Mouth Sores and Much More

Sores around a cat's mouth could be caused by many different medical conditions.

By J. Veronika Kiklevich, DVM | Posted: Fri Mar 4 00:00:00 PST 2005

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Q. I have a 10-month-old kitten we call Daphne. She had a bad case of roundworm when she was about 3 months old. My vet is concerned this may have affected her lungs or that she could have an abscessed lung. She has been on antibiotics for the past eight weeks, and for about five weeks she was full of life. She now has sores around her mouth and when she wakes up I see signs of drooling. Lately her energy has gone downhill; however, she still has a good appetite. 

Now my vet feels the problem is her immune system, and put her on steroids for two weeks. I trust my vet, but we live in a small town and I believe there is more out there. I have grown to love Daphne and have seen how much life she has. Please help me is there anything out there?

A. Although roundworms can have effects outside of the gastrointestinal tract, for instance in the lungs or the liver, it is unusual to have the clinical signs show up this far down the road. The sores in her mouth are probably not related at all to any intestinal parasites.

Sores in a cat's mouth can be caused by many things including viruses (calicivirus and herpes virus), fungal disorders, feline juvenile stomatitis (secondary to bacteria), eosinophilic plaques or even drug reactions. Certainly her immune system is playing a role here, but whether suppressing it with steroids or not will help is difficult to determine.

It is extremely important to know whether she is positive for either FeLV (feline leukemia virus) or FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) before treating, as these can be associated with the signs that you described, and if she is positive for either of the two viruses, then different modes of treatment are indicated. Next, to make certain of the diagnosis, your veterinarian can take a small biopsy of her mouth. If indeed it is her immune system overreacting, the pathologists (who look at the biopsy sample) can determine this for certain and Daphne can be treated appropriately.

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Mouth Sores and Much More

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Reader Comments

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

7/23/2012 4:27:09 PM

good article, thank you

janet    bethlehem, PA

2/24/2008 8:40:09 AM

very interesting Thanks for the info

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