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 — 665 Comments

  1. This is for Linda B
    This is how use it
    Colloidal Silver water shake well, use dropper, use just one squeeze of bulb and put into mouth, half one side and half the other.

    and this is all the other bit I use and the stomatitis has gone
    Cats Medication (three small glasses required)

    You can make up the morning 1st dose in the evening, so that it will save some time in the morning. (ALL MEDICATION TO BE SHAKEN, APART FROM PILLS AND ENISYL-F ) ( PREPARE IN ORDER SHOWN AND GIVE ALL WHEN NUMBER 1 IS READY )
    To make up the following you will need two small glasses and some cold boiled water from the kettle.
    Morning
    1, In a small glass add FCV support, (use tweezers to get one out), Five drops of Boost, one drop of each, Agrimony & Yellow Dock Root and add 1/2 tea spoon of cold boiled water; syringe this out when dissolved (approx. 15 Mins)
    Colloidal Silver water in blue bottle, shake well, use dropper, use just one squeeze of bulb and put into mouth, half one side and half the other.
    2, Enisyl-F, put syringe on nozzle and pump nozzle twice into syringe, make sure cap goes back on when done.
    3, In a separate glass put two pumps of ArthriAid Omega, syringe up in three lots and give it to him, one at a time, you may need to rub his chin and neck to help him swallow.
    Evening
    As in number 1 above but without the BOOST.
    In a small glass add FCV support, (use tweezers to get one out), one drop of each, Agrimony & Yellow Dock Root and add 1/2 tea spoon of cold boiled water; syringe this out when dissolved (approx. 15 Mins)
    2, Enisyl-F, put syringe on nozzle and pump nozzle twice into syringe, make sure cap goes back on when done.

    The Slippery Elm Bark (three to four times, if possible, per day)
    Give the made up liquid in the fridge, draw up to top mark of two syringes (2ml), give 15 mins before the rest of medication above, up to 3 – 4 times a day, the last one, give it to them just before you go to bed.

    To make up new batch of slippery elm bark
    Put 1 ½ tea spoons of Slippery Elm bark into a saucepan with 8 ounces of cold water, bring to the boil stirring all the time and continue for three minutes.
    Let it go cold and put in a small container, this will keep in the fridge for five days.
    Hope this helps

  2. I have colloidal silver but don’t understand how others here have used it for their stomatitis kitty. Asked that question previously but no one replied. I’m thinking you have used it topically on the mouth soreness? (Perhaps with Qtip?). Would also like to know from Melinda how she’s using the Melissa hydrosol for Piper– topical, drops in food, how much, how often? Replies would be appreciated. I have recently switched my Katy from ubiquinone that vet prescribed the last several months to the ubiquinol form of COQ10. Hope it helps. She is also in her 5th week on the PlaqueOff but no noticeable change yet. Being patient as I know it takes time.

  3. Sherrell emailed me the following reply to MsBliss:

    “My cat suffers from severe stomatitis- for several years. He gets steroid injection monthly – antibiotic every few weeks, and pain med every day. I have been adding Colloidal silver for a month or more and it has done no good. Will now try CQ10 as per instructions below. Thanks MS Bliss for suggestion. You never know what might work. Lysine has not helped either. My main goal at this juncture is trying to keep him comfortable.”

  4. I was on Amazon shopping for lysine for my kitty who has an URI. I noticed a reference to this site. I wanted to post something very important: Ubiquinol, not ubiquinone, also known as COQ10, can help heal gums and the mouth. Used in conjunction with other remedies, it might help make the difference for some cats. Be sure to use the ubiquinol form and NOT the ubiquinone form. Ubiquinol helps the gums and mouth heal, aside from it’s other properties. About 30 mg per day may help advance recovery from stomatitis in addition to other treatments. Some cats who are not responding with other treatments will turn a corner with this addition. Give it at least 2 weeks to help.

  5. Scotta,

    I’ve only had experience with one brand of Lysine, so that’s the one I recommend, but there are others that probably work just as well. We use Vitoquinol Viralys.

    Rochelle

  6. When I grind my own meat or use frozen pre-ground, I’m adding the various supplements (5 or 6 including fish oil and taurine), organ meats, sometimes egg yolks and/or cooked vegetables according to recipes. The premixes have most nutrients in them but do also want you to add yolks and/or fish oil (omegas).

  7. Natascha, I’m 7mo into this so still somewhat of a newbie. But I’ve done a lot of online reading/research (info mostly from holistic natural vets) and learn more everyday. Right now I’m varying meats and several recipes with the idea that variance is more likely to cover the nutritional needs while I continue to learn. I can give you links I trust but it’s important to educate yourself if you want to try to make your cats food. You are already way ahead of most people because Dahlia is already eating meat and no kibble. Now it’s finding what she will accept that has the needed nutrients added to the meat. The easiest thing to start with (which I did) is to order some samples of premixes and start to add slowly to what Dahlia currently likes. I still use premixes at times but also have progressed to either grinding my own meat (with or without bone) and organs or buying preground meat with bone and organs from a company that specializes in pet meats and delivers frozen orders monthly in my town. Costco is a good source for fresh chicken and beef stew meat. I have a nice electric grinder that will grind raw chicken bones but none larger. Never feed cooked bones to cats-they splinter and are dangerous. Premixes from Alnutrin (knowwhatyoufeed.com) and TC Feline (thetotalcat.com). They also have a lot of raw feeding info on their sites. Also check out (google) Dr. Lisa Pierson (catinfo.org), info/videos (online and also on YouTube) from Dr.Karen Becker on feeding pets, CatNutrition.org, and fnae.org. Good luck. I’d be glad to help any way I can.

  8. Linda B, do you have a recipe for your raw food? And do you use different meats or only stick to one? Rochelle, thank you so much for creating this page. After talking to the vet I felt hopeless. She didn’t really offer any suggestions other than steroids from here on out. After reading here for a while I feel like I can help her manage this.

  9. My cat, Blackie, has just been diagnosed today. He apparently has been in pain for some time because his stomatitis is soooo severe. I only realized this week when he started growling like something was attacking him. The vet has put him on something to boost his immune system with pain reliever in it and antibiotics…both liquid. I look forward to him feeling better. Blackie had been eating up until about a day and a half ago and when we got back from the vet, he went straight to the food bowl. I generally feed him dry cat food, but gave him some wet cat food and he ate it up without expressing any discomfort. I’m glad I searched and found this website. I will try L-lysine and plaque off, too. The steroid cream on the ears seems to be an easy treatment as well. What brand of L-lysine do you recommend

  10. Natasha, I have been feeding mostly homemade raw meat cat food since January and it has made a big difference in the health and activity of all 3 of my cats–including Katy Joy who was diagnosed with stomatitis a couple weeks before I made the switch. I was already feeding 2 wet grain free canned meals a day but took away a bedtime meal of kibble cold-turkey st that time. I feel getting rid of the kibble was the best decision and made the most difference. Cooked chicken is a good meal for Dahlia BUT she will quickly become deficient in vital nutrients unless you also add supplements which give needed calcium/phosphorus or bone meal, taurine, vitamins (especially E and B’s), omegas, etc. You can buy premixes that are meant to be added to raw or cooked meat to made the diet complete. Alnutrin is one of the ones I use and it is good because it isn’t a large amount to add so is less detectable. You just mix it with a certain amount of chopped meat chunks or ground meat..Of course plain chicken, other plain meats, canned tuna, even baby food are useful and Ok for a short time when a cat is refusing food–but once they are eating well, they have to have more nutritionally complete food. Cats do not need veggies but they do have to have certain nutrients beyond plain meat in order to maintain health. In the wild they would be eating the whole prey which would include bone and organs which supply those needed nutrients.

  11. Natascha,

    It sounds like you are a wonderful caretaker to Dahlia.

    I haven’t tried a raw diet but others on here have and will probably chime in to help you out. It’s good that she is eating chicken, so keep it up until you find something else she is willing to eat. You can sprinkle the Lysine and PlaqueOff on the chicken and she will probably eat it without noticing anything has been added.

    As for natural pain management, I do not know of any but have also never looked into it. Hopefully someone here can offer advice.

    Please keep us posted on Dahlia’s progress.

    Rochelle

  12. My 8month old kitty, Dahlia, has been diagnosed with stomatitis. I can tell she hurts. My vet has tried antibiotic injections and steroid injections with no luck. Also apoquel with no luck. We have changed to a pill antibiotic now and another round of steroids by mouth. I hate the thought of her being in pain her whole life. I just ordered l-lysine and plaque off. Also a problem, she is a rescue that was starving herself at the shelter. She eats now but only meat. I currently bake chicken for her every day. Has anybody had luck with a raw diet helping with stomatitis? Is there something I can buy for pain management other than narcotics from the vet.
    Any suggestions appreciated, and yes, I have tried over 30 different cat foods, wet and dry. She will not touch it

    Natascha

  13. Thank you Rochelle for your encouragement and reply to my question. I’m continuing the PlaqueOff (basic one without brewers yeast) and am so grateful that Katy Joy accepts it in her food as she can be picky about such things. Also glad to hear from Melinda with her positive update on how Piper is healing. I am really interested too in the essential oil treatments she is using and would like to know more. I have been using different blend from my holistic vet but wish were more effective. Melinda–how are you doing the Mellissa hydrosol and what brand is it? Sounds very effective against viruses. Also is the mouthwash from Young Living the one that’s called Theives Mouthwash? Do you just apply topically with a Q-tip?

  14. Piper update from May 10th and May 28th post: Piper (11 year old female) continues treatment of homeopathic liquid, Mellissa essential oil hydro-sol, and essential oil mouthwash daily as well as eating Pet Tao wet food. Stomititis greatly reduced. Will continue treatment until September. Holistic vet anticipates treatment will eliminate stomititis all together.

  15. Linda,

    It can take up to eight weeks for PlaqueOff to work so keep giving it to Katy Joy. I fed it to Lily once a day using a full scoop, but since it’s the same amount I don’t know if it matters.

    Rochelle

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