Mouth Inflammation and Ulcers Average Cost

From 455 quotes ranging from $200 - 2,000

Average Cost

$850

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What are Mouth Inflammation and Ulcers?

Mouth inflammation and ulcers in cats is termed feline stomatitis, characterized by gradually worsened inflammation of the oral mucosal tissues. Feline stomatitis etiology is assumed to be an immune-mediated disease caused by dental disease and viral infections, such as feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus. Mouth inflammation and ulcers only affect about 3 percent of the feline population with purebred cats being the majority of those affected. Feline stomatitis, although rare, is a very serious and painful disease for cats that can eventual becoming life-threatening if it is left untreated. 

Mouth inflammation and ulcers in cats create an extremely painful condition. A cat with this condition may have a difficult time eating or drinking, may have bad breath, drool, and paw at her face. Mouth inflammation often causes a cat’s mouth to develop ulcers on the back throat, gums, tongue or lips, which may even prevent the cat from opening her mouth. Mouth inflammation and ulcers are not linked to a single underlying cause, but dental disease is believed to be the main culprit. Mouth inflammation and ulcers in its early stages resembles dental disease, plus it can be highly contagious, making an appointment with the veterinarian essential. 

Symptoms of Mouth Inflammation and Ulcers in Cats

Mouth inflammation and ulcers in cats is one of the very few conditions that will cause a feline to show obvious signs of pain. It is in a cat’s nature to not freely express pain, but feline stomatitis is so painful cats often cry out in pain with a simply yawn. Cat owners also report a type of behavior veterinarians call, “approach-avoidance.” This behavioral term is used to describe a cat who hungrily approaches her food, only to hiss at her bowl and run away. Approach-avoidance behavior is a symptom that develops over time as the feline anticipates the consumption of food to be painful.Behavioral changes may be the first signs of feline stomatitis a cat owner notices, as inflammation and ulcers in the mouth are not easily seen. The following additional symptoms may also be noted in a cat with mouth inflammation and ulcers: 

  • Severe pain
  • Vocalization or crying out upon the opening of the mouth
  • Dropping food while eating
  • Refusal to eat or drink
  • Facial pawing
  • Weight loss
  • Halitosis (bad breath) 
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Ptyalism (hypersalivation, drooling)
  • Poor hair coat
  • Red, swollen gums and/or mouth
  • Ulcers or lesions 

Causes of Mouth Inflammation and Ulcers in Cats

The exact cause of mouth inflammation and ulcers in cats is unclear, but what is clear is that the condition appears to be immune-mediated. In other words, feline stomatitis is believed to be an overreaction of the immune system, causing the feline’s own immune system to attack bacteria in the mouth as well as its oral tissues. The immune system is triggered by plaque in the mouth, making feline dental disease the prime suspected cause. Mouth inflammation and ulcers in cats can be caused by dental disease, but also infection and viruses, including: 

  • Periodontal disease
  • Bartonellosis
  • Feline calicivirus (FCV)
  • Feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1)
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)

Diagnosis of Mouth Inflammation and Ulcers in Cats

Diagnosis of mouth inflammation and ulcers in cats begins with an examination of your cat’s medical history, including dental records and procedures to rule out standard conditions of the teeth. A physical examination of the mouth will be completed in order to evaluate the level of ulceration. Sedation may be needed during a physical examination to allow the veterinarian to open the feline’s mouth. A visual identification of mucosal inflammation and ulcers will give the veterinarian a diagnosis, but to determine the cause, further testing will be made including: 

  • Systemic disease evaluation (detection of organ disease)
  • Virus isolation test (detection of virus)
  • Retroviral test (detection of immune-related virus)
  • Histopathological evaluation (detection of oral disorders)
  • Biopsy (detection of oral neoplasia) 

Treatment of Mouth Inflammation and Ulcers in Cats

Treatment of mouth inflammation and ulcers in cats initially begins with pain control and anti-inflammatory medication. Feline stomatitis is an overreaction of the immune system, so your veterinarian may prescribe a steroid or immunosuppressant drug to suppress the immune system, and suppress the disease. Although effective, treating feline stomatitis with therapeutic drugs is only temporary, therefore, many veterinarians suggest total dental extractions. 

Plaque is the known trigger of feline stomatitis. Plaque is a bacteria that only remains in the mouth when it adheres to the teeth. Therefore, a total dental extraction of your cat’s teeth is the only potential cure of feline stomatitis. Unfortunately, a total dental extraction is costly, drastic and in the end, may not cure your cat’s stomatitis. 

Recovery of Mouth Inflammation and Ulcers in Cats

The refractory treatment of mouth inflammation and ulcers in cats makes recovery as well as management of the condition frustrating to both parties. Pain management will be continuous for cats with feline stomatitis to improve the quality of their life. A soft food diet will be required for cats who have undergone total dental extractions and routine dental cleanings may be required of those who have not. 

Mouth Inflammation and Ulcers Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Maya
American long hair (calico color)
10
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss
Teeth
Heart murmer
gums
mouth

My cat, Maya has displayed pain when yawning and her gums are very swollen and red. She has become very thin however still has a decent appetite. I have seen her go and hide after eating though. I took her to the vet and they tested her blood for hyperthyroidism, anemia, kidney and liver failure but all results came back fine. Now the vet wants to test her for gastrointestinal issues and congestive heart failure however, I think he is on the wrong track because he isn't taking into account the fact she has pain in her mouth and didn't even check for mouth for ulcers he only looked at her teeth and said she has periodontal disease. Also last year, several of my cats got a bad virus and one of them had a corneal ulcer. I'm pretty sure they had FHV even though they didn't test them for that. Maya only had a mild case but she did gag every time she purred. It went away after a week. Looking back I wonder if she didn't have a mouth ulcer then too. Can the mouth ulcer be related to FHV and could she still have the virus in her system a year later or do you think that it sounds more like recurring ulcers, mouth inflammation and feline stomatitis? When the vet looked at her teeth and said she had didn't think that stomatitis was a progressed form of periodontal disease, I thought it was an autoimmune inflammatory response to plaque. What are your thoughts?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1712 Recommendations
There are various causes for oral ulceration in the mouth and need to be considered along with other conditions including infections (feline herpes virus or calicivirus), CUPS (Chronic Ulcerative Paradental Stomatitis), chemical irritation among other causes; oral ulcers and corneal ulcers are suggestive of feline herpes virus which may have gone around last year. If you believe your Veterinarian is not on the right path, you should take Maya into another Veterinarian for a check over to see if you get a different opinion as it would be cheaper than going down a diagnostic path you don’t believe in. Without examining Maya, I cannot give you any useful input on this. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tiger Wood
Tabby short hair
12 years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

I've taken my cat to vet they are sending out to see if cancer! is cancer normal for cat tongue she believes that's what it is! ulcers under tongue and tongue is swollen so much I feeding him through feeding tube! or should I look for something else

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1712 Recommendations
Ulceration of the tongue is a typical characteristic of squamous cell carcinoma in cats; other causes of ulceration may be due to infection (normally see other symptoms), chemical burns among other less likely causes. I’ve attached an interesting link on the subject below which has images for comparison. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/feline-oral-squamous-cell-carcinoma-overview

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Kenneth
Bengal
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Pain
Redness
Acne on chin
Vomiting

My cat has stopped eating his hard food, is in obvious pain, has developed feline acne, is vomiting more than usual, and just today as he was yawning, I saw a big red spot at the back of his throat. Will he have these forever? How can it be treated? Is total dental extraction the only treatment? What will this cost?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1712 Recommendations
The red spot at the back of the throat may be causing pain or discomfort which has lead to a loss of appetite; it is important for your Veterinarian to check Kenneth over to determine a course of treatment which may include surgery or medical management. The cost will depend on many different factors and is too wide to give any meaningful ballpark figure since medical management will be considerably cheaper than surgery and your location as well as the underlying cause will affect the cost too. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Matilda
short hair
12 + years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Tongue ulcer

Medication Used

Clindamycin Hydrochloride

My senior cat was told she has an ulcer on the right side of her tongue. I can barely afford this visit, so my vet recommended a cortisone shot, and antibiotics twice daily for ten days. Matilda is eating, drinking, etc. But is obviously uncomfortable. What are the chances of her having a "comfortable" life? She's had a good long life, but believe she still has a few good years left. Does anyone know of low income vets in L.A., CA? If she needs extractions, I know how pricey that can be. Last question, what can I do to make her as comfy as possible?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1712 Recommendations
The only charity clinic I know of in Los Angeles, CA is the Sam Simon Mobile Clinic (that is the same Sam Simon you see in the credits at the beginning of The Simpsons - he was a big animal lover and he lives on not only with The Simpsons but also his charitable donations); the only stipulation they have is that they accept only neutered pets (or will be neutered at the visit) and that your household income is less than $40,000. https://ssfmobileclinic.org/wp-content/uploads/ssf_flyers/SpayNeuter_Current.pdf

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Kitten
Norwegian Forest
13-14
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

My cat has normal appetite and normal behavior. He's drinking well and eating hard and soft food. But he has a small sore on his lower left lip that is tender to the touch. He is also drooling more when happy/purring, and when eating. I checked his gums: no bleeding or open sores in the mouth. But he definitely doesn't want us touching the sore. What should we do? Wait/watch? Treat somehow? Take to vet?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1712 Recommendations
For the time being take a wait and see approach if Kitten is still eating and drinking normally; if there is no improvement over the next few days you should pop into your Veterinarian for an examination. Keeping the area clean is important, so just give it a wipe with a damp cotton wool ball after eating; any topical medications would most likely get licked off. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Moo moo
mixed
6 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

My kitten isn't eating or drinking, lost the ability to walk, I've found sores in his mouth, lost alot of weight, bad breath, and looks like one of his teeth needs to come out,

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1712 Recommendations
You should definitely take MooMoo into see your Veterinarian since it may be more complicated than a simple tooth extraction and mouth ulcers; given the symptoms I would get MooMoo checked for calicivirus even if he has been vaccinated. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM https://wagwalking.com/cat/condition/feline-calicivirus-infection

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