Gingivitis in young cat

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Purr Bug
Purred: Wed Nov 24, '10 2:43pm PST 
Hi! My hubby just brought Chaucer for his well care exam and she said that he was very healthy but was suprised to find that he has gingivitis as he is less than 1.5 years old. I am bothered by the fact the she told my husband to give him dental treats and didn't mention any other kind of oral care or any reasons as to why such a young cat would have gingivitis in the first place.

I've been searching through the health threads here and reading about feline gingivitis and stomatitis on other sites, so I know that they can be caused by an immune reaction to bacterial plaque and that some people feel that viral infections with FIV and FELV may be implicit.

So I looked at his gums and you can definately see a thin red line along his gum line that seems slightly worse by his canines. They don't look anywhere near as bad as the photos that I've seen on the internet thankfully. I checked Shade and Smudge and from what I could see they have no red on their gums. I don't know if the vet checked his mouth thoroughly to see if he has lessions anywhere else that would indicate stomatits. I have noticed that in the past few months he has not been as interested in eating as he used to be. Maybe that's coincidence and maybe not.

I think that I've decided that I'll brush his teeth with CET toothpaste as I agree with people in the Petzlife thread that some of the ingredients may not be the best for cats. Perhaps I will also use the Maxi Guard Oral Gel that I saw mentioned in a thread from a while ago first. I've already started training him to sit on a stool and let me touch the sides of his mouth.

So, do you guys have any other ideas of what I should do? The cats eat grain free canned for breakfast and raw meat chunks and rmb's for their other 2 meals later in the day. Oh, and thanks to BK's suggestion I will start to give Chaucer L-lysine twice a day too.

Thank you very much for any suggestions! I don't want Chaucer to have any horrible problems because of this.

Chaucer's Mom

Member Since
Other posts by this user
Purred: Wed Nov 24, '10 5:35pm PST 
You can purchase a chlorhexidine liquid, dip a swab in it, and swab your pet's gum,it will help if not clear up the gingvitis. I would see if you can do it after he/she eats if it's wet catfood. I think you can get it from Drs. Foster & Smith or google it.


RESPECT The- Star!
Purred: Wed Nov 24, '10 6:44pm PST 
Well, first I would look at getting another vet. I just read up on this, and there is alot more to this, than what your vet told your husband, alot more, and alot you can do, and dental treats, is not, one of them.

I would also ask for a CBC and Wellness blood panel, to see if any other values are not normal, and I would ask the vet to test for Bartonella, its a seperate blood test, they have to specificly test for it.

It says it can occur as young as 3-5 months, and there are usually lesions, which if I understood it right, they have to examine this under sedation, to do it properly. It also says, kitties don't eat as well, as they are in pain, which you mentioned he doesn't eat like he normally did.

I think before you go trying toothpastes or oral stuff, I would first find out, exactly, what he has.

As far as the L-Lysine, which the article did mention that, if the kitty is 9 lbs or under, he should only be getting 250 mgs once a day, over 9 lbs, 250 mgs twice a day, or 500 mgs once a day. It goes by the kitties weight, kittens would get 250 mgs once a day.

It also mentioned giving vitamins, if the kitty is not eating well, or is not on a quality food. I use Feline Missing Link, its a powder, has to be refridged after opening, and dose is by the kitties weight, my vet said its one of the better ones.

Here is the link I found.


Best of luck, please keep us updated. big grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grin

sweet pea

princess of the- kitchen
Purred: Fri Nov 26, '10 8:54am PST 
if a kitten has poor upbringing they can get gingivitis at an early age. how old was he when you got him, and where did you get him from?


Education is the- Key
Purred: Fri Nov 26, '10 10:31am PST 
I got Shadow from a cat rescue when she was 12 weeks old. When she was a year old she had to have all her teeth out, except for her inscissors and fangs. The Specialist vet said she had an autoimmune thing (Gingivitis really bad) and stomatis I think. Anyhow she had to have this done as if she didnt then it would just start to affect her other organs. She has been fine ever since.


Purred: Sat Nov 27, '10 12:34am PST 
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. It is the mildest form of dental disease. Unhealthy teeth and gums have a very negative effect on the cat's body. It takes an especially hard toll on the liver. Gingivitis is caused by bacteria. A severe form of gingivitis called Plasmacytic-Lymphocytic Stomatitis causes the cat extreme pain. You will notice very bad breath in a cat who has PLS. I'm guessing the vet examined your cat's mouth. I suggest having them do full mouth x-rays. A biopsy should also be done to rule out PLS. I also suggest having and FIV test run. Treatment depends on the severity of the gingivitis. Scaling the cat's teeth is the best form of treatment. Cats are very good at masking their pain.


Purr Bug
Purred: Sat Nov 27, '10 6:54am PST 
Hi all! Sorry that I didn't reply before now, we were away for a few days because of the holiday. Anyway, we adopted Chaucer last December at the age of 5 months from a shelter where he lived in a free roam cat room and which fed a mix of whatever kibble had been most recently donated, so until I got him and switched him to mostly raw, he ate nothing but cheap kibble. He had horrible breath and stinky poop when we first got him and it took several months before these cleared up.

So currently he does not have noticebly smelly breath at all, and as I mentioned, he eats grain free canned (EVO, Instincts) and raw. When I look at his teeth they are really white. If he had a lot of plaque wouldn't his teeth be not as white? This is why I think he must either have some kind of immune reaction to minor amounts bacterial plaque, or an undiagnosed viral infection, and not just bad or dirty teeth.

I also want to mention that he does eat, it's just not with the exuberance that he used to and he doesn't always finish. Also, we are pretty sure that he has feline herpes, he has watery eyes that a different vet in the practice thought was blocked tear ducts, and he does tend to sneeze. However, he is very active, playful, and causes a lot of trouble. I know that cats can hide illness very well, but I really don't think that he currently feels unwell.

No one noticed his gums before last week, so I don't know if he's had this problem chronically, or if it just developed recently.

I've decided that I'll call the vet on Monday and ask her some more questions. She'll probably think that I'm crazy. I guess that most people, gee, like my DH, must never ask questions and just go and do what they're told. But do vets really think that dental treats do anything? Don't the cats just come back after a year with no improvement?

Thanks again for all your input!

Chaucer's Mom

Edited by author Sat Nov 27, '10 7:05am PST



No More Homeless- Kitties ~- Spay/Neuter
Purred: Sun Nov 28, '10 2:11am PST 
Maybe you can try switching him to a raw diet? Chicken necks and rabbit parts really help to keep teeth clean!


Stop the Death - Spay/Neuter
Purred: Sun Nov 28, '10 2:17am PST 
Raw really does help clean teeth and massage gums. If his teeth are white, then some nice raw meaty bones could really do some good in healing that gingivitis.


Purred: Sun Nov 28, '10 5:54am PST 
Tyson started having similar issues when he was around Chaucer's age. He's FIV negative.

I've used lysine, and it does seem to help. Tyson also tested positive for bartonella in early 2009 when he developed uveitis. Treating him for the bartonella didn't keep the uveitis from recurring (though the lysine does seem to discourage flare-ups)... but he hasn't had to take antibiotics for the gingivitis or have his teeth scaled since. He used to need a dental every six months or so, and was on antibiotics every few weeks. There's some debate over whether or not there is actually any link between bartonella and gingivitis/stomatitis (some studies seem to suggest yes, others no)... but, for whatever reason, since he finished the doxycycline, we haven't had any problems.

Edited by author Sun Nov 28, '10 5:56am PST


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