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Out in the wild, felines manage their own oral hygiene by munching on certain herbs and tree bark. A domestic cat is deprived of these natural remedies and thereof solely depends on its guardian.
Many people who overlook such issues will soon be unpleasantly surprised by signs of inflammation on their pet’s gums. The condition is not uncommon and with an appropriate treatment can be cured domestically. The crucial thing is to detect the condition in time, identify the associated symptoms and eliminate the infectious or viral nature of the disease.
Gingivitis in Cats
Reddened gums indicate an inflammatory process in progression and the condition is known as gingivitis. The disease depends on these factors:
- lack of proper oral care;
- unbalanced diet;
- gum injuries;
- viral diseases.
Inflammation develops as a result of dentobacterial plaque accumulation and dental tartar formation. The latter can be seen with the unaided eye. It is a dense yellowish formation covering the root of the tooth. Due to solid deposit, the normal blood supply in the gums is disrupted, the inflammatory process develops, and the surface reddens.
Note!It is not uncommon, that gingivitis is affected by vitamin deficiency which, in its turn, is a result of an unbalanced diet. Another possible cause is oral cavity injuries that got infected and inflamed. If the cat eats natural food rather than dry food, this can be the result of a trauma caused by tubular bones.
Viral gingivitis is the most dangerous form of the disease. In this context, gum inflammation is a secondary symptom of Feline calicivirus or rhinotracheitis. With these diseases, such symptoms can be detected: redness of the gums in cats, visible erosions in the palate and throat, soreness while eating. The cat becomes lethargic, refuses food, panting can be noted due to swelling of the jaw and nasopharynx. Severe form of gingivitis requires timely veterinary care. The following symptoms are to be expected with gingivitis:
- Swelling of the gums
- Gingival bleeding.
- Loose teeth.
- Soreness at palpation.
- Excessive salivation.
- Offensive breath.
- Decreased appetite.
Chewing food only further injures the inflamed gums, causing bleeding, so the animal refuses to eat. Cold water gives s soothing effect, reduces swelling, and therefore the cat’s thirst may increase.
A fairly common cause of inflammation in cat’s gums is an allergic reaction to household cleaning products. Possible allergy-causing agents are laundry and dish soaps, various houshold polishers. When contacting with particularly aggressive substances, such as a toilet cleanser, burns may appear on the gums. The mucous membrane reddens and swells, sometimes ulcers develop.
Note!To distinguish an allergic reaction from common inflammation due to improper dental care is quite simple. Moderately pronounced allergy manifestations go away in several hours after contact with an agent. Burns on the mucous caused by some aggressive chemistry are localized not only on the gums, but also on the palate and lips.
In the event of a chemical injury, antiseptic treatment is required. It is best to use a solution of chlorhexidine or Miramistin, which are applicable in this case as they do not further irritate the already inflamed gums. To speed up the healing process and prevent infection, the gums should be treated with special gels.
How to Treat Gingival Inflammation
If the cat has bright red gums and offensive breath, dental tartar is noticeable, and there are no symptoms of viral diseases (discharge from the nose and eyes, fever, general lethargy), home treatment is possible.
The early stage of gingivitis can be easily treated with a regular toothbrush. The guardian has to brush his or her pet’s teeth regularly to prevent solid plaque formation. Fresh tartar is still rather soft and can be easily removed with a mechanical brush. Keep in mind that plaque and tartar are a concentration of pathogens. Accidental damage to the gums while brushing cat’s teeth is fraught with infection of the mucous membrane, therefore, each procedure should be finished with an antiseptic treatment of the mouth cavity. For this, you can wrap some gauze around your finger, wet it in chlorhexidine solution and process the gums.
Photo of Inflamed Gums in Cats
Severe inflammation is to be treated with special medicines. In a regular pharmacy, you can purchase Metrogil Denta gel. It contains antiseptic chlorhexidine and an antimicrobial agent metronidazole. The gel successfully manages the inflammation and prevents infection. It should be applied twice a day. The dosage of the gel for one treatment should be the size of a match head. Dentavedin can also be recommended. It also contains the antiseptic chlorhexidine as well as extracts of medicinal herbs and bee-glue. The solution is applied twice a day for a week.
Gingivitis against the background of viral diseases is treated with antibacterial solutions, but only under the supervision of a veterinarian.