Lately, we have received a number of inquiries about full mouth extractions for cats with severe and persistent stomatitis. Something you should know…our vet will not remove teeth just for the heck of it. She will only remove teeth that need to come out – are loose, decayed, etc. If they are intact and only have tartar, even severe tartar, she will clean them up beautifully, but not remove them. The reason for this is that trying to remove teeth which are fully intact CAN result in breaking the jaw. In particular, the lower canine teeth have to fairly easy to remove before she will consider removing them.

Also, we do not believe as do some vets that a full mouth extraction is the solution to stomatitis. I have heard it works in  approximately 30% of cases. Personally, I have experience with two cats who had severe and persistent stomatitis. Unforunately, they continued to have symptoms (swollen and inflamed gums, drooling, bad breath and most importantly pain severe enough to cause a change in behavior – hiding) even after removal of ALL the teeth.

Personally, I believe the most likely cause of severe and persistent stomatitis is from a crappy diet. A cat’s natural diet is 98% protein. Think about that for a moment. That is an almost all meat diet. In the wild, the only time cats get carbs is when they eat a mouse that has a few grains of something in its stomach. Yet the diet that we feed cats is often 30-50% carbohydrates. It is my belief that this is the reason that we are seeing more and more cats with severe health issues at an earlier age: severe and persistent stomatitis, kidney disease, liver failure and diabetes to name a few. If you want to learn more about a cat’s diet, please read here: www.CatInfo.org. One example of what is in much of the cat food available is “by-products”. In the United States, it is approved to use chicken-by-products in pet food. Chicken-by-products can and does include anything that falls out of the bottom of a chicken cage – feathers, chicken poop, etc. Absolutely disgusting, right? In addition, meal of any kind is unhealthy for cats (fish meal, chicken meal, etc.). And finally, corn and wheat are also not great.

Ok then. What can we do to help kitties like yours? I have found the following to be helpful:

1)      Change in diet. Canned food is better than dry food. If you can find a food with no by-products, no meal, no corn and no wheat, that’s great. Personally, I feed my cats Trader Joe’s canned cat food. They have 3 flavors that meet these requirements and they are reasonably priced! Only $0.79 for a 3 oz can. Each of my cats gets ½ can in the morning and ½ can at night. Less than $23 per month per kitty.

2)      Get a dental cleaning and extractions of any loose or decayed teeth. This we can help you with!

3)      Pulse regimen of Depo-Medrol. This is a injectable steroid that we have found to be extremely effective at knocking back the inflammation caused by stomatitis. Do this as needed and no more than once per month. We can help with this if the dental surgery has been done through our vet. We simply ask for a $20 donation to C.A.T.S.

4)      Pulse regimen of Clindamycin antibiotic. We have found this to be more effective for bacterial infections in the mouth. We can help with this if the dental surgery has been done through our vet. We simply ask for a $10 donation to C.A.T.S. for a 1 week course of antibiotics. We also include PRObiotics to counteract the negative effect of antibiotics on the good bacteria found in the gut. These good bacteria help our pets gather and use  nutrients from their food.

If you want to request a dental surgery and cleaning appointment, please go to this page.