half ago. All his teeth (including roots) were extracted in March 2014. Very slow to heal. Finally I was told he had “autoimmune disease” and vet offered drugs (Buprenex, Prednisolone), told me condition “very difficult” to treat/control. I refused to accept limitations of conventional treatment — purchased every book I could find on natural cat care, consulted homeopathic veterinarian, researched natural treatments. Veterinarians Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats, by Martin Zucker, was best investment I ever made. Combination of Echinacea/Goldenseal (Gaia liquid, approximately 1/10th human dose) and a few drops of ashwagandha (expressed from Gaia phytocap), administered by oral syringe, did more for my kitty than any amount of conventional drugs, and with no side effects. Read Zucker’s book — this treatment isn’t recommended for long-term use but can be used for chronic conditions if rotated — 2-3 weeks on/1 week off. My recommendation — consult a holistic practitioner, and use your best judgment. My kitty eats well — Beech Nut beef or chicken baby food (no additives/fillers) and small piece kibble. He still doesn’t tolerate fish very well. His holistic vet has been very supportive and helpful; he has regular checkups and acupuncture sessions.

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Suzanne,

    Thank you so much for sharing this information! I do not have any experience with holistic medicine but many people benefit from it. I had no idea there are holistic vets so what you’ve written is helpful to me, and I’m sure to many other people.

    Rochelle

    [Reply]

  9. Just an update on my Zoey Cat…..last update was in July. She is doing very well, still on the Steroid shot which is anywhere lasting 2 weeks to 4. This last time, she was given a boost in it, and some antibiotics just to be on the safe side. I’m excited that in the past 3 months she has gained 4 ounces, and getting solid again! In two months, it will be a year since we started this battle, and so very thankful its finally looking up. Six months ago, I was sure she’d not make it thru the summer but thankfully the the vet seems to be on top of it!!

    [Reply]

  10. please help me my cat is drooling last week i bought some pills for it, it became better but yesterday it started drooling again, what can i do

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Julia,

    There can be a lot of different causes for drooling and stomatitis is just one of them, as well as tooth decay, nausea, and heat stroke. My advice is to take your cat to see your vet to get him (her?) checked out.

    Rochelle

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  11. Hi everyone,
    I adopted my cat from a shelter. They are not too sure how old he is. He is a sweet cat. But I have noticed that he hardly eats at all. He is very thin. He has been thin since we adopted him. I noticed that he is starting to dribble some blood down his chin and never cleans himself. He does have very bad breathe. Do you think there is a possibility that he has this stomatitis? When i take him to the vet they won’t tell me to put him down will they? That scares me so bad I love him and don’t want that as a possibility.

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Patricia,

    I’m so sorry to hear that your cat is not feeling well. I don’t want to diagnose your cat, so please take what I’m saying as simply my opinion (I have no medical training), but based on what you said it does sound like stomatitis is a possibility. Your vet will be able to tell you for sure.

    As for putting your cat to sleep, only your vet can answer that one. That can be an option for cats who have severe stomatitis and don’t respond to any treatment plans, but it would (I hope) be a last resort option. Hopefully there are medications that you can try before having this conversation with your vet.

    Please let us know how he is doing.

    Rochelle

    [Reply]

  12. I just want to say, its been a year ago this week, that my Zoey Cat had all her teeth pulled, and has been on steroids every day since, BUT has gained her weight back and had little trouble since. We’ve gone from shots per 3-4 weeks , liquid and now doing well on pill form daily. I sincerely didn’t think she would be with us past last winter but she has. My vet has assured me they will try with dignity different options, and so far, so good. I also want to say it does sound like stomatitis, as it sounds just like what I went thru, but your vet will know………Good luck and hugs to both you and kitty.

    [Reply]

  13. Just wanted to say thank you for putting this page up. My cat had many of the symptoms but also could not close his mouth properly and left blood on some items. Turns out he has tumors on both sides of his mouth. So aggressive they weren’t there two weeks ago.

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  14. Is it possible for two cats in the same house to get this disease? I have four cats and two of them have started drooling excessively and bleeding, however one of them appears to have been in a fight because he got part of his lower side of his nose ripped and is bleeding from that. I figured his drooling had to do with pain from his nose but my other cat started drooling the next day and has blood around his mouth. I watched him lean over the water but would not drink it, sounds like your cats’ symptoms.

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    I honestly do not know. My vet says that stomatitis is not contagious but the woman we adopted Lily from believes that it is when the disease is active (i.e. there is drool). In our case, we have five cats and they all eat from the same food bowl and drink from the same water. None of them came down with stomatitis.

    [Reply]

  15. I just adopted my cat Aspen from the humane society in Oct. It’s been a ride since. Poor girl. She had issues with her teeth and ears. She started drooling, gagging, pawing at her mouth and bleeding from her mouth. Our vet did additional tooth surgery and since she has gotten worse. She won’t eat, hardly drinks water and wants to cuddle and sleep all day. I feel so bad for her. Our vet has tried different meds but stomotits has never been mentioned. We did decide to get a second opinion and she has her appt tomorrow. I feel so bad for her and she hasn’t been able to enjoy our home since we got her due to so many issues. Glad I came across this site and plan on asking the vet tomorrow.

    [Reply]

  16. April and Emily, 2 1/2 cats had surgery to remove 2 molars in April & 6 teeth in Emily. The vet said they have Stage 11 cancer!!! She also said their stomatitis is gone; no plaque or tarter (I wanted their teeth cleaned). This Tuesday my husband and I are going for a follow-up. I just started using Plaque-off, and have been using Vetroquil (sp?) with a raw food diet including other supplements. My husband feeds them in the morning and brushes their teeth. The problem is these sweet, loving cats are afraid of him since they hate having their teeth brushed. The vet said that cured their stomatitis. For one thing, they definitely had/have stomatitis; from the time their permanent teeth came in; all the symptoms. Since the vet only wanted to see April, I said I wanted Emily’s teeth cleaned. So Emily ends up with 6 extractions plus bone loss! I thought stomatitis never goes away. I am changing vets once we see her and get more specific answers. These two are the light of my life but have cost about $2,000 in vet bills. Making their food is not easy but they are worth it. Has anyone had an experience similar to mine? Does this make any sense? These two have a bond like I have never seen; they groom each other, sleep so close they look like one cat, and April purrs like a machine, yet they look very different. I have never had cats with so many problems (feline herpes flare ups at times) who are so bonded to me and each other. April waits on the bed until she can put her head on the pillow & curl up under the blankets next to me. If one or both dies of cancer that would be awful. I am also broke of course. People told me to put them down.There are few resources for the poor here, and some think I am nuts to make their food. Sorry for the long post but I am confused and upset. I tried posting here before but couldn’t seem to sign up. Thank you if you read my rambling. Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.

    PS. Surgery was 2 weeks ago. Follow up is Tuesday . Their digestion, elimination & appetite & weight is normal. Also, thanks Rochelle for this site & great info.

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Kay,

    I’m so sorry to hear about the struggles you, your husband, and your cats are going through.

    I don’t have any advice regarding the matter of tooth brushing because I’ve never attempted to brush any of my cats teeth. This would be a good topic to discuss with your vet. There might be edible treats that might be good that you can give instead of brushing their teeth, but this is a guess on my part. It is possible that the brushing is causing pain, so you might want to watch to see if there is any blood after brushing.

    Rochelle

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  17. Is there a way I can share a video with you of my foster cat who had stomatitis, in hopes that you can share it on your site? (She lost her battle with it just a couple of weeks ago.) Thank you for creating this website.

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Sharon,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.

    Do you have a YouTube account? If so, you can upload the video, then send me a link to it.

    Rochelle

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  18. i think my cat has Stomatitis ,she druls blood,her teeth are black ,she meaws like shes in pain wich i think she is,she still eats but some times the food falls out of her mouth,she has a horrible smell,i dont know what to do i dont have the money to go to the vet i live on social security,i dont know if there are free clinics for animals,i wish Dr.Pol lives near me so i can take her to him,i live in a 10591 zip code,please help my cat her name is Princes,shes 18 years old.Thanks so much

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Iris,

    What you described could be from stomatitis, but it could also be something else. The black teeth is very concerning.

    I don’t know your area at all, so I don’t which places might be able to help you. My advice is to search for the following on Google: 10591 free animal clinic

    Hopefully that will provide you with some options on where you can take your cat to get help.

    Rochelle

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  19. I just noticed that my cat may have this stomatitis. She has bloody drool however you don’t notice it until I try to open her mouth. Once I opened her mouth, I noticed the blood near the gums in upper roof of her mouth. She growls when you try to get near her mouth. She is eating and still grooming herself. I have quite a few cats and am on disability therefore taking her to a vet may pose a problem. Is there anything I can give her over the counter until I can get some money together to take her to the vet? I have tried a Razoo account to raise money but have had very little success.

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Debbie,

    I sincerely apologize for not seeing this sooner.

    What you’ve described sounds like it could be stomatitis. I had success with Lysine and PlaqueOff, along with a steroid cream. Other people on here have used treatments such as grain-free or raw meat diets or colloidal silver. You could try those, but it is possible that you will need some type of steroid to calm down the inflammation to give another treatment the best chance of working.

    Regarding your financial situation, something you might try is contacting pet rescue groups in your area and ask them if they know of any vets who are willing to offer payment plans.

    My prayers are with you and your cat.

    Rochelle

    [Reply]

  20. We just found out that a kitty we took in has stomatitis. SHe is 4-5 years old. She was very underweight when we got her, skin and bones, 3 lbs maybe. She is now 4lbs 11 oz. She has always had a good appetite. She had surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor next to her tongue. The vet said that she has many growths going back to her adenoids. My question is, is it normal for a cat with stomatitis to chew on their limbs? She keeps chewing on one leg in particular. My husband thinks that she might do this due to the pain in her mouth. She goes to the vet this Tuesday for her surgery followup. I am very thankful for your site. I have learned a lot from your Q\A. Also, I sit with her when she eats, otherwise, she will not eat well. I saw that another person posted that they do this as well.

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Ellie,

    Based on my experience a cat with stomatitis will not chew on anything. Their mouth pain can get so severe that they won’t even groom. It sounds like there is something else going on with your cat that is causing her to chew on her leg. What has your vet said about this?

    Rochelle

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  21. i am at wits end and don’t know what to do. about 9 weeks ago my cat had a molar and a canine removed. previous to this she hadn’t eaten in 9 days. the vet kept giving me appetite suppresants and prednisone even though i kept telling him she is drooling and smacking her lips together constantly. he finally decided after the 9 days to remove her teeth and see what happens. before that he was gonna put a feeding tube in her. i brought her to a 24hr emergency hospital and it cost me $3200 and they did nothing but tests and xrays (which i had already done) and sent her home. it took her awhile to heal from the surgery and she started to eat again 3 days after the surgery.. within 5 days it’s all back. now she’s having a hard time swallowing. he keeps telling me there is nothing wrong with her. i don’t know what to do. she is having such a hard time. i don;t know what to do. she wheezes so loud and i can tell it’s a struggle for her. do you have any ideas? he told me she has asthma and has her on 1?2 predisone a day. i am afraid i am gonna lose her. i lost her sister 2 months ago. they are both 16 and i can’t lose her to.

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Marlene,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your cat’s struggles!

    Although I don’t know this for sure, I don’t think lip smacking is a sign of stomatitis. In my experience, cats smack their lips when they are nauseous, which could be why she isn’t eating or swallowing. Are you able to look inside her mouth? If so, do her gums or the back of her throat look red and swollen? Redness and swelling could be a sign of stomatitis, but if you don’t see that then the problem is probably something else.

    It sounds like you might want to get another vet, or at least take her to someone else for a second opinion. Here is how I found my current vet – I talked to one of the cat rescue groups in my area and asked them who they consider good vets. I explained the symptoms Lily was having so they could suggest a vet who would be able to help Lily. They recommended two vets, both of whom I took Lily to. They were both excellent but one was farther away from the vet I eventually chose. The animal rescue groups in your area are going to have experience with most, if not all, of the vets in your town, so they should be able to make a recommendation for you.

    Please keep us posted.

    Rochelle

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  22. My ckd cat had excess fluid in her left ear..her eyes had the same color discharge as her ear and also from her nose..she was put on tresaderm and now it seems her saliva is thick bad breath and when I checked her gums with a qtip I noticed a small amount of blood..she is restless and meows alot..any ideas what this could be

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Pat,

    It would be best to discuss this with your cat since I’m not a professional and wouldn’t want to take a guess. I hope that it turns out to be something that is easy to treat.

    Rochelle

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  23. Do i put coconut oil in a dish or rub it on cat’s gums?

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Eileen,

    I don’t know since I’ve never given it to any of my cats but someone else might be able to give you an answer.

    Rochelle

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  24. I have 14 stray cats who found me. Tyler had stomatitis and it occurred within 3 days. His mouth was red raw. When to Vet. Immediately. The doctor gave him a 14 day antibiotic and gave me steroid medication which includes pain medication called ‘dexamethasone’ two times a day in a small amount of food without water, at a warm temperature. Felines seem to like this medication alot.
    It took me 4 weeks, two 14 day antibiotic shots and dexamethasone 2xday medication to significantly reduce his stomatitis. With the stomatitis under control, most of his teeth were removed today without any issues. Thank goodness. He is on baby food and we continued to give his meds. regiment successfully. Water is ok but warm not cold.

    If you care about your pet, any college offers Pet CPR & First Aide in 4 hr class, no tests. Cost about $80. TRY IT if you can.

    My 8 yr old stray LinaMarie is showing signs of stomatitis too. She is on same medications, eating much better and Not in pain. It takes time but this medication resolves the redness. She will be getting her (decayed) teeth removed soon. Thank you Dr. Zaccheo…

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  25. Hi there, my 14 year old Kymba starting drooling a few months ago… But it goes in cycles, like once a month, now like once a week, plus now I see what might be blood on the bed and stinky breathe only during the drooling phase? Is this stomatitis cyclical or constant? It took me three days to capture him to bring him to the vet, all lab work and teeth/gums were fine they said… They said Pepsid pills, but he won’t do that and he’s stl eating not nauseous… I’ve been sprinkling probiotics in his food successfully, guess I can try lysine I have. Is there a certain blood test they do for this condition?

    Thanks so much!
    Wendy

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Wendy,

    I’m so sorry for not seeing your post sooner. I’m not sure if stomatitis is cyclical but my experience with it was not, it was constant. Sadly, there are no tests for stomatitis. It’s more a matter of ruling out other possibilities, along with visual cues. I hope that helps.

    Rochelle

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  26. My 15 1/2 old cat Piercy has been excessively drooling for a long time! It recently has turned from clear typical drool to bloody. At first it was a light pink and now red!! My husband down not want me to take her into the vet because she is so old., and she is eating and not crying at all. She is old so she sleeps all of the time. But she smells so bad and the blood in her drool is so concerning to me.

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Shelley,

    Please accept my apology for not seeing this sooner. It’s been a while since you posted – how is Piercy?

    Rochelle

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  27. Hello: Wondering if anyone has noticed a strange smell coming from your cat’s mouth. We got a stray kitten this Christmas, took her to vet, she had worms, the vet treated her and said she also had a respiratory infection. We gave her antibiotics for a week and it cleared up. A month later she was snorkely sounding again, (sounds like she has a lot of mucous in her nose/throat) and again had the bad odor. (I have had cats all my life, I know what cat breath should smell like – this is bad, kind of salty and metallic, bile-like.) Again we took her to the vet and he prescribed antibiotics, and the smell and congestion went away in two or three days. (I continued with the script til it was all gone.) Now again the smell and congestion is coming back.There is no blood, her appetite is good. Mouth looks normal. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Elizabeth,

    I am so sorry for not responding sooner. How is your kitten doing now?

    It might be a bit late for advice, but if your cat isn’t improving then you might want to get a second opinion from another vet.

    Rochelle

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  28. my cat is 6 month old she was very playful cat brfore but now a days she become very lazy and have bad smell from mouth and have some sliva while sleeping she eats and drink normally but his voice become very low

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  29. I will be picking up my cat from the vets in a couple of hours. She is only 2 but her teeth look like an old cat. She has every symptom given in the article. The vet just removed all but her front teeth. I had been trying the antibiotic route since she was 6 months old. She would get a shot of antibiotics about every 4 months and that would work for a short time but all the symptoms would come back. I am glad we will finally be at the end of this problem.

    [Reply]

    Rochelle Reply:

    Nina,

    I’m sure that removing teeth was a difficult decision but hopefully it will help your cat as much as it helped Lily. How is she doing?

    Rochelle

    [Reply]

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