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C2007-51

Dear Christopher Cat

Cleo, my 2-year-old cat, has lymphocytic-plasmacytic stomatitis, a painful inflammation of her mouth.
My veterinarian removed all her teeth, which lessened her gum inflammation considerably, but her throat remains red and blistered.

Low-dose, every-other-day prednisolone helps, but if I stop the medication, Cleo cries in pain and refuses to eat.

I am afraid the prednisolone, a steroid, will trigger diabetes. What else can I do?

Christopher Responds

Lymphocytic-plasmacytic stomatitis is a challenging disease of unknown etiology. Although lifelong treatment doesn’t cure the disease, it does help control it.

Removal of the teeth aids 85 percent of cats, but often the throat lesions persist, as in Cleo’s case. Dental x-rays can confirm that no tooth root fragments remain to exacerbate the inflammation.

Infectious diseases may play a role, so affected cats should be tested for the feline leukemia and immunodeficiency viruses and Bartonella bacteria.

Most cats with stomatitis need antibiotics, pain medication and drugs to suppress the immune system – primarily corticosteroids like prednisolone, which can induce diabetes.

Talk with your veterinarian about other immunosuppressive drugs and laser therapy.

Cleo’s risk of diabetes also might be diminished if you keep her slim and feed a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.

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