Treatment For Stomatitis

Treatment for StomatitisFinding out that your cat has stomatitis can be scary. I know, I’ve been there. You will probably wonder what options there are for treatment for stomatitis. There are many ways you and your vet can attempt to treat stomatitis, but I have to be honest and tell you that there is no sure-fire cure for this painful disease.

The problem with treating feline stomatitis is that there is no way to know the exact cause of the disease. It is often believed to be caused by a reaction to plaque, but it isn’t always.

Vets will usually start with the easiest treatment options, with the hope that one or a combination of several may be enough to resolve the stomatitis. They will eventually work their way up to the more advanced treatment options if the easier ones do not help.

Treatment Options For Stomatitis

Before I get into the various methods of treatment, I want to say something about tooth removal. Having teeth removed is always to be a last-ditch effort at controlling stomatitis. If your vet says that your cat’s teeth need to be removed without trying anything else first, then you need to find another vet and get a second, or even third, opinion. Try any or all of the following treatments before going to the extreme of removing teeth.

The treatment options listed below are not in any particular order, with the exception of tooth removal, which is listed last because it should be the last thing you do.

Antibiotics

This is likely to be the very first thing your vet tries. If your cat is lucky, a round of antibiotics will clear up the stomatitis.

This was the first treatment option we tried with Lily. At first it seemed to help, but the inflammation returned after we stopped giving her antibiotics.

Diet Modification

The inflammation seen with stomatitis may be the result of food allergies, so your vet may recommend that you change your cat’s diet by eliminating foods made with grain or grain-fed meats.

I did not try this option. We have five cats, two of which have food sensitivities and do well on the Iams dry food that they all eat. Changing the food for one of our five cats but not the other four would have been a nightmare for me, which is why I skipped this method.

Supplements

There are over-the-counter supplements that you can give your cat that may either resolve or minimize the symptoms of stomatitis. You can talk to your vet about what supplements might be helpful to your cat.

I currently give Lily two suppliments, and they help her tremendously. She takes L-Lysine in the morning and at night, and PlaqueOff just at night (PlaqueOff should not be used in cats that have Hyperthyroidism). Other people have had success with AquaDent, but this needs to go into a source of drinking water and Lily wouldn’t drink the water that had AquaDent added to it. Obviously, it won’t work if your cat won’t take it.

Steroid Cream

There are different types of steroid creams, but this helps by controlling and minimizing the inflammation in the mouth and throat. Using steroids long term may lead to diabetes, which has the potential of becoming a death sentence to your cat. The reason for this possibility, according to my vet, is that a cat cannot be given steroids and the medicine needed for diabetes. If your vet recommends steroids in any form, be sure to discuss the potential harm that the steroids may cause.

I give Lily a steroid cream called Prednisolone. I apply it to the inside of her ear every morning and night. I am aware that giving Prednisolone to Lily may lead to diabetes, but the alternative is having her live in severe pain. I had to choose between giving Lily a possibly shortened life where she spends most of her days in as little pain as possible by giving her the steroid, or not giving her the steroid and knowing that she is in horrible pain. It was a very easy choice for me to make.

Update: I was able to wean Lily off the Prednisolone steroids in early 2015. The PlaqueOff and Lysine that she takes daily have kept her stomatitis under control.

Pain Medicine

Despite all that you may do for your cat, there may be days when your cat is in so much pain that she needs pain medicine. These days will be easy to see because your cat will start to drool.

Whenever Lily starts to drool I give her a small dose of a pain medicine called Buprinex. Buprinex is like morphine for cats. These days I don’t have to give this to Lily very often because everything else she takes does a fairly good job of controlling her stomatitis, but every now and then I need to. Buprinex makes her tired, so be aware that acting tired or spacey after taking Buprinex is normal.

Tooth Removal

And now we come to the last thing that should be attempted when it comes to controlling stomatitis – removing teeth. When all other treatment options fail, your vet may recommend having most or all of your cat’s teeth removed. The reason behind this option has to do with the most common cause of stomatitis, which is a cat’s inability to tolerate plaque. The thinking here is that if the teeth are removed, there will be a huge decrease in plaque, thus (hopefully) curing the stomatitis.

According to my vet, 80% of cats respond well to having their teeth removed, meaning their stomatitis goes away. That also means that 20% of cats continue to suffer from stomatitis after having their teeth taken out. It can take up to six months after teeth are removed to know if the surgery was a success. The reason it takes so long is because it takes months for the mouth to heal from stomatitis.

IMPORTANT!!! If you DO decide to have your cat’s teeth removed, it is critical that your vet performs an x-ray after the teeth have been extracted to make sure there are no tooth fragments left behind. Cats teeth are very brittle and break easily. Any fragments left in the gums can easily lead to infection, causing a whole different set of problems and pain for your cat.

Ask your vet before you agree to this surgery if he takes x-rays when he is done. If he says he doesn’t and tries to convince you that this is not needed, run as fast as you can from this vet and see a new one!

Lily fell into the 20% of cats who do not improve after having teeth removed. To clarify, there was improvement, but she still very much has painful inflammation in her mouth and throat, as you can see from the pictures on this site.

How I Treat Lily’s Stomatitis

Lily was first given antibiotics, but that helped only temporarily. I did not know about supplements until after her teeth were pulled, so I didn’t try that next. Lily’s stomatitis was very bad and our vet recommended that her teeth be pulled. I consulted with another vet, and he agreed. So, we had her teeth pulled.

During her first surgery Lily had all but her canines removed. The canines were left to prevent Lily’s tongue from flopping out of her mouth. Apparently some cats are unable to keep their tongues in their mouths after their canines are removed.

About six months after her surgery it was obvious that the four canines also needed to go. The redness in her mouth was much more severe around her canines than in the rest of her mouth. The canines were removed, and the gums improved some where the teeth had been.

However, as I said above, Lily still has stomatitis. After getting all her teeth removed I learned about the supplement L-Lysine. In cats, Lysine acts as a booster to their immune systems, which often helps them fight off stomatitis. It did help Lily, though not enough to prevent her from having pain. My vet said that there are no problems with long-term use of Lysine. It is like people taking Vitamin C daily.

When my vet saw that Lily still had a bad case of stomatitis despite having her teeth pulled and taking Lysine, she decided to start her on the steroid cream Prednisolone. That, along with the Lysine gave Lily quite a bit of relief, but she still had a lot of painful days. These days were marked by drool that was often tinged with blood.

My vet then suggested that I try AquaDent, but Lily wouldn’t drink the water that contained this supplement. In desperation, I went to Amazon.com and searched for anything that mentioned stomatitis and cats. That is how I found PlaqueOff and decided that I was willing to spend the $30 or so dollars that it cost. If it didn’t work, I wouldn’t be out much. If it did, then Lily would be happier and more comfortable. Fortunately for Lily, it worked very well and gave her back her quality of life.

These days Lily has very few bad days, but they do still crop up. Whenever she starts to drool I give her a small does of the pain medicine Buprenex.

To sum it up, here is what we have done to treat Lily’s stomatitis:

  • Antibiotics
  • Teeth pulled
  • Lysine
  • Prednisolone
  • PlaqueOff
  • Buprenex

04/28/2015 Update: It has now been over two years since we started treating Lily for stomatitis. Today (04/28/2015) you would never know there is anything wrong with Lily. Her stomatitis is completely under control and she doesn’t show any signs of pain. She no longer needs the Buprenex (pain medicine) or Prednisolone (steroid cream). She takes Lysine and PlaqueOff daily, and I now give both of these supplements to all five of our cats.


Comments

Treatment For Stomatitis — 692 Comments

  1. I did start the PlaqueOff for my Katy Joy right after I posted mid July. I’m giving 1/2 scoop twice a day in food as the bottle states (the one without brewers yeast) and she is accepting well. Is that the dose you gave? Did you say it takes awhile to see any results? What did you notice with your Lily after you started the PlaqueOff? Katy has already been getting L-lysine for several months. Im still interested in information from anyone who has used colloidal silver topically for stomatitis,too.

  2. Linda,

    My understanding is that carrageenan is made from red seaweed and PlaqueOff is made from green, so I do not think it is the same thing. But it might be worth contacting the company that makes it to find out for sure.

    Rochelle

  3. Plaque Off is seaweed meal. Does anyone know if this is same as carrageenan, which I have been trying to avoid in cat foods? A lot of info by natural and holistic vets consider carrageenan bad for cats—inflammatory etc.

  4. Kathy,

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your cat. Yes, that could have triggered the stomatitis – my vet and our cat rescue group think that stress can cause stomatitis.

    You’ve asked a great question regarding what food is best for stomatitis kitties. A lot of people here have had good luck with raw food, which would be like wet food, in clearing it up, along with various supplements.

    As for wet vs. dry, it is my opinion that dry is better. I originally was thinking that wet food would be better but my vet explained to me that wet food causes more pain because a cat uses the tongue much more when eating wet food. If the stomatitis is in the back of the throat (as it was with Lily) then the movement of the tongue is likely to cause pain as it touches the inflamed skin in the throat area.

    We had all of Lily’s teeth removed so I looked for a healthy cat food that came in small enough kibbles that Lily could easily swallow them. The food that Lily ate was Iams, which has very small kibbles and is healthy. I originally tried Evo, which is considered a very healthy cat food, but it gave Lily and another of our cats diarrhea. She never had any problems with the Iams.

    I hope that helps,

    Rochelle

  5. Linda,

    It sounds like you are making great changes for your cats. I’ll add my experience with long-term PlaqueOff use. My five (now four after Lily’s passing) cats have used PlaqueOff daily for about four years. The only problem I had with it was with our elderly girl, Sasha. She is now 17 or 18 years old (we don’t know for sure since she was a stray when we got her) and recently lost a lot of weight. Blood work showed that she now has hyperthyroidism so I had to stop giving her PlaqueOff, since it shouldn’t be given to animals with hyperthyroidism. The PlaqueOff didn’t cause it, but it would have made it worse if I had continued giving it to her.

    As for the other cats, they are all doing great, and get good marks from the vet on their gums and teeth each time they see the vet for their annual exams. In fact, one year the vet said that Sid was developing gum disease and would probably need to get at least one tooth removed. I didn’t get it removed and the following year she said that his teeth looked good. I can’t help but wonder if the PlaqueOff cleared up whatever problem was going on with his gums.

    I hope this helps,

    Rochelle

  6. So grateful to find this site. Have 4yr Siberian female kitty, Katness Joy (Katy) who was diagnosed with stomatitis in January 2017. Her lacerations are in the parental folds behind back molars. Vet recommended dental exploratory but I didn’t do. First changed all 3 of my cats to mostly raw homemade diet-80 to 90% with small amount wet canned mixed in for flavor. They were already on 2 wet grain free meals and one grain free dry meal at bedtime. Was surprised how easy the transition by slowly adding the prepared raw food to their usual wet. Took the dry completely away cold-turkey and they accepted that within couple days. It’s made a big difference, especially for my IBS cat who no longer throws up at all. For Katy, I’ve been doing a regimen from holistic vet–which includes gemmotherapy, herbal mixture, and COQ10, as well as probiotic,fish oil, lysine. Her ulcers are a little better, appear gray now instead of red,she’s eating well, but I’d like to see more healing. I’m interested in the homeopathic and essential oil treatment mentioned by Melinda on May 28. Would like to know how she is doing those. Also want to add Plaque-off. Was concerned it may have some potential side effects (thyroid or liver) but see most posting here are using and over long term. That’s encouraging.

  7. My cat was diagnosed with Stomatitis and I think she got it from losing her twin sister. Her sister got out and was hit by a car and I think depression caused it. She is a beautiful pure white cat. She had always kept herself perfect and I noticed she was looking a bit rough am going to try the plaque off and lysine before the teeth extraction. Her teeth don’t look that bad. It is more in the edge of mouth and outside. My question is is canned food good for this condition? Or does it matter what kind of food they eat?

  8. Thank you for sharing stomatitis treatment. Our Forrest (14yrs/male/neutered) had 8 teeth removed over 2 surgeries about 5-6 years ago and it seemed to help with the stomatitis. Early 2017 his gums are inflammed again. As he has higher creatinine values (kidney) & higher than normal blood glucose level, steroid treatment is not the first line option. It could be age or illness (perhaps lower immunity) and it may have brought on a flare-up despite remission of several years. He had the Convenia antibiotic injection when necessary. At one point Ovarid (to treat rodent ulcers) was used sparingly but it no longer worked. Do use with caution especially on diabetic cats. Pain relief is Buprenorphine injections when cat is drooling n unable to eat. I give Immunregulin jab / NS Immune Stimalator and Enisyl-F (L-lysine paste). I will try Plaqueaoff though i have only used that for my dogs. It is on-going trial for the poor kitty. TY for your help.

  9. Karen,

    I know from experience how difficult it is to have all the teeth removed and I’m so glad that your cat had his stomatitis completely resolved! I recommend opening his mouth to look at the gums and throat every so often, just to make sure that the inflammation doesn’t return, but hopefully it never will.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    Rochelle

  10. Kathy,

    I know it sounds like it shouldn’t work but, yes, my experience with PlaqueOff and a toothless cat was that this works. I was desperate to find something that would help Lily so tried this not expecting anything. It takes about eight weeks to help but help it did. You can see pictures of how well it worked on Lily here – http://stomatitisincats.com/review-of-plaqueoff-for-cats

    I can tell you that it helped Lily for the several years that she took it. About a month before Lily died I looked in her mouth, something I did every now and then to make sure the stomatitis wasn’t coming back, and her mouth looked as good as it did in the final picture on the page I shared above. She lived five of her six years pain-free in large part (I believe) because of the PlaqueOff.

    I hope that the combination of Lysine, PlaqueOff, and Prednisalone help your cat as well as it helped Lily.

    Rochelle

  11. Our year-old rescue cat was diagnosed with stomatitis when we took him to the vet for the first time. He was very head shy and wouldn’t let us get our hands anywhere near his mouth. He had been at an outdoor cat rescue center for several months with other cats and had sustained some other injuries that left him with a limp on one shoulder, and a ragged ear. (I mention this because I have read there is some evidence that cats can develop stomatitis as kittens if they are exposed to stress.) The vet told us immediately about the possibility of removing all of his teeth, but agreed we should try other options first. We tried a non-grain diet and steroids for about 3 weeks, but he continued to get worse and he had almost stopped eating.

    We decided to have his teeth removed, understanding that chances were good it would resolve his condition, or at least improve it. We could not have asked for a better outcome. The surgery was traumatic (for all of us!), but he bounced back pretty quickly. Within a couple of days he was eating soft food, and within about 5-6 weeks you wouldn’t have known he had had surgery. After about 6 weeks, he started eating small kibble, and he still prefers that to moist food. He went from about 8 pounds to 13 in the months following the surgery. His mouth looks perfectly normal and you wouldn’t know he doesn’t have teeth unless you opened his mouth. We can rub his mouth and his gums now and he doesn’t even remember that they used to hurt him. He even tries to play-bite us and grabs at toys and feathers with his mouth (and he can hang on pretty well, even with no teeth!). He has had no recurrence of the stomatitis symptoms, and he’s just a happy, chubby kitty now. It seemed like a horrible and radical thing to do at the time, but I’m sure we would have lost him if we hadn’t taken that step! We’re very happy about the results.

  12. Kathryn, I, too have heard great success stories with raw diets. They come in so many frozen commercial varieties these days, and many manufacturers sell sample packs. There are even freeze dried versions where you just add water. One tip to entice kitty to eat it is by sprinkling FortiFlora, a probiotic, on top. Or you can start mixing it in very slowly to kitty’s normal food. Transitions aren’t always easy. I’m still working on my cat.

    As for getting the lysine and Plaqueoff into your cat, buy Gerbers baby food, the chicken in gravy flavor. Make a little paste with the supplements and just swipe it across the side of your kitty’s mouth while scruffing her neck. I have to do this with my cat who needs a pill every three days. I just pulverize the pill and mix it with the cold baby food…cold is better to make the paste. Works like a charm. Hope that helps!

  13. So Plaque Off is both recommended and helpful, EVEN THOUGH all the teeth have been removed, therefore no plaque?? My cat has been through many treatments, except cold laser.
    He still has tissue inflammation & growth, drooling at times. He seems to still be enjoying a “good” life, eats well, does cat stuff, cuddles, purrs, like walking around outdoors, though not playful most of the time.
    I will add Lysine and plaque off, easy to do, if it’s thought that it can help even with no teeth. He’s now getting 2.5 – 5 mg Prednisalone/day, and son homeopathic treatment.
    Thank you!!

  14. Kathryn,

    I personally never tried a raw diet because I have a daughter with health problems and I didn’t want raw food to potentially make her sick (I keep a very clean kitchen but I didn’t want to take the chance, a decision that came after discussing this possible diet with my vet, and she agreed with my reasons for not trying it). However, other people on this site have tried a raw diet and had great success with it. I wish you luck if you decided to do that, and hope that it helps Koshka.

    Rochelle

  15. After finding this site, I was so excited and started giving Koshka the L-Lysine and PlaqueOff. I was mixing it into wet food and he took it well for about 2 months, then refused to eat it. I’ve tried it again here and there without much success. I changed him to high quality grain-free wet food only, no dry at all. His horrid breath is gone and he’s eating well with no pain. I’ve been researching wet foods and hope this diet change will help his Stomatitis. Cats need more water than they can drink when on dry food alone to maintain bladder health. My past cats had only dry food and always eventually had crystals in their urine and needed special food. I’ve read about raw diets but haven’t tried it yet. Has anyone tried a raw diet with a Stomatitis cat?

  16. Our Thomas, an eleven year old Siamese, was first diagnosed about a year ago. At his annual check up I requested a dental clean which he has had before. Also asked her about the enlarged lymph node in his neck, which she had missed! He was booked for dental work and aspiration of the node. While under anaesthetic she phoned to tell me he had an inflamed throat and a growth that didn’t look good, did I still want his teeth done as he would probably have to be euthanised in the near future. I said yes to the teeth and biopsies were done. He had the rest of his back teeth removed and came home fine. At no point had he been showing signs of pain prior to this. Results of biopsies were that he had stomatitis, not cancer. We then set about a plan of treatment with steroids. These didn’t do what the vet expected he was still convinced this was cancer in spite of the negative results. We saw a specialist dental vet, who confirmed this was stomatitis and set out a treatment plan. Initially steroids and when that didn’t appear to help, Interferon for three months. All this time Tom showed no outward signs of discomfort as he was eating, grooming and playing perfectly normally – no drooling or pawing at mouth either.

    Then in the spring he succumbed to his usual ‘hay fever’ and looked quite poorly and I took him back to the vet as I have always done for this recurs every year. However this is a different vet practice, as my regular one retired, and this vet said it was linked to the mouth/throat problem. He booked him for exam under anaesthetic for the next morning. Long story short, he said growth was much enlarged, was cancer and did I want him euthanised there and then? I said no, I’d like him to come home and he could come out next day and do the deed at home. Next morning Tom was right as rain and back to normal and I cancelled the visit. Next stop was MRI and biopsies again. Different vet did MRI and said it wasn’t so bad as he’d expected, in fact not too bad at all, just enlarged and inflamed tonsils and pharyngeal arches. I’m still waiting for a treatment plan going forward! But in the meantime Tom is well, has no outward signs of pain and continues to thrive, so I’m not unduly concerned.

    Tom however recently developed a sensitivity to commercial wet foods, the cheaper brands which he so much prefers, making him throw up intermittently but frequently. I now feed him and his sister grainfree high protein wet and dry food which is not their favourite,and, after reading a lot about stomatitis maybe this will help his mouth too. BTW: His sister is his litter mate and has no signs of tooth/mouth trouble and eats only food which Tom doesn’t like, and visa versa. Typical Siamese!😁

    Sorry for long post but really just saying that vets sometimes get it wrong and a second or third opinion does no harm. Hopefully research will get to the bottom of this condition but it won’t be before Tom crosses the Rainbow Bridge I’m sure 😟 If the vets can’t agree on cause and treatment for stomatitis what chance do we have? Hope I haven’t gone too off topic here?

  17. Thank you for the very informative posts on here. My 12 year old cat, Oscar has just been diagnosed with this condition . He’s had his teeth cleaned and 3 removed with little improvement . It has been very challenging getting him to have pain meds and antibiotics. He is now suspicious of any food that has them in. He is a very sensitive cat and much prefers to be outdoors . He’s traumatised by his several trips to the vets and being kept in for these appointments. He can’t go on like this . The vet has now recommended the rest of his teeth be removed in 2 stages. At first I was horrified but now I believe it to be the best option as he is not happy and it’s difficult to medicate him. He’s not eating much at all now despite me trying all his favourites . He is booked In for surgery in 2 weeks.

  18. Jane,

    I am so sorry for not seeing this sooner. How is your cat doing?

    To the best of my knowledge, you would be okay to give both Lysine and PlaqueOff to your cat, but you might want to check with your vet to make sure there isn’t a problem combining it with his food.

    Rochelle

  19. Bev,

    This is the first time I’ve heard anyone mention removing a buildup of scar tissue so thank you for sharing your story.

    Lily has been “free” of stomatitis now for about two years. I put “free” in quotes because she, like your cat, still has inflammation in the back of her throat, but her gums look great. I take a peek in her mouth every couple of months to make sure it isn’t flaring up but so far it has stayed at bay.

    That is in interesting theory about the possibility of a virus causing the disease, and the potential reason for it being contagious. My vet told me that this is a disease that hasn’t gotten very much research among the medical community so maybe your paper will help change this.

    Rochelle

  20. Rose,

    My experience with Lily’s tooth extraction was somewhat similar to yours. My vet removed all but her four canines in the first surgery. She improved but within a few months the gums around the canines started to get red and inflamed, so we had those removed, too. I don’t remember how long it was between the two surgeries but I think it was about six months. That’s where the similarities between Lily and your cat end because Lily improved after the second surgery. She still has some redness in the back of her throat but it no longer seems to bother her. After the second surgery Lily stopped bleeding and drooling, ate like she’d been starved for years, and played like there was no tomorrow. One of the most significant changes, though, was that we could touch her on the face and mouth, which was something that caused her severe pain before the surgeries. If I were you, I would take my cat back to the vet based on what you’ve described. Yes, it can take up to eight months for the tooth extraction to help, but it doesn’t sound good that your cat seems to be regressing.

    Rochelle
    s

  21. Loretta,

    I’ve never thought of chicken as an inflammatory so I did a little research (emphasis on “little”). What I saw is that chicken itself is not an inflammatory, but it is possible that it becomes inflammatory because of the antibiotics and diet given to the chicken. Based on that, you might try feeding your cat with chicken that is free of antibiotics (which might be hard to find) and has a natural diet.

    Regarding steroids and diabetes, I was also worried about that with Lily. My vet told me the same thing yours did, and she also said to look for an increase in water intake. She said that is a tell-tale sign of diabetes or pre-diabetes. She said that it increased water intake is most obvious in the litter box, especially if you use clumping litter, because there will be huge clumps of urine.

    Rochelle

  22. My rescue cat will be two this fall. Her gums were bright red when we found her. She has been diagnosed with stomatitis and was first given Convience (2 week antibiotic) and a shot of a 6 week steroid. She was also pulling out her fur so the steroid helped both issues. She has been fine for several months when I noticed her red gums again. Again, she got the antibiotic shot and the steroid. I told my vet I was concerned with the steroids causing diabetes, but she said if she only gets two or three a year she should be fine. I feed her Nutro dry food twice daily and boiled chicken breast every evening. Is chicken an inflammatory and should I not feed he chicken every day?

  23. My sisters cat got his teeth cleaned and 2 teeth pulled. He went home with antibiotics and pain meds. Fast forward a week and he is back in pain and does not want to eat. More pain meds and steroid shot. This lasted another week. Would like to try Lysine but how do I know how much to give him? Have not been told he has stomatitis but all signs indicate he does. In the process of looking for a dental vet but funds are limited. Thank you in advance for any advise.

  24. Wendy,

    I apologize for not seeing your email sooner. How is your kitten doing?

    Rochelle

  25. Amanda,

    No one knows for sure stomatitis is contagious but some people think it is. One such person is the woman I adopted Lily from. She thinks that it is contagious when there are open sores in the mouth of the stomatitis kitty. Having said that, I never kept Lily away from our other four cats in any way and none of our other cats came down with it. It is possible, though, that stress might play a part in how contagious it is. Cats in a high stress situation (i.e. an animal shelter) might be much more susceptible to catching stomatitis, whereas the cats in our home are happy and stress-free. I’ve not heard anything about stomatitis being hereditary so I don’t know about that.

    Rochelle

  26. I was able to trap a feral cat from a colony I was feeding back in April. She has stomatitis and has had 15 teeth removed in 2 different dental surgeries (5 teeth removed on April 12 and 10 teeth removed on April 28). She is on L-lysine gel, duralactin and plaque off daily. It seemed like her drooling had stopped and we were making some progress. But today, when I rinsed out her mouth using oral syringe of diluted chlorhexidine gluconate this morning she was crying and had active bleeding. This really bothered me. She’d been doing fairly good since her last dental extractions on April 28 but now I feel so frustrated that her mouth is still SO RED and actively bleeding a month after her last dental surgery. I know that she was in pain due to her crying out this morning. She is still eating for me twice a day (canned food) but sometimes I have to coax her to eat. I know you had mentioned that it may take up to 8 months for healing to take place. Since you’ve been through this horrible disease with your dear Lily, I’m asking you if I should just give it some more time (again it’s been 1 month since her last dental extractions of 10 teeth removed) or should I return to the vet for full dental extractions ? I really HATE to put her through that again so soon….any advice you can offer would be appreciated. Thank you for this blog !

  27. Update from May 10th post: Piper finished antibiotics and is now on a homeopathic liquid, Melissa hydro-sol, and Young Living essential oil blend (thieves, peppermint, and carrier oil) all prescribed by the holistic vet. I am also in the process of changing her wet food source from a chicken, shrimp blend from Life Abundance to a pheasant mix from Pet Tao. Already the inflammation is decreasing and she is a little bit better every day. It’s a slow improvement but I know it will be a lasting change. Wanted to share in the process.

  28. Mary,

    Getting a second opinion for Hosannah was a good idea.

    I apologize for not responding sooner and see that your dental appointment has passed. Did you have the procedure done? How is Hosannah doing?

    Had I seen this prior to your appointment I probably would have encouraged you to keep it, since it might be exactly what your cat needs, as opposed to antibiotics. As for Fresh Breath gel, I’ve never heard of it so I have no opinion. Perhaps someone else on here can give you information about it.

    Rochelle

  29. My cat has been fighting stomatitis for several years. Surgery to remove teeth failed as he almost died being sedated. Have tried many things- many rounds of various antibiotics, prednisolone. Now we are settled on painkiller daily ( Torbutrol 10 tablets $19.00, Last 20 days at 1/2 tablet- and a steroid shot monthly ( Depo-Medrol INJ $20.00.)
    He eats well most of the time, but I give him very soft food ( Sheba packets, etc.) The Torbutrol we give him crushed – in a syringe. If I put Lysine anywhere near his food, or anything else he will not touch it.
    I don’t think his mouth is better, but he is spunky, and eating. My main goal is to keep him comfortable. He has Feline Aids. He was a stray with a bad leg injury when I came upon him in 2010. Also Walmart has a Delectable Squeeze up package that is a pure bisque and very easy on their mouth.
    Hope this helps someone with a cat with similar problems.

  30. Maria,

    Lily has been taking Lysine for about three years now. My vet knows that all five of my cats are on Lysine and she has never told me that long term use would be a problem. In fact, my vet explained that Lysine in cats is much like Vitamin C in people.

    I wish I could recommend a medication but I wouldn’t know what to suggest. You might contact a cat rescue group in your area and talk to them. I have found that animal rescue groups are very knowledgable because they’ve dealt with just about anything you can think of many times over.

    Rochelle

  31. Debi,

    No, I’ve not heard of Healthy Mouth so have no opinion of it. Having said that, it might be wonderful but there is no guarantee your cat(s) will drink the water that has it. That’s what happened with us. I bought AquaDent, which was recommended by my vet, but none of our cats would drink the water I put it in. That’s when I looked for something else to use and found PlaqueOff. I’d love to hear if your cats drink it and if it seems to help.

    Rochelle

  32. Susan,

    Oh boy, that sounds like an incredibly difficult situation. I think it would be best to discuss this with a vet but it sounds like that might be the way to go if you aren’t able to consistently give medicine to the cat or otherwise help her.

    Rochelle

  33. Melinda,

    It sounds like Piper is in good hands. Please let us know how she is doing and what works for her.

    Rochelle

  34. Cindy,

    Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about pain medications for cats, prescription or other-the-counter. It has been several years since Lily was on the pain medicine Buprenex so I don’t remember what we paid for it. Did you talk to your vet about alternative pain meds?

    Rochelle

  35. Cristina,

    What a wonderful fur mommy you are! Zack is very fortunate to have you in his life. I am happy to say that today you’d never know anything had ever been wrong with her. She is full of energy, loves to play and get into mischief, and cuddle. We are so grateful she is in our life.

    Please let us know how he does and what works for him.

    Rochelle

  36. Hi,
    Over the years I’ve had many cats with the stomatitis diagnosis. Years ago the treatment, if meds didn’t work, was always to pull the teeth. It worked in a few cases but overall the majority of my cats continued to suffer from the condition. I’m fortunate to have a veterinarian as a close friend who took great interest in this disease so she was always up for trying new ways to treat it.
    At one point one of my cats had so much scar tissue built up in her throat that my vet suggested going in and reducing the build up because it was beginning to cause problems with swallowing. She described as being like a tonsillectomy where she would scrape off all the diseased tissue. My cat came through it fine and once she healed, her mouth and throat looked 75% better. I’m mentioning this because it’s not a routine thing most vets do, it was just an idea my vet had and it worked! Another thing I wanted to say is that my vet was corresponding with the college she got her degree from (Davis), because she had seen so many cats with the condition and she felt that it is of a viral nature and was mostly seen in cats who had previously been outdoors. She wrote some paper on it and the college was interested in her findings. She also said that it is quite possibly a condition that is contagious between cats. I have to agree with her on that because so many of my cats, and I’ve had a ton of them, go along fine for years and then suddenly develop the disease. Right now I have one of my 8 cats that has developed stomatitis and for 13 years showed no signs of it. All of my cats are strictly indoor only however, she was outdoors as a kitten before I rescued her. It makes sense that like many viruses do, they lay dormant in the body until something triggers them to become active. In my cat’s case, she caught a bug probably from a foster kitten I had and that might have been the trigger. She has had a couple of teeth pulled due to decay but the rest are fine. It’s not so much her gums but rather further back in her mouth where the redness is. I have her on antibiotics which has cleared the infection for now anyway but I know it will soon be back. I am giving her the Lysine, as well as buprenorphine as needed but I’m holding off on the steroids because she doesn’t respond to them. I came here just to see what, if anything, was new in treatments and am now going to try the Viralys to see if there’s more improvement. Sorry for how long this is.

  37. MaryB,

    I’m so sorry for not seeing this sooner. I regret that I don’t remember how long it was before Lily showed improvement with Lysine (it’s been several years since I first started giving it to her) but I do remember that she started to get worse within just one week when I ran out at one point.

    Thank you, also, for your kind words about my surgery. I’m much better now.

    Rochelle

  38. Hello, I rescue Zack when he was 4 months and since day 1 he is been suffering and in pain for all his life ( 6 years old),I spend close TO $ 7.000 trying to help him, many x-RAYS, a lot of blood test, even a IRM, finally I found a vet who give me the terrible diagnostic, and said that probably the best is euthanize my cat. I just found this page and I literally crying on relief.I will try everything that you sugest, please keep posting about Lily, and thank you, very much is many people like me and Zack that you help with your page .

    P.S.(I apologize for my english,I do not speak english, but I was so desesperate to help my cat that I traslate every word of your page and traslate this for you.)

  39. What a tremendous resource and encouragement. Thank you for creating this. My Piper is 11 years old. Never had a problem up until recently. According to her last few dentals. Something was wrong in September 2016. According to my vet she was fine. Now she claims severe stomititis. Cortizone shots was her recommenation followed by teeth extraction. I call check-mate on her and refused to believe this wasn’t overlooked. I refuse to believe there weren’t alternatives. I am lucky to have a holistic vet in town that already sees my pitbull. Piper will see her this friday. I plan to add your recommendations to my discussion. I’m thankful I have hope to not have to watch my cat starve to death in pain or put her down unneccessarily. Because a vet isn’t willing to seek alternatives. I knew this had to be treatable.

  40. Hi, our Hosannah, about 10, was hiv positive when we found her. She stopped eating dry food about a month and half ago, and I started giving her wet food. Then 2 weeks ago, she stopped eating altogether. I took her to a vet, and he did blood work on her, and he thought she had cancer and it would be too far along to do anything. So, I went for a second opinion and it is stomatitis. The second vet gave a skin anti biotic and then Hosannah started eating a lot of wet food. However, she stopped eating a lot of wet food, and now is eating dry food and drinking a lot of water, she might eat a tiny bit of wet food here and there. We went back for a check up yesterday and she did gain back 1.4lb back. I am afraid of her losing weight again. She is scheduled for dental surgery next Tuesday, the 16th, it is Monday, the 8th now. My question, is Fresh Breath feline teeth gel okay to use for her teeth? Also, now reading this blog, I am wondering if I should hold off on the dental procedure and go with anti biotics first. Her gums look really bad. TIA for any advice.

  41. I have just taken over feeding a feral colony where 1 cat has stomatitis. The previous feeder has been putting medication in her food, but it is still bad.
    This cat cannot be handled. I am thinking the only solution will be to trap & have a vet remove teeth & hope it works. Any other thoughts for a ferel cat?
    Thanks

  42. Dear Rochelle,
    My cat is about 15 years old. He has chronic kidney failure and is on Semintra for that (it’s working well). He also had hypothyroidism and is on the special Y/D diet. That is also working fairly well. We just took him in and were told that he has stomatitis in the back of his mouth. It’s not wide-spread but we want to do something for him. Do you know whether we could use l-lysine in his special food? I used to give it to all our cats but, with his special diet, stopped giving it to him (he can’t have anything with iodine in it).Would PlaqueOff be Okay as well? He has no teeth where the inflammation is, but we aren’t thrilled about doing radiographs and surgery to see if there are pieces of teeth remaining given his age and medical conditions. Thanks for your informative site. Jane

  43. Are there any nonprescription pain meds or any way to get the prescription ones for less? 65.00 for 4 days of meds is killing us while we try to get our kitty under controll… he is is too much pain to eat without it though… Buprenorphine/Buprenorphine Oral .6mg. Still has his teeth, but vet says remove asap. My son who is the primary owner of our beloved Endeavor wants to try anything else first. He is doing grain free wet food with mushroom immune supplements. No idea how to tell if anything is working. It’s been a week since diagnosis and he’s at a very bad place with pain without the meds every 12 hours.

  44. I recently adopted a Snowshoe kitten, got him when he was 6 months old, and noticed a few months later, that he was sneezing, drooling, had a crusty nose and and inflamed mouth. Took him to the vets and she confirmed he has a stomatitis on his gums. She gave him Convenia, and followed up in 2 weeks with another injection of Convenia. He responded well to it, but it was short lived. Now he is 11 months old, and once again, he is drooling and his gums are red and sore, and his mouth is swollen and inflamed. I have had him on Lysine since the start. I am also wiping his mouth with DentaChlor Oral rinse. It is such a struggle to wipe his mouth with this, and he runs and hides when he sees me. The vet says to try to keep him stress free, but hard to do when you have to hold him down to do this. I recently purchased Oratene additive for his drinking water, and am waiting for the Oratene antiseptic gel to arrive in the mail. The vet has not really offered to much help or advice, and did give me some pain meds to administer to him if needed. The vet is not sure what the cause is, but thinks it might be feline herpes. I have him on a high quality dry food, and feed him wet food as well. No tests have been done yet as currently I am not able to afford blood work, etc. Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated. Any other product suggestions would be great. The Lysine is from the vets. Not sure if it is doing anything though. I have some photo’s of his mouth when it was really bad, if you would like to see them, email me. thanks

  45. Rochelle,
    Thank you for sharing your battle with stomatitis. I have been fighting this problem for about 4 years now. I have 3 cats, previously ferals, that I brought into my home. By the time I was able to bring them indoors, their stomatitis had progressed to the point that all their teeth needed extracted.

    I recently had an outbreak of stomatitis again in the 1 cat that still has 3 bottom front teeth. The vet was able to clear it up with a steroid shot and 10 days of antibiotics. So far so good.

    However, I obviously want to keep this from happening again. I started adding Lysine powder to the wet food. I have a total of 7 cats that eat wet food so they’re all getting the Lysine but I know that won’t hurt them.

    I’m looking into a water additive. My vet recommended Healthy Mouth. Are you familiar with that product? it’s expensive but I’m told it’s the “best” one out there.

    Thank you for your help.

  46. I brought my cat to the vet severapl months ago for teeth problems, no mention of stomatitis. He had several bad teeth pulled. Not too long after surgery, maybe 2 months, he was pawing at his mouth again. His gums were red and swollen, we took him to vet. She said he has stomatitis. She gave him an antibiotic and pain med shot. He was better for about a week, but now hes pawing at his mouth and when he does that, he meows like hes in pain. My vet recommended removing all his teeth. Im nervous about that. Right now hes on a pain medicine, its day 1 of that but hes still pawing at his mouth. Hes still eating and grooming. But i know hes in pain. Teeth surgery is expensive and risky. I dont want him in pain.
    Is stomatis contagious? I read on the internet somwhere it is, . I have 8 cats in my house. And i also was told it can be hereditary. Is that true? The cat that was diagnosed with stomatitis, he has 2 brothers that we have.

  47. My cat has stomatitis. We tried antibiotics and Atopica. He ended up having all teeth pulled and has a perfect mouth now after 8 months of stopping Atopica. So I’m crossing my fingers he stays well, because he’s doing great! Hope some of you have the same outcome.

  48. Thank you for your interesting site and all the information provided. My 10 years old cat has stomatitis , had all his teeth removed on Octomber , and has a steroid shot every month, the other option from the vet is to put him on a drug called cyclosporine.. After i found your site and read a few things on line , i put him on plaque off and L lysine , plus some Salmone oil. I was wondering about lysine , because on the box it is written that he shouldnt take that more than one month. How long have you been giving Lily the lysine? Also about the medication, do you have any suggestion? I am really worried about the steroid injection that might do him harm in the long term, but no vet here uses cream or anything like that. Thank you 🙂

  49. I am so happy to have found this site with so much supportive information. Our adopted 13-pound Maine Coon mix, Koshka, is a most 4 years old. He’s one of the sweetest cats we’ve ever owned…quite a lap baby. We got him from a “Humane Society” which was not a very Humane environment…easily 30 or more cats in the home, all ages, some sick, and He was extremely sick with a severe respiratory infection causing the loss of one eye. He recovered from that, but had horrible breath, finally leading to the Stomatitis diagnosis. He’s had 2 rounds of extractions 1-1/2 years apart, but still has more to go as our Vet won’t take out “good” teeth, only the infected ones. No X-rays have been taken either time, so I’ll be requesting that to check his mouth. My vet has him on 5mg Prednisolone every other day and only dry food. After much research, this week I changed his diet and started him on a holistic grain-free set food, no dry at all. He loves it and is eating really well. Am waiting on an order of Plaque Off and L-Lysine to arrive to add in. I also found a Probiotic with Wild Salmon Oil Supplement which I added to his food tonight and am so happy he ate it all. Fingers crossed these changes will help his condition and immune system. I’ve read other sites which recommend limiting vaccines. I’m in a smaller city and love my vet but they require all vaccinations. Koshka is an only house cat. I know rabies vaccines are required by law, but I am not eager to get him re-vaccinated for the other things. I’m waiting on a phone consult with the vet to discuss the changes in diet and supplements with him. Am hoping he’ll approve of the changes. If not, I may be vet shopping. Any thoughts on over-vaccination affecting Stomatitis cats? Also, do those supplements seem okay to use together? I don’t want to over do or give him a wrong combination of things. Thanks for any comments back!

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