Feline Stomatitis: Better Diet and Nutrition as Treatments for Stomatitis
Stomatitis in Cats
According to the Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, "Periodontal disease is the most common disease seen in companion animals, which, when left untreated, may result in disease elsewhere in the body. Feline patients are often affected by resorptive lesions, which cause pain and decreased appetite."
Resorptive lesions are just one complication of feline stomatitis, which is an inflammation of the mouth and gum line and also known as lymphocytic plasmactic stomatitis (LPS).
Cats with LPS suffer great pain — they feel like their mouths are on fire, according to Dr. Louise Murray, board certified veterinary internist — and have difficulty eating because of the pain.
The inflammation is caused by the accumulation of plaque. Appetites wane and the animals lose weight and can die if the condition is not treated properly and promptly. The good news is that LPS is treatable and reversible with diet, nutrition, and regular professional care. However, as part of a treatment protocol, the vet may recommend a full mouth extraction of the cat's teeth.
If you notice any of the following symptoms in your cat, consult a veterinarian promptly:
Symptoms of Feline Stomatitis
- Red gums
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Sore throat
- Refusal of food
Regular Check Ups May Prevent Feline Stomatitis
About Feline Nutrition
Cats are carnivores so their teeth are designed to tear, not grind. Avoid feeding them soft or sticky foods, which cling to the teeth and encourage plaque formation.
The best diets for cats include good sources of animal versus plant protein, some fat, a high percentage of water, and a low percentage of carbohydrates.
Many dry foods have high carbohydrate levels as they are formulated primarily from plant proteins and baked to produce the finished product.
The heat needed for baking robs nutrients from the food, and the chunks are so dry, they crumble in the mouth and stick to the teeth, thus exacerbating periodontal conditions.
In general, canned cat foods provide higher percentages of high-quality protein and moisture and are recommended for treating LPS. Wet foods do not stick to the teeth and are easier to consume especially for cats with sore gums.
Another method that may ensure your cat gets enough nutrition is to feed smaller meals, spaced out through the day. Three to six tiny meals may be easier for your cat to handle than one or two larger meals. The food can be ground-up in a food processor or blender to make a thin consistency for the cat to lap up rather than chew.
However, keep in mind that the above suggestions are somewhat general in nature. Your personal veterinarian is more qualified to make a specific recommendation based on your cat's overall health and history.
Treatments for Stomatitis: Diet & Nutrition
In the article "Veterinary Dentistry: Dental Care for Pets", the author suggests Friskies Dental Diet for Cats for cats with LPS.
Friskies Feline Dental Diet for Cats has a guaranteed analysis of crude protein of 28% and moisture of 10%.
In addition, according to the package ingredients listing, the food is free from artificial colors or preservatives that might cause liver damage or trigger allergies. It carries the VOHC Seal of Acceptance.
The following products for feline dental care diets have been awarded the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance:
- Prescription Diet Feline t/d - Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.
- Friskies Feline Dental Diet - Friskies Petcare Company
- New and Improved Prescription Diet Feline t/d - Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.
- Science Diet Oral Care Diet for Cats - Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.
- Purina Veterinary Diets DH Dental Health brand Feline Formula
The VOHC "certifies only that, upon application for the right to use the registered seal, the product met VOHC's standards for effectiveness in retarding plaque and tartar when used as directed."
Using better diet and nutrition for feline stomatitis means fewer incidences of the disease, healthier cats, and better treatment options for felines suffering from LPS. Cat owners can feel confident in these proven methods to prevent and treat their pets.
The information in this article should not be considered veterinarian advice. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure any ailment. Always check with a veterinarian for treatment advice for cats and other animals or before following any advice in articles like the one you have just read.
Texas A&M University, College of Veterinary Medicine,accessed 02/22/2010:http://www.cvm.tamu.edu/vscs/Services/Dentistry/LPS.shtml
Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, accessed 02/22/2010: http://www.vet.upenn.edu/Portals/0/media/Matthew_J_Ryan.pdf
Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, "Veterinary Dentistry:Dental Care for Pets" Frank J. M. Verstraete, accessed 02/22/2010:http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/VSR/dentistry/DEFAULT_DEN.HTM
Telephone Interview, Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, 09/23/2010
Veterinary Oral Health Council, accessed 02/23/2010: http://www.vohc.org/accepted_products.htm