Our cat Jingles had really chronic bad breath and so we took him to the veterinarian, who diagnosed our big Ginger cat with stomatitis.
This means that Jingles has a chronic oral inflammatory disease. The vet should use Jingles’ gums, which were very inflamed, puffy and red.
We figured that others are in the same boat as us and maybe are wondering what to expect, so we’re writing the following post based on our experiences as well as information provided to us from our veterinarian.
Jingles was given an antibiotic injection and some medication that he needs to take over the next three days.
Our cost upon leaving the vet today: $129.
The next step is a complete teeth cleaning, which we have scheduled for about a week and a half from now.
The cost of that is $180.
After that, Jingles will need to be monitored. If he still has problems, he might need to have some or all of his teeth extracted. Apparently, that will take away any pain he is feeling but he will still be able to eat, even dry cat food.
As you might recall from an earlier post, we adopted Jingles from a local animal shelter back in February of this year. He is a very sweet cat with a unique story, but, oh boy, that breath! It was really bad.
Signs of stomatitis:
Bad breath is one sign of stomatatis. Other possible signs include inability to eat much (fortunately, Jingles, who is on the healthy and hearty weight side doesn’t have this problem).
The puffy, red gums mentioned above are another sign.
And, because the cat might be experiencing pain, it might stop grooming itself. This was also not a sign for Jingles, who seems pretty fastidious about keeping himself clean.
Causes of stomatitis:
The causes of stomatitis aren’t known, but may result from “inappropriate immune reaction against plaque that forms on teeth.”
Cats who are positive for FIV may be predisposed to stomatitis, although Jingles tested negative at the shelter we adopted him from.
Basic treatment options usually involve pain control, inflammation control, plaque control and nutritional support.
As we mentioned above, with Jingles, the first course of action to get rid of the plaque will be the teeth cleaning, followed by the monitoring to see if extraction of any or all teeth is necessary.
We, like many who are going through this with their cats, are certainly not millionaires. In fact, a car payment may have been bounced today to pay the vet bill. But, if the cost continues to rise, we might look into veterinary financing options available from various companies out there who provide that service.
We will keep you updated on Jingles’ progress!
•Greenville Veterinary Hospital
•Veterinary Parnter, “Plasma Cell Stomatitis in Cats,” Wendy Brooks, DVM, DABVP.