Is your cat not her usual self lately and growling at her food? Is she always hiding and drooling excessively? You may not be aware of it but your cat may already have feline stomatitis. It is a painful condition among cats caused by inflamed mouth tissues. While the treatment options for the condition include oral medication and dental extraction, coconut oil is currently recognized as a supplemental treatment.
Feline stomatitis coconut oil treatment
Coconut oil has long been known for its therapeutic uses for cats. It provides supplemental treatment for cats that are recovering from feline stomatitis. It reduces inflammation of the gums and aids in the healing process.
To administer coconut oil, simply mix it with cat food or you may serve it directly to your cat and she can simply lick it. You may coat your finger with the oil so she can lick it off or let her lick it off a toy or treat. You may also add one-eighth to one-quarter teaspoon of the oil to her food. Be sure to use therapeutic-grade coconut oil like Coco Therapy.
These are the other known benefits of coconut oil for cats:
- it helps with itchiness and dry skin
- it reduces inflammation of the joints and digestive system
- it boosts your cat’s immune system
- it supports your cat’s skin and coat
- it aids with digestion
- it improves brain health
Feline stomatitis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Feline stomatitis is also known as feline chronic gingivostomatitis or FCGS. It affects around one to four percent of cats and it is a very painful and crippling chronic condition due to inflamed or swollen mouth tissues. There are at least two forms of this health condition based on the inflammation’s location. The first form is marked by inflammation of the gums around the teeth or the periodontium while the second one called caudal stomatitis involves the fauces which is an area at the back of the mouth where the upper and lower jaws meet. Vets find the second form as a challenging one to treat.
The common causes of feline stomatitis or FCGS may include retroviral diseases like Feline Leukemia Virus or FeLV and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV. Other causes may include calicivirus, genetics, periodontal disease and juvenile-onset periodontitis.
These are the clinical symptoms of FCGS:
- bad breath or halitosis
- growling at food
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- decreased grooming
If you check your cat’s mouth you will notice that the affected areas bleed easily and have a bright red and cobblestone-like appearance. Your cat will find it difficult and painful to chew and eat and may constantly paw her mouth. She may also have a scruffy coat because of poor nutrition and the inability to groom herself.
Once you observe the above-mentioned symptoms, bring your cat to the vet at once. Your vet will examine your cat’s medical history and check her mouth to ascertain the degree of the infection. Based on his diagnosis, your vet may sedate your cat to thoroughly examine her mouth to have a more definite input on the degree of infection. Your vet may also administer further tests to detect viruses and oral or dental disorders, to check for other immune-related viruses and pinpoint any additional health issues.
Feline stomatitis is usually treated through a COHAT or comprehensive oral assessment and treatment plan. It may also include the extraction of dentition behind the upper and lower canine teeth. In some cases, extraction of all teeth is done to eradicate plaque-retentive surfaces which may still trigger an overactive immune response.
Depending on the severity of the condition, some cats may need other treatment options like pain medication, antibiotics, immunosuppressive therapy and laser therapy. If your cat keeps some of the teeth, daily oral home care is essential to prevent inflammation and plaque accumulation. Most of the time, there is a positive response to therapy and despite even a full mouth extraction, cats are still able to eat soft food and become pain-free.
Other oral/dental problems among cats
Aside from feline stomatitis, cats may also suffer from the following:
Uncontrolled gingivitis may progress to periodontitis, a condition where the tissues that attach the tooth to the gums and bone are weakened because of bacteria and a weak immune system. The destroyed tissues may lead to loose teeth and tooth loss.
Symptoms: red and swollen gums, halitosis, recessed gingiva, exposed tooth-root surfaces, loose teeth
Tooth resorption is a condition wherein the tooth structure breaks down from the inside and progressing to other tooth parts. It is the most common cause of feline tooth loss and around 30 to 70% of cats will show signs of this condition.
Symptoms: pink lesions in the tooth at the line where the tooth meets the gums, loss of appetite, drooling, irritability
Feline stomatitis is a painful and debilitating oral condition among cats that need to be addressed promptly. It is usually caused by certain viruses like the feline leukemia virus but may also be due to genetics and periodontitis. Aside from medically-recognized treatment like antibiotics, coconut oil is also recognized as an effective form of supplemental treatment for this health problem.
Image: istockphoto.com / Viola Zayonchkovska