By David P. Lee
Plasmacytic-Lymphocytic Stomatitis is a chronic condition occurring in cats which causes severe gingivitis and
tooth loss. This is a result of another disease. Feline Immunodeficiency and Feline Leukemia is found in some cats.
Symptoms include extremely foul breath, excessive salivation and trouble eating. Generally, since this causes them
mouth pain, they discontinue eating while rapidly loosing weight.
If the mouth is examined there will be extreme gingivitis around the back upper molars. The gums will be red and
look raw. They may bleed easily. If not treated the gums will start to recede from the tooth as the root of the
tooth becomes absorbed causing the teeth to fall out or break off. When biopsies of these areas were conducted they
were found to contain lymphocytes and plasma cells, which is why this disease is so named. With the inflammation
the chances of a bacterial infection are definitely higher than normal. These cells are in evidence whenever there
is a chronic inflammation and result in secondary infections which can cause a bacterial infection in the blood
stream. This is quite serious and can infect other organs such as the heart, kidneys, and liver.
Essential to beginning any treatment, a careful cleaning under anesthesia, while cleaning below the gum line
with a long acting good quality disinfectant gel is vital. Temporary relief while keeping bacterial infection from
worsening the gums is provided by the use of antibiotics. Although, this is not long-term answer, a variety of
treatments has been tested such as anti-inflammatory therapy with cortisone and immunostimulants such as
Removing the premolars and molars, is the only long-term treatment that seems to relieve the symptoms while
giving the cat a return of good health. While attempting to get the cat back to its optimal health, there are
various high calorie cat foods which are nutritional, available on the market, these products are soft while
requiring little chewing. The nature of this disease discourages cats to eat, because of their pain. Their
nutritional needs are crucial.
Prevention is the best alternative for avoiding chronic gingivitis, since response to treatment for this disease
is exceedingly low. It is essential that upper respiratory infections in a household be controlled, since
calicivirus seems to be a contributing factor for this disease. Vaccinations for this disease at 6 weeks, 9 weeks,
and 12 weeks should be administered to kittens. Until this series of vaccinations are complete, a kitten should be
kept away from other kittens and cats. Keep all cats up to date with their vaccinations for best results. Feline
leukemia and FIV tests should be routinely done. Any cat showing a positive result to testing should be immediately
removed and isolated from all other cats.
Two new products came on the market in 1997 that were designed to control and prevent tartar and gingivitis. TD,
produced by Hills, is a dry food that was made to fight the build up of plaque and tartar. Chews, produced by Vrx
pharmaceuticals, is a freeze dried fish food that has antibacterial enzymes to fight gingivitis and also provides
abrasive cleaning action. Both products can be obtained through your veterinarian. They just may be the key to
preventing feline chronic gingivitis thus saving your cat from losing their teeth and succumbing to this painful
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